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Has Reality Television Made Voyeurism Another Form of Entertainment - Essay Example

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Has Reality Television Made Voyeurism Another Form of Entertainment? Introduction Reality television has become one of the most dominant and popular forms of entertainment, not only in America, but in other countries as well. One would be hard put in surfing through television channels without seeing at least one reality television show…
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Download file to see previous pages Although earlier forms of this type of entertainment have been seen as early as 1948 with Candid Camera, it gained more notoriety and a wider genre by the end of 1990s with the introduction of the shows like Survivor, Big Brother, and American Idol (Caudle, 2011). These shows portray various situations and activities, with some featuring contests between ordinary people competing for money and other prizes, others portraying ordinary people living their lives while raising their children, and some others featuring celebrities carrying out daily activities. All in all, these shows seem to share common themes – taking ordinary people and placing them in extraordinary situations or presenting the reality of celebrities’ lives to an audience who would likely be engaged in the fascinating and magical lives that these celebrities are living. Reality shows seem to portray the magical and the ordinary, the reality and the ‘non-reality’ of celebrity or non-celebrity lives. For some shows, an element of voyeurism seems to be one of the common elements, especially as these allow the viewers a peek into the lives of celebrities and non-celebrities. The voyeur element also seems to lend entertainment value for viewers as melodramatic events like weddings, dates, births, and arguments often draw in high ratings. This paper shall explore reality television and how it engages the magical and the real. It will also discuss how reality television has made voyeurism a form of entertainment. Initially, a brief overview of popular reality television shows will be discussed, indicating reasons for their popularity. Secondly, this paper will present the negative and the positive impact of reality television. Thirdly, a deeper analysis of the reasons for the popularity of reality television shall be considered. Lastly, this essay shall be summarized and its themes clearly established in order to answer its primary goals and research issue. This article is being carried out in order to establish a clear understanding of reality television, its general impact, and what it implies about current TV behaviors as well as preferences. Body Overview of reality television shows When the shows Big Brother and Survivor became major successes in 2000, reality television suddenly gained widespread popularity. Specifically, the shows Survivor and American Idol consistently topped the television ratings since their inception (Hill, 2005). Other shows like America’s Next Top Model, Dancing with the Stars, The Apprentice, Fear Factor, and Big Brother were soon able to gain a global audience in the years that followed. Some television companies have also set aside networks, including Fox Reality, Global Reality Channel in Canada and Zone Reality in the UK to cater specifically to these reality shows (DeVolld, 2011). Other networks like Bravo, VH1 and MTV have also numerous reality shows in their line-up. Other successful shows like COPS have become major successes and the profit generation for TV networks and producers has also been very significant (Hill, 2005). Reality show celebrities have also made millions of dollars in profit for their TV contracts and product endorsements (Hill, 2005). This genre has also spawned new singers, dancers, models, chefs, actors, directors, and celebrities like the Kardashians who have been known as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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