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“Reality” Shows ~ Sociologist’s Perspective? - Page 2

post #21 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by glendora

Essentially, I dunno that "reality TV" is specifically symptomatic of a new type of sociologic pathology, as much as our way of using TV is essentially culturally pathologic--it's profit based. They give us what we "want," to sell us stuff they want us to want.
So what do you all think? Is TV just a form of media that follows demand OR do it currently work more like advertisement where they coerce us into wanting what they have to sell?

I see reality shows as selling a product in a similar way as, say, beauty products in the way that they seem to almost create the need along with the product. Convenient for them.




Good point Journeymom about the Coliseums…hum…
post #22 of 41
Oh, absolutely. Tv exists now to sell us stuff. And they are proactive, selling us what they want us to buy. They aren't waiting for trends to start organically from the consumer level. Like that hair bead-er thingy that threads beads onto your hair. Exercise equipment. Fat "burning" pills.

Though when a trend comes along they grab ahold of that, too. Like yoga products: clothes, dvds, blocks, mats. Yoga as practiced by Westerners started back in the 60's. It's moved into the commercial market as middle class Boomers and Gen Xers got interested in it. So now you can get a yoga "kit" at Barnes & Noble or the corner drug store.
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom
Oh, absolutely. Tv exists now to sell us stuff. And they are proactive, selling us what they want us to buy. They aren't waiting for trends to start organically from the consumer level. Like that hair bead-er thingy that threads beads onto your hair. Exercise equipment. Fat "burning" pills.

Has anyone seen those commercials with Lucille Ball selling Marlboros? How about the product placement in Leave it to Beaver?

Just when was this oasis of ad-free TV?
post #24 of 41
Thread Starter 
I actually meant the show was the product ~ they’re creating something (reality TV) THEN selling it. So, from what I see it’s not about giving us what we want (supply and demand) but more similar to selling beauty products or some of the stuff Journeymom mentioned ~ they make it and then create the need or desire.



I was thinking last night that reality TV might be cheaper than traditional TV entertainment. Are producers getting off cheap when we watch?



But, I’ve got to say, Glendora, you know lots more about TV than I do so I’m tempted to defer to you. Do you have some background with it?

What do you think? Was TV always the product? Or was TV originally the lure to get us to watch commercials?

Thanks for mentioning add placement in TV. I was under the impression that this was a new strategy instigated by Tivo, commercial free paid-TV and etc.

I think we’re missing each other, Glendora. Could you start again and talk to me about how and why you feel TV culture hasn’t changed with the onset of reality TV? What are your opinions about it?

What I’d love is to read some articles on Reality Tv…anyone got anything?
post #25 of 41
glendora, you're right. Product placement goes back to radio, even. Weren't there various radio shows sponsored by cigarette companies, coffee companies, soap companies? That's how we have "soap operas". The shows were sponsored by Tide or someone. Then tv came along and they simply transitioned some of the same programs, with their sponsors, from radio to tv.

ICM, I get what you're saying. Just a day or so ago some guy on the radio was complaining about reality tv. He said the producers are simply making a lot of $#!t (new shows) and throwing it out there and hoping some of it sticks.

It's clear when you see some shows that the producers weren't just trying to crank out another advertisement vehicle. Some shows, and I'm not referring to reality tv, have excellent writting, well defined characters, facinating plots, and aren't dumb or condecending to boot.
post #26 of 41
Oh, ICM, it is definately about the money. No writers, no actors etc. It is super cheap!! They can make such a huge amount of money on these shows. I agree that producers are just trying anything that they can think of and if it's a success, great, if not, not much lost. I remember reading an article about writers and actors and how hard this reality thing has been on them. It was hard enough to find jobs before and now it is nearly impossible.

I keep thinking that it will burn itself out but it just seems to get stronger and stronger with respected channels like PBS getting into the action with things like Turn of the Century House and stuff like that.

I think some of the joy of watching isn't just watching the humilation effect but also watching group dynamics. A lot of them are about putting a group of people together and giving them challenges and seeing how they manage.

I think one of the reasons that the

Someone just interrupted me and I haven't the faintest idea what I was going to say here, but I'm sure it was going to be brillant. Sorry.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
I think one of the reasons that the

Someone just interrupted me and I haven't the faintest idea what I was going to say here, but I'm sure it was going to be brillant. Sorry.

:LOL I've done that so many times!
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
Do the current reality shows do something to make us feel better about ourselves? Is this a healthy way to boost self esteem?
Or, is it just entertainment for most people?
I think it is mostly entertainment. But an occassional positive "message" IS heard.

For example, there was an episode of one of the Nanny shows with a 4 yr old twin girl, etc. That family could've been the family of one of my best friends. After seeing the show I mentioned it to her and we had a VERY constructive conversation about it. If I hadn't seen the show, and made the connection, my friend would still be living that life.

I also think that watching a few episode of Wife Swap (?) did have a positive impact on my marriage. There was an episode with a "neat" mom swapping families with a "messy" mom. All through the show while we watched it WAS nice to hear hubby and myself AGREE about this and that. (At the time it felt like we never agreed about ANYTHING.) At the end of the show I also was able to "chill out" a bit in my own house keeping and hubby is a bit less messy too. We had a wonderfully open conversation about how we were "like" the Mom's in our own ways.
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom
glendora, you're right. Product placement goes back to radio, even. Weren't there various radio shows sponsored by cigarette companies, coffee companies, soap companies? That's how we have "soap operas". The shows were sponsored by Tide or someone. Then tv came along and they simply transitioned some of the same programs, with their sponsors, from radio to tv.
So. All the above said. Yes, "Reality TV" is modern day "messaging." [advertising, marketing, etc] Glendora, Journey Mom, All, RIGHT ON!!

In college I took a course on Propaganda in Media. To this day one of THE best courses I ever took. One of the biggest little-bits-of-info I took from the class was that while "propaganda" (or messaging, or advertising, etc) has been used for "ages", it "came of age" during WWI in Germany and later the US in the form of Silent Movies!! Any good director [or photographer I think] uses "the camera" to portray their message.

Mtn Dew and Dorritos anyone? Yes if you watch Survivor!! New shoes/clothes every season to match The Stars? YES if you watch any sitcom, soap, talk show, etc. And, my personal favorite right now, gets ya right in the heart-strings, SEARS!! Anyone who owns a home, wants to, lives in a home, wants to, or just plain owns a TV or has seen one probably knows what show THEY sponsor!! [Uh, Exteam Makeover Home Edition, of course.]
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
So, another thought. As an “AP” parent who may disagree with some of the teachings of the “SuperNanny” is it okay to support the show by watching? Ratings are what keep these type show going aren’t they?

If you disagree with the advice (punishment, CIO) is it okay to watch even if you’re just entertained?
Well. This one I also wanted to say something about. I dont personally watch shows I disagree with. I sort-of in my own little way boycott them. And I write little letters to the producers on their websites.

I have written Oprah and Dr Phil about parenting issues. I NEVER watch Jerry Springer and NEVER will. I only watched ~15 minutes of a weight loss 'reality' show on NBC before deciding to not watch NBC at all for the whole season! [Even now, not sure what if anything will lure me back.] I was very turned off by Apprentice. [Giving Corporate America a BAD name and making the "up and coming" feel that it is OK to behave badly!! It Is Not! -- off my soap box, sorry -- ]

I dont know if it is "OK" or not though? I dont often myself. But someone else can? And, as you may have quessed, I do personally like a wee bit of 'controversy' in my life every now and then. Keeps life interesting.
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
I actually meant the show was the product ~ they’re creating something (reality TV) THEN selling it. So, from what I see it’s not about giving us what we want (supply and demand) but more similar to selling beauty products or some of the stuff Journeymom mentioned ~ they make it and then create the need or desire.



I was thinking last night that reality TV might be cheaper than traditional TV entertainment. Are producers getting off cheap when we watch?
It's quite a bit cheaper. That's why there are so many of these new shows.


Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
But, I’ve got to say, Glendora, you know lots more about TV than I do so I’m tempted to defer to you. Do you have some background with it?
I worked for the Evil Disney/ESPN/ABC empire once, so, a little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
What do you think? Was TV always the product? Or was TV originally the lure to get us to watch commercials?
You have to remember that radio was dominant when TV showed up. So, though the government and education experts saw that TV had the potential for cultural enrichment as well as spreading "information," there was existing viable business model for broadcast mass marketing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama

I think we’re missing each other, Glendora. Could you start again and talk to me about how and why you feel TV culture hasn’t changed with the onset of reality TV? What are your opinions about it?

I understand that it's a new format. It's the new hot thing, even. But, really the elements that have been mentioned (celebrity voyuerism, comparative one-upmanship, etc) already existed. So, I can't say that Reality TV is a "new" blight on TV land. It's just another combination of profitable Hollywood approaches that have been around for decades.
post #30 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by levar
I think it is mostly entertainment. But an occassional positive "message" IS heard.

For example, there was an episode of one of the Nanny shows with a 4 yr old twin girl, etc. That family could've been the family of one of my best friends. After seeing the show I mentioned it to her and we had a VERY constructive conversation about it. If I hadn't seen the show, and made the connection, my friend would still be living that life.

The think I’m feeling is that behavior modification for adults ~ Wifeswap and whatever is tolerable. But behavior modification for children where the main motivation of the producers is to make money is a huge problem.

Like you said, you got some positive things from it. I have no doubt that I would as well. But, some of the message is harmful so what to do? I don’t know. I know that with some books, I consider them to be ‘wrong’ if most of the message is detrimental *even if* there’s something beneficial to be found.

Is the widespread endorsement for punitive discipline and CIO worth the positive messages these shows produce?

I remember someone talking about how they got a good tip from “Back to the Woodshed” or whatever the Pearl’s book is. Still doesn’t mean I think it should be spread abound, yk?

Here’s a thread on the Supernanny ~

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=251552






Yea, maybe it’s not new and a symptom of some major problem, which is soon to be the cause of an even greater problem I have a tendency to be a touch of a luddite and get easily freaked out by technological and media change.
post #31 of 41
:

Nothing to add to the current conversation... but one thing that I found very interesting about reality shows is mensturation. I just read an article in Bitch magazine about it. No one mensturates. They show puke, buckets of piss and shit (the Colonial House)... BUT no one mensturates. There is never a discussion. On survivor, last season someone wanted to bring tampons as their luxury item and I geuss it is something already included in the medical case... but we don't see this on the show at all.

Just a little OT thought....
post #32 of 41
Thread Starter 
I’ll be sure to mention that to my brother, wemoon. He’s pitching a realty show right now. I don’t know how he’ll work menstruation into a comedy courtroom reality show but if anyone can it’ll be him :LOL

Bumping…
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by levar
Yes, "Reality TV" is modern day "messaging." [advertising, marketing, etc]
: : :

As someone that was on a reality t.v. show, I have been following this thread with interest. Levar's quote hits the nail on the head (for me) as to why someone would want to be on these type of shows. For me it was not about "fame," or compensation - it was definitely about messaging. It is a way to get your message to the masses even if you are just a "normal" person. Now, I am sure this does apply to everyone, but it did for me.
post #34 of 41
Thread Starter 
What was your message Caurie? Would you tell us about the show? What it was like? I'd love to know about the editing first hand!
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
What was your message Caurie? Would you tell us about the show? What it was like? I'd love to know about the editing first hand!
Sure My husband and I were on TLC's "A Wedding Story." It's one of the older, original reality t.v. shows. Actually, I don't think its on the air anymore now. It's not to win anything, it is more of a documentary type reality show that follows a real couple on their wedding journey and focuses on their relationship. I really wanted to be on it because I have had a long battle with anorexia and recovering from an abusive relationship. I remember watching the show when I was in college - starving myself and being abused by my boyfriend - and wishing I could find someone who treated me as well as the men on the show seemed to treat their fiances. My boyfriend at the time used to taunt me that I would never find someone who treated me like that. Anyhow, as corny as it sounds, the show was a catalyst in making me realize just how bad my relationship was and breaking up with him. Fast forward four years later and I was in a relationship with a man who treated me with love, respect, and dignity. I was also making great strides in my battle against anorexia. When my now husband proposed I applied to be on the show partly as a "See, you were wrong" message to my ex-boyfriend and also to send a message to other women struggling with anorexia and/or abusive relationships that recovery is possible. Hope this makes sense - my son is climbing all over me trying to get the keyboard so my thoughts are a bit dicey.
post #36 of 41
Thread Starter 
Oh, thank you. You remind me that I also had a friend on that show as well. (They were selected for a collection ~ Met at the Renaissance Festival, he proposed during her play off Broadway and they drove off on a white motorcycle, if you followed thoes shows) .

Somehow the types of show that and the ones like it (like the one about birth) seemed different to me. Maybe it was the budget or that the need for ‘drama’ was lower…I don’t know. Also, the crew did seem to me less involved. Yea, they selected the particpants edited but they weren’t creating the scenario or trying to change it, yk?

Maybe I saw those as more documentary shows than ‘reality tv’. Does that sound right?

It’s interesting that you mention talking about anorexia. That makes sense to me.

I also imagine that some of the homebirths on the birthing show were intended to get some media attention towards homebirth.

I wish I could say the same for the “AP” or “NFL” mama on Wifeswap. I didn’t see the show but she sounded tragic.
post #37 of 41
Thread Starter 
What I think of as the original reality show is MTV's The Real World.

Anyone?
post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
What I think of as the original reality show is MTV's The Real World.

Anyone?

Yes, me too :
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
What I think of as the original reality show is MTV's The Real World.

Anyone?

That, or Cops.
post #40 of 41
Thread Starter 
Is there any difference in terminology or style with those shows that “‘follow ‘real life’” and the ones where the members of the show actively interfere?
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