Tag Archives: Reality tv
I chose to write a blog post about the Reality TV paper on the show Teen Mom. I chose this because this was one of the reality television shows that I thought sent multiple messages to the audience. The show young teens who become pregnant while they are in high school. It really highlights the consequences about getting pregnant in an interesting way. It produces interviews with the teens and parents highlighting how hard raising a child is at such a young age. An interesting tactic I felt the directors were using was how they were portraying the message of getting pregnant. They never always come out an explicitly say that getting pregnant is bad. They just use different scenarios and scenes to make the situation seem dramatic. They leave much interpretation up to the audience and they do a very good job of it. I know many people after seeing this show get worried about the possibility of teen pregnancy.
I’ve always wondered one thing about this show. Reality TV shows are on television to obviously make money and this one does just that. I’ve always wondered if there is some sort of contract between the family of the girl who is pregnant and MTV. By being on the show for a greater audience, the family gets money to help raise the child. If this is true, which I feel in some way it is, I think it takes away from the overall aspect of the show. I don’t think people will start getting pregnant to be on the show, but it does take away from the impact. Television and entertainment these days are all about making money. It’s fascinating to see what ideas cable networks are coming up with for new shows so they can make more money.
Because I have never seen The Biggest Loser, I thought it would be interesting to see how people feel it can be manipulated when the show has such a strong, helpful message. My my minimal knowledge of the show, I figured there would be little critique of the show since the main point of the show is to help American’s get healthy. After reading that the show encourages double-digit weight loss for a single person in one week, I was really surprised. These supposedly really healthy trainers are helping people to lose weight but in an unhealthy way.
That also affects how viewers get discouraged at home. If a viewer isn’t seeing a double digit loss they then are disappointed in themselves. I found this essay to be interesting because I had never seen the show and I was shocked to learn that what is supposed to be a beneficial show to America is actually using just as much manipulation as reality tv shows strictly made for entertainment. I think for a more genuine message, there would have to be more realistic weight loss numbers to get people at home more interested.
I found that reading everyone else’s reality tv assignments was interesting because you learn so much about other shows and how scripted or manipulated they actually are. This definitely gives us a different outlook on tv when we are watching it now.
I chose to read the Duck Dynasty essay because it is a show I have never watched and had no idea what it was about. After reading this essay, I feel like I have a good gist of this show. I really like the message that is brought up about how the family is quite wealthy but they still go about their normal ways of doing things (hunting for food, fishing, etc.). I think it is very influential for reality TV shows to show positive and hard working families so viewers can know that there are productive millionaires in the world. The Robertson family is also very outdoorsy, and I think that is another great aspect of this show. Even though not every viewer watching this show may be willing to hunt or fish for their own food, seeing the family outside and having fun may influence them to be more active outside which is something almost any American should start doing more of since they rely so much on modern technology.
Another interesting point this essay briefly touched on was the music that was played during the one on one interviews. Upbeat country music is played in the background during these side interviews. It was a very close and important observation because music is a key factor to any reality TV show. Not only can music influence the mood of the show but it can also influence what the viewer thinks of the show and it’s characters. While I don’t think Duck Dynasty is a show I would watch on my own, I still think it sounds like a quality TV show with good values.
In class we have discussed many reasons why audiences are so drawn to The Hunger Games series. Along with the basic idea of competition and entertainment, I never looked at the games like a reality TV show until this class. There are many aspects of the novel that relate directly to different reality television shows that we watch today. I compared specific scenes in the novel with different shows I know of on the air. There is a fashion show in the book where they compete to gain access to sponsors. There are many reality tv shows that relate to this like Project Runway for example. The actual games I found relatable to Survivor because you literally have to survive on your own in the book.
I thought the different comparisons were key in thinking about the story as a reality tv show. What makes this different than reality shows we watch is that the contestants are actually killed and that is the one thing that doesn’t compare. The reality TV show assignment where we analyzed a show, many people found that producers and directors were very manipulative over the turnout of how viewers saw the show. In The Hunger Games, the gamemakers are also very manipulative over the games. You can see that in the clip we watched in class where the head gamemaker arranged for a fire to happen to move Katniss towards the Careers and to move the games along quicker. There are so many comparisons between The Hunger Games and our reality tv show assignment we wrote about. I think this is the main reason we are so drawn to the novel because we are also so drawn to the scripted “reality” tv shows we watch today as well.
Being a die-heart watcher of The Bachelor and Bachelorette Seasons, I had to read those essays. I have watched many seasons over the years and have enjoyed watching and hoping for the bachelor or bachelorette to find love. Along with everyone else watching, I loved seeing the drama in the house and the girls who were “fake” or “real”. Yet when I was watching it, I still knew that the show was somehow staged since not many relationships actually lasted.
After reading a couple of the essays on this show it makes a lot more sense. Why some girls are on the show and how they make it so far. Or why a girl’s name is announced last even though she seemed to have the strongest connections with the bachelor/bachelorette. It’s all for the ratings and the viewers who are watching. Yes there is apart of the directors that hopes they actually find love on the show, but they also want to get as many viewers as they can each week. Also when I did watch the show I never agreed with the man asking the women to marry them after just six to eight weeks because it’s not realistic at all! No one can fall in love in that amount of time at least not when you have over million viewers watching everything the couple does, but the show has to end with a proposal because that’s what makes it different. The Bachelor like any other reality TV show is full of handpicked people, staged scenes, and tons of drama all for the pleasure of the audience. These reasons are exactly what makes people love these shows and is the definition of reality TV.
I recently watched a movie called Detachment (currently availible for streaming on Netflix, director of American History X) and it made me think about how we can watch things on TV that would be disturbing in real life but the TV creates a barrier allowing us to be detached from what we are seeing. To see something in person creates much more of a emotional connection that can be lost if the person does not view it happening. Things that happen in person can sometimes catch us off guard and that may create more of an emotional response because when we watch things on TV we are expecting something to happen (editing can also alter how we see it).
The Hunger Games at its core would be an extremely traumatic event to witness but the way it is manipulated creates it into a spectacle that makes viewers pick favorites and essentially enjoy children murdering each other (something that should be unbearable to watch but their detachment allows for them to treat the participants as characters rather than real people). The tributes are given stylists which help create them further enhance their image and attempt to project a likeable/sympathetic persona. The interview with Caesar Flickerman is another opportunity for the tributes to further their image and is essentially a performance to attempt to gain sponsors. These events at the capital are extremely luxurious and stylized that may create a sense of detachment for the tributes as this game like atmosphere doesn’t let them fully grasp what they are about to engage in. Later on in the novel Katniss and Peeta become star crossed lovers. Its interesting to see how Katniss learns to play a character in order for her to gain sympathy.
When I started writing this I thought that the TV was something that really created the disconnect, but I though of how gladiators used to compete in arenas as a spectacle. I think that the audiences disconnect may not only come from a physical detachment but may rely more on how the event is mean to be perceived.
This week I was thinking about the reality TV show paper we need to write. It struck me just how much we as a society are effected by this phenomenon. Because it has become the norm to accept these kinds of shows, it’s hard to see major consequences that occur as a result of watching them. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of guilty pleasures that all include trashy shows that I absolutely love! But one major negative effect of TV shows is the behaviors it glorifies and its effect on children.
Behaviors such as excessive drinking (Jersey Shore) teen pregnancy (Teen Mom), unhealthy ways to express emotions, (Keeping up With the Kardashians) or even on Toddlers and Tiaras where the idea of beauty is based on putting 5 pounds of make up, instead of accepting natural/inner beauty. For the younger generations that are so impressionable this is especially dangerous because it teaches them false ideas of how the “real” world works.
These shows air with the purpose of hooking you on to them so you continue to watch. In the process kids connect with the characters they see on TV and make them their role models. No matter what trash TV show you want to choose, any person as a role model will not have the best effect on a child’s behavior. Glorifying and making such behavior mentioned previously “normal” gives the younger kids a kind of permission to think that it’s acceptable. It’s almost a scary thought to think that younger kids want to be these celebrities. The best idea I think is to monitor what shows kids watch closely and to talk with them about the correct ways to express emotions and act, because so many reality TV shows promote the wrong kinds of behaviors.