Reality Television Essay

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Reality Television


One of the most recent and freshest trends to come out of television is the phenomenon of "reality television". Spurred by trend setting programs like CBS's Survivor and MTV's The Real World, reality television was launched as a new genre. With such recent hits as Laguna Beach: The Real OC, Flavor of Love, and American Idol, reality television, as a genre and a staple of pop culture, has only begun to grow. In an analysis of various articles studied from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and, The Los Angeles Times within the last three months has confirmed a recent trend in reality television itself. The articles tend to state the popularity and lucrativeness of reality television and
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When probing for articles in the journals mentioned, "reality television" yielded many results, some of which were even entirely devoted to a single reality show. The recent trend in the explosion of reality programming on television can be attributed to the viewers and fans of the shows demanding for more similar programming, and the networks, looking to make quick money, catering to what large audience of varying ages is asking for With reality viewers ranging from pre-teen to seniors, they seem to all find something attractive about unscripted shows. For the participants of the show, it is obvious why they would get involved: a quick scheme to make money and gain fame. But for the fan of these shows it is a little harder to derive the reason for their fascination with these types of shows. Richard Verrier, a writer for the Los Angeles times, thinks it is because "RTV (reality television) is a form of therapy to escape our own version of reality" because when watching reality shows, we "live vicariously through the "characters" on the show. " Viewers become voyeurs into a seemingly private life that isn't their own, but because these so called "characters" are picked from a public community that we all belong to, they become easy to relate to which broadens our appeal for the show – "Most of the time, these people are not people we aim to be, but since they are ordinary, their nonfictional significance

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