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Why Reality TV Is Good for Us - Essay Example

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Reality TV is increasingly becoming the most popular TV show with tens of millions of viewers tuning in networks for the many reality TV shows on air, despite many criticisms against the genre from all quarters of society…
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Why Reality TV Is Good for Us
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“Why Reality TV Is Good for Us” Introduction Reality TV is increasingly becoming the most popular TV show with tens of millions of viewers tuning in networks for the many reality TV shows on air, despite many criticisms against the genre from all quarters of society. Unlike conventional network shows like comedies and sitcoms, which are simply familiar and boring, reality TV is enjoying such a huge following because it presents exciting real life situations and experiences. Reality TV is catching up fast as the most famous TV entertainment that enjoys large numbers of viewers, despite the negative criticisms against it, ironically, some even from the viewers. Literature review In the article "Why Reality TV Is Good for Us" by James Poniewozikthat appeared in The Times, Poniewozik begins by presenting the views of eight single professional women concerning reality TV; Leah Hudson, one of the women aged 30, admits she hates that they have been sucked into the Hoover vac of reality TV as if they have nothing better to do than to live vicariously glued to TV for 15 minute-fame seekers. According to Poniewozik, reality TV survives and thrives because of its viewers’ contempt for it—reality TV makes them feel tawdry, dirty, and cheap, but if it did not make them feel that way, they probably would not bother to watch it. Poniewozik then proposes that for once the audience and critics agree on something by presenting the views of some critics concerning America’s hottest TV genre (reality TV), while The New York Observer contends reality TV shows how America is absorbed by misanthropy, and The San Francisco Chronicle claimsreality TV is killing the medium (Poniewozik). The Washington Postcriticizes reality TV as ridiculous and pernicious because through it, many kinds of cruelty are passed off as entertainment at the expense of conventional TV entertainment.Poniewozik observes that viewers are tuning in for reality TV shows such as the Bachelorette and America Idol by tens of millions yet with so little good to say about it, in the words of Winston Churchill. He argues that reality TV is the best thing to happen to television because it has revived TV and reminded viewers that TV can be exciting, and it is teaching TV a new approach to telling involving human stories. However, he also expresses concerns that reality TV has so little reality in it, and its criteria of selection or merit are often questionable, as well as the fact that no reality show can match the intelligence and layers of a tight fiction.Reality TV has boosted networks by putting them back on the pop-cultural map after losing the buzz to cable TV, because they reach tens of millions of viewers and make them feel connected to a communal experience. He notes that a large young audience heavily supports the current reality TV boom because they consider it as legitimate as dramas and sitcoms, which have slumped into a rut. He concludes on a note that reality TV may be uncomfortable because it rattles viewers' cages by provoking and offending them, but at least it is trying to do something besides helping them sleep, unlike conventional network shows, which are simply familiar and boring. Discussion It is true that reality TV has injected some new liveliness and freshness in networks by reinventing them and teaching them that they can tell involving human stories in new exciting ways than the conventional, too familiar, and boring ways that have come to be dubbed “comfortable TV.” Reality TV may be uncomfortable both in part and in whole, but that is its essence, to incite and to offend the viewers, because it thrives and survives on the viewers’ contempt, unlike conventional dramas and sitcoms. In contrast to conventional TV, which is too familiar and boring due to a serious lack of new intriguing experiences and only serves to help viewers go to sleep, reality TV provokes and offends viewers, but still they cannot resist it since it is addictive. Reality TV has viewers in tens of millions despite them having so little good to say about it because they are looking for new excitements and new experiences, and reality TV promises to deliver exactly what the viewers are desperately looking for.Reality TV makes viewers feel connected and be part of a real communal experience, something the dramas and sitcoms have not been able to achieve in many years. Granted that reality TV has so little reality in it, its criteria of selection or merit are often questionable, and no reality show can match the intelligence and layers of a tight fiction. It may be easier to be sympathetic to the dramas and sitcoms’ loss to reality TV. However, the current network shows are nothing more than a bunch of shy remakes, bland family comedies, and derivative cop dramas that are too familiar and boring to offer any exciting entertainment, unlike reality TV that commands attention of the viewers and never disappoints their expectations for thrilling experiences and entertainment. The criticisms against reality TV may not hold so much water given that conventional TV shows bemoan a serious lack of ideas and creativity;in that respect, it is clear that nothing is left of the conventional dramas and sitcoms, which is of entertainment value to the viewers. On the contrary, reality TV promises to provoke and to offend because of its real life experience concept, and it successfully delivers on this promise to the viewers, something that network dramas and sitcoms have not done in a long time. Ultimately, reality TV may be uncomfortable because it rattles viewers' cages by provoking and offending them but at least it is trying to do something besides helping them sleep; hate it or love it, reality TV is here to stay because it survives and thrives owing to its viewers’ contempt for it. Reality TV has injected freshness and liveliness in networks because it makes viewers connect to, and feel part of, a real communal experience, unlike the conventional network dramas and sitcoms that are already too familiar and boring. Works Cited Poniewozik, James. "Why Reality TV Is Good for Us." Time.com. 2013.Web. 21stNov, 2013.. Read More
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