Plant a stake crowned with flowers in the middle of a square; gather the people together there, and you will have a festival. Do better yet; let the spectators become an entertainment to themselves; let them become actors themselves; do it so each sees and loves himself in the others so that all will be better united.
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It has meant, at different times, local programming, Huntley and Brinkley, the national news at 6 and local news at 11, talk shows and talent shows, This is Your Life and the regional tours of Wheel of Fortune. Reality television may furnish its dark apotheosis—a form for an era in which local TV has been consolidated out of existence, regional differences are said to be diminishing or anyway are less frequently represented , and news, increasingly at the service of sales departments, has forfeited its authority to represent the polity.
We need myths, not only of our ideal, and our average, but of our fallen extreme. Since the establishment of informed-consent rules in the s, the golden age of social psychology is gone. Watching reality television is like walking one long hallway of an unscrupulous and peculiarly indefatigable psychology department.
The first ideal-type of reality TV is the show of the pure event. You discern patterns in each—the effect on the watchful viewer is of a patterned repetition of wholly singular encounters. Between cop and civilian, everything is determined by personality; each word is a step in a negotiation; the tools each side possesses seem arbitrary and confused, in the wheedling or vagueness of the suspect, the mock-authoritativeness and lack of information of the cop. So you make notes to your criminal self: never voluntarily submit to a search. And on Blind Date and Xtreme Dating and Fifth Wheel , with wary daters eyeing each other over pasta dinners, leglessly drunk in a hundred indistinguishable neon dives and, afterwards, on the best dates, mumbling vulgar blandishments in hot tubs, you see that romance is not angelic recognition nor simple animal lust but a negotiation—the same as in the Cops arrest.
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The blind date and the traffic stop become on late-night TV the two paradigmatic experiences of American encounters between strangers. Homogenous America is instantly disproved by bizarre America. It is reassuring to watch this openness and fumbling.
A for and against essay
Finally you see without intermediary dramatization the landscape of tanning salons and restaurants and aikido studios in every corner of the country, the still-distinct accents but universalized, television-influenced behaviors, the dilemma of what to say and which personality to project, as if the social relation were being rebuilt, in a cutaway scale model of our society—a great televised Ark of a changing civilization—two by two. Everyone tries to play someone else on TV, but still feels so many tethering strings from the prosaic, deficient, and plain polite that conformity becomes chaotic and imitation idiosyncratic.
You feel some identification with the participants, and even more sympathy with the situation. Classy critics hate these shows too, or claim to. If only Cops would break down their door and throw them against the wall! Monica, you ignorant Skeletor, eat a sandwich! Ross, you vainglorious paleontologist, read a book! You mortuary creep! This is one way to come to terms with your fellow citizens.
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Much reality TV, by contrast, communicates a relative openness of judgment, though judgment is its one constant—and does so also by its wider identity of situation between the viewer and those before the cameras. Nearly everybody has dated, and, from rich to poor, nearly everybody fears the police when driving and will call on them when threatened. Nowadays, at every level of our society, there is a hunger for judgment. Often this becomes summary judgment—not so much the wish to know the truth, but the brutal decisionism that would rather be wrong than stay in suspension.
This is the will not to deliberate but to sentence.
Documentary and Reality TV - Essay
In the political realm, it has influenced the shape of the current disaster. Its soft manifestations own the therapeutic talk shows, in the sniffling and nose wiping of a Dr. Phil , where the expert is never at a loss. It is cheap, it is amoral, it has no veneer of virtue, it is widely censured and a guilty pleasure, and it can be more educational and truthful and American than most anything else, very suitable for our great republic.
Until, that is, one began to see what the capital-rich networks would make of it. For they got into the act, like dinosaurs in an inland sea, and they made the waters heave. They developed the grandiose second ideal-type of filmed reality, courtesy of bigger budgets and serial episodes: the show of the group microcosm.
The other shows had been cheaply made and served up to UHF and low-budget cable stations by syndication, or, like Cops , run in the early barebones years of FOX and retained. Big Brother turned the house show, too, into a competition. An even more triumphant microcosm was Survivor —followed, in time, by The Amazing Race. The newer shows that defined the microcosmic reality and blended it with competition adopted the same basic forms of social discovery that had animated the birth of the English novel: the desert-island Robinsonade of Survivor , the at-the-ends-of-the-earth-bedragons imperialist travelogue and quest romance of The Amazing Race , even, perhaps, the sentimental seductions of The Bachelor , where so many willing Clarissas rode in limousines squealing to a manor house to hand their hearts to Lovelace.
Yet Survivor never took up the society-from-nothing isolation of the desert island, which had motivated the original Robinson Crusoe. The shows had no interest in starting civilization from scratch. Nor for that matter were they much interested in travel—on The Amazing Race , you glimpse the blurred locals out the windows of speeding cars. The shows put together sociable Americans, so they would have nothing left but their group interactions, their social negotiations, to keep them going. Nobody let them starve, nothing endangered them.
The sniping and soothing in couples and trios—forming and reforming, betraying and sticking together—were the main things of interest on that show and on The Amazing Race , where it was hard to tell if we were supposed to care, really, that one pair ran faster than another. How do Americans talk and how do they arrange things, in a completely minimal setting, a little like the office and a little like the home but not totally unlike a sequestered jury?
This was our festival. If we truly all are equals in America, this would be a picture, in ideal form, of how we choose aldermen and selectmen and Congressmen—using our sovereignty to withdraw our sovereignty, that is to say, to focus it in the hands, for two or four years, of individuals who act for us. These shows range from singing talents, overcome their fears, to looks and beauty. Reality TV brings drama and voyeurism to its viewers by making its viewers…. Surfacing in the late 20th century, reality TV has sparked from the time of birth, now, in recent years, with over reality programs broadcasting all over the nation.
In the early years of its life, reality TV was seen as a fresh and revolutionary market for the…. Since Beauty and the Geek subsisted as a social experiment, altered variables, for example the environment, influenced participants to conduct themselves in a different way than how they would behave on a regular basis because of the stimuli the show provided. Beauty and the Geek is comparable to Big Brother because they were filmed under altered….
Reality television has interfered in a damaging way society has grown for the past decades. The damaging behaviors of reality television represent the sad state of society. Reality television enables individuals to express sincere emotions , that…. In fact, reality television has consumed not only are televisions, but magazines, and even the news.
Americans and society as a whole is obsessed with reality television, and have even become infatuated with reality stars. Reality shows have…. People that live in the 21st century often see T.
V as something they need to have to go on with their daily routines. Why is T. V so important to our society?
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Why does is change the people who we are? Why do we allow such a silly thing to overpower us? This form of experiment attracts viewers because human nature is raw in this aspect thus relatable and sociable. As for surveys they relate back to the social comparison theory. Surveys are able to gather any type of data based on the questions provided.