“Reality” Shows ~ Sociologist’s Perspective? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 02-13-2005, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What’s up with these shows?

I feel like the audience forgets that they are shows, selected and edited for entertainment and the participants are making a profit. I hear people talking about the participants or the episode like they/it was real.

I’ve always felt this way but tonight my SIL was talking to me about the “SuperNanny” and how she really turns families around (and I should watch ).

HELLO!!! This show is a piece of “entertainment”. They choose the families, pay them and edit the show to make it look like a success.



And, why are there so many and why are they getting so out of hand ~ the Swan, Who’s Your Daddy…DH said there is even one coming out in England about torture (the theme is ‘just like Guantanamo Bay’)

And, are the shows related ~ culturally, morally?

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#2 of 41 Old 02-13-2005, 06:32 PM
 
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I agree there are way too many shows out there. I guess everyone just wants to jump on the bandwagon that the successful shows have. I guess they figure if the throw enough crap at us something will stick

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#3 of 41 Old 02-14-2005, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I edited the title to get more of a dialogue going because I’m really interested in this.

I’m thinking about another idea and I wonder what some of you think…


Do you think reality shows (especially the ones about families (Wife Swap), Dating (The Swan) and Parenting (SuperNanny) are related to wanting to be “up in peoples’ business”, wanting to gossip and wanting to judge others?


I remember reading an article about some of the quiz shows (ones like the Millionaire) and they talked about how show thrives because they make people *feel* smart by asking all those easy questions.


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?

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#4 of 41 Old 02-14-2005, 09:43 PM
 
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I wonder if your right, because when I see the parenting and spouse shows I often think, hell we aren't doing as bad as we might think are we.

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#5 of 41 Old 02-14-2005, 09:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaBug
I wonder if your right, because when I see the parenting and spouse shows I often think, hell we aren't doing as bad as we might think are we.
Well, if Reality TV counts as by product of talk shows, (which I think it is) then count me in the "At least I'm not like that" camp.
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#6 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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But is there not some sort of suspension of critical thinking if you allow yourself to believe that this is real?

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#7 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 10:52 AM
 
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I'm really interested in this topic. I really don't watch a lot of reality TV (or TV in general) but before I had my dd I watched more. I remember when the first season of the batchelor and I was glued to the set. When I came to work in the morning, my collegues and I would dissect the show. It was like a Sociological experiement. The best moment in reality TV was when the woman looked at the camera, so happy that she was on a "private date" and said "I feel like pretty woman." I fell out of my chair. She was just like pretty woman but I think she forgot about the prostitute part!!! I was mostly concentrating on the participant side of the question--why would people go on these shows??????

Sometimes it doesn't seem to matter how low we can go--there will always be people to be on shows like Who's Your Daddy and there will always be people to watch them. It is kind of scary.

I definately think that the vouyerism is one of the reason they are so popular. Comparing yourself to those basket cases they find for these shows makes you feel better about your own life/relationships/kids. There is some element of "rubber necking" like at a crash that I think exists. I once watch The Swan and it was stupid and horrible but yet I couldn't look away!

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#8 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Comparing yourself to those basket cases they find for these shows makes you feel better about your own life/relationships/kids.
Isn’t it considered ‘bad’ for self esteem to come from comparing ourselves to others? Especially if they’re on a TV show?

Also, what about the belief that they’re real/reality? I don’t believe they are but in order to have the side effect of making one feel better about themselves they must believe they’re real, no?



Also, do any of you think that the reality shows are a symptom of some dysfunction in our culture? I do.

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#9 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 12:48 PM
 
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I absolutely think they are a symptom of dysfunction in our culture and I think you have already explained why. We suspend the obvious fact that these aren't "real" people so that we can feel better about ourselves when we are watching the shows. Deriving one's self esteem by comparing yourself to others (not even IRL but on TV) is not really self esteem at all, is it? Why do we feed on this so much to feel better about ourselves?

Or, enjoying ourselves while others are humiliated doesn't seem very healthy either. Or allowing ourselves to be humiliated to achieve a larger goal--find a husband/wife, break into acting, whatever, is also a bit sick, isn't it? But it seems acceptable because people on reality shows volunteered themselves to be potentially humiliated.

Are all reality shows created equally or are some more sick than others? I think I am most afraid of the extreme makeover/the swan kind of shows. But I don't know. What about the ones that are like games where people eat disgusting things for money?? It seems incomprehensible to me that people would do these kinds of things on TV and for money. What did all of these people do before there were reality shows--both the participants and the viewers?

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#10 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Harper, I think I’m falling in love with you! Thank you and everyone on this thread for talking to me about this.


I totally agree with you about people watching other people be humiliated for entertainment. I could never solidify my thoughts about this but that’s exactly my issue with those kinds of shows.


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Originally Posted by Harper
Are all reality shows created equally or are some more sick than others?
I don’t know but I’m tempted to say no, mostly because some seem so much worse to me than others. ETA ~ But, I’m also tempted to say that the general culture that any reality show thrives in is a problem and that watching even the ‘tame’ ones may promote the more extreme ones…maybe?

So, do we have any obligation to not watch these shows or to speak out against them?

Also, why do you think there isn’t more articles and activism about these shows?

I know there was some activism about “Who’s your Daddy”. What about the rest? Do they discuss this in Sociology 101, I wonder.

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#11 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 03:38 PM
 
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I admit..i am hooked on a few "reality" shows....But I use that word very lightly.

I remember when one of the first "reality" shows started..Cops. Everybody loved it because it showed someone else being humiliated and gave people a sense of what the streets were like for a cop. But soon it become more scripted and the editing became more "creative" and people couldnt take their eyes away. It opened the door for so many of these shows that are on now.

I know about the "creative" editing and the contracts that these people have to sign and can enjoy the pure entertainment value of it all, but there are alot of people who think it is 100% real and that is scary.

You have to realise that when the show is centered around a "prize" (American Idol, Next Top Model, The Apprentice, Survivor) ) people will do just about anything for money (sad but true) and they sign away all of their rights for privacy while they are still in the running.

Even the shows where the "prize" is a person (Bachelor, Average Joe, etc)
some people will do anything for camera time...their "15 minutes" and the sad thing is that they usually get way too much media with talk shows, etc.

I personally could not imagine sharing my intimate family life with the world...especially shows like Trading Spouses, Wifeswap and Super Nanny. Those shows make me cringe more than any other simply because these parents are making choices for their children that I dont think are in their best interest at all. It makes me sick. And Angry

If people choose to show themselves at their most vulnerable (Biggest Loser, Extreme Makeover, The Swan) for free personal training, surgery or a new set of teeth, then you are stronger than I am. I wouldnt show my cellulite to America for anything!

Thats my .02
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#12 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I personally could not imagine sharing my intimate family life with the world...especially shows like Trading Spouses, Wifeswap and Super Nanny. Those shows make me cringe more than any other simply because these parents are making choices for their children that I dont think are in their best interest at all.
Actually, that’s a really good point. I remember reading that there are some legal issues with child modeling and stuff when it comes to payment. I wonder if this would apply to these shows.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a legal issue down the road.


And, I kinda forgot about the trading parent shows. I remember reading a thread here on MDC about a mother swap where one character was really hateful and even prejudice. It sucks badly if that person is your mother but passing these people around to other children for entertainment should not be allowed, imo.

Good points!

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#13 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 04:31 PM
 
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Harper, I think I’m falling in love with you!


I think one of the reasons that there isn't any outrage (or much outrage) about reality shows is because it is a matter of free will. These people willingly go on the shows and expose themselves so what's the problem if other people want to watch?

I would imagine that sociologists are studying these phenomena. It is fascinating. Who are the people who go on the shows? Who are the people who watch the shows? Why are they watching? What are they getting out of it? When will it all end.

I remember watching the first season of the bachelor like it was a sociological experiment. How far would it go? How could people really think they were falling in love under these circumstances? Could they? Was it possible? How could some seemingly normal women subject themselves to such a degrading exercise? The most fascinating thing for me was at the very end when it came down to the woman who slept with him and the woman who didn’t. I was sure he would pick the good girl to marry. I felt a bit of triumph when he picked the one who put out. I haven’t watched it since as they always seem to get more stale and predictable in the second season.

Mark Burnett (creator of Survivor and the Apprentice) will go down in history as a TV God. I really thought in the beginning that it would be something that people would burn out on but it still seems to be going on.

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#14 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 05:24 PM
 
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Dh and I watch the Apprentice; it's our only "reality" tv. The rest of them I cannot stand. And honestly, I would not watch the Apprentice except that dh does. The first season reeled me in because it was so fun to get to know Donald Trump. I think he's culturally bereft, but otherwise a pretty smart guy. I thought he was kinda laughable. His ability to laugh at himself helps.

I also liked the first season better because it at least seemed like there was more business strategy going on, more learning going on. Last season was truely a joke. It was painful to watch and I kept telling dh, isn't it obvious that some of these hostile people have been planted there to mix things up? And they edit scenes to make it look like however they want it to look.

It's junk culture. It's nothing new. I really wish it would go away. But I've given up on broadcast tv. The tv shows dh and I do watch are on cable (except for the Apprentice and Star Trek: Enterprise, which of course is being canceled.)

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#15 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?


Journeymom, you don't think this is new? It may not be but it seems that way to me. I just can't get over it.

What’s new to me is that people are feeling this is real. It’s one thing to talk about something you saw on ER last night and talk about the characters but I get this bad feeling when people talk about the ‘reality’ shows.

Media and reality are blurred enough as it is…

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#16 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 06:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beatgirl
You have to realise that when the show is centered around a "prize" (American Idol, Next Top Model, The Apprentice, Survivor) ) people will do just about anything for money (sad but true) and they sign away all of their rights for privacy while they are still in the running.

I think the current crop of shows isn't so much "I could win," as "I could be famous." I mean... there are a number of those people that didn't win, but if you're "TV Ready" enough, you get a prize anyway.

I think in a way, that the reality TV craze gets a lot of it's popularity from the idea they give that "anyone" can be famous, or rich... a celebrity. And, I think that it's sort of a natural progression--first we saw our "selves" on TV via video recorder, and now the 'common (wo)man' can actually be on broadcast TV. Also, we model ourselves soooo heavily on what we see on the TV, that I don't think that the "blur" between reality tv and reality itself is a cognitive disconnect.

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. It's not about enrichment, and it hasn't EVER been.

TV started out as a venue for manipulation of the population, and it continues to be so.

It's had an element of fantasy. We like to project our "selves" into what we're seeing. So.... no--reality tv isn't any more messed up than the people who watched Donna Reed or Father Knows Best back in the day and found themselves lacking. It's just now we get some options to feel superior to "real people" instead--which was already the case with some older sitcoms (Rosanne, Married with Children, and All in the Family come to mind. Or, Gomer Pyle and Green Acres, for that matter.)

So, I guess I'm just saying that the 'craze' didn't really pop up out of no where, and it's not any worse than TV has been in general since it's conception.
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#17 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 07:41 PM
 
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What’s new to me is that people are feeling this is real. It’s one thing to talk about something you saw on ER last night and talk about the characters but I get this bad feeling when people talk about the ‘reality’ shows.
Yes, me too. You've described it right on. Otherwise intelligent, discerning people seem to lose sight of just how un-real these situations are. Dh included.

Quote:
Journeymom, you don't think this is new? It may not be but it seems that way to me. I just can't get over it.
Maybe new to tv. Though glendora makes a good case how it's not new to tv. I was referring to the idea mentioned above that these shows make us feel better, watching someone worse off than us. And the whole sadist idea, zero-ing in on a weakling. We've been entertained by stuff like that for ages, probably since we humans came along. Think Roman coluseums and Christian baiting. Entertainment for the teeming masses.

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#18 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by glendora
It's just now we get some options to feel superior to "real people" instead--which was already the case with some older sitcoms (Rosanne
But no one ever thought Rosanne was real, yk?

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#19 of 41 Old 02-15-2005, 08:12 PM
 
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But no one ever thought Rosanne was real, yk?
They thought that Valentino was a real "lover," they thought that Monroe and DiMaggio were more than a photo op, and they thought that the Manson family was gonna kill half of LA in it's sleep.

The hollywood star system has been set up since the 20's to make "being famous" mean "granted public access to your personal life." So, while "Real Situations" have never been entertainment the way they are now, they were "infotainment" for 80 years. And, in going on a show, you become a commodity--you become part of the same system that's been giving us things like "Judy and Mickey go on thier first date!!" and "a sneak peek in Jackie's Kennedy's french recipe book" and "The Go-Go's (or Bangles, I forget) sex tapes" and "Joan Crawford's adopted children are a blessing and her fulfillment" and so on, for ages. People thought that was all real for ages. Only, now, instead of becoming famous and THEN doing the "fake reality," now we have "stars" going straight to the "fake reality."

I guess what I'm saying, is if you're "on tv" you're "famous." And, since Hollywood's has been around, if you're famous "we" have an assumption that we get to play along with consuming your public "personal life."

I don't think that this new breed of TV celebrity really counts as any more victimized than the old actors.
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#20 of 41 Old 02-16-2005, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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they thought that Monroe and DiMaggio were more than a photo op
But they were married, no.

I'm still not sure I totally get what you're saying...interested though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by glendora
I guess what I'm saying, is if you're "on tv" you're "famous." And, since Hollywood's has been around, if you're famous "we" have an assumption that we get to play along with consuming your public "personal life."

I don't think that this new breed of TV celebrity really counts as any more victimized than the old actors.
Oh, is this what you mean? I didn’t really understand the first time.

Yes, I agree. I’ve assumed that fame or at least the excitement of being on a reality show is a major motivation for some people. Yes, definitely.

And, I agree about the ‘victimization’ of celebrities but I hadn’t been thinking of the participants all that much when I was talking earlier. I agree (with the exception of the children) that it’s generally an adult decision that I’m not going to gripe (much) with on the individual level.

What I was talking about regarding whether this is *new* is the culture of reality TV. I imagine it’s difficult to isolate exactly what is different about TV because there are so many new factors.

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#21 of 41 Old 02-16-2005, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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…

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#22 of 41 Old 02-16-2005, 03:47 PM
 
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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.

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#23 of 41 Old 02-16-2005, 04:06 PM
 
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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?
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#24 of 41 Old 02-16-2005, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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#25 of 41 Old 02-16-2005, 07:53 PM
 
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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.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#26 of 41 Old 02-17-2005, 11:06 AM
 
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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.

Mama to two wonderful daughers: 02/03/03 and 10/19/05
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#27 of 41 Old 02-17-2005, 02:05 PM
 
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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!

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#28 of 41 Old 02-17-2005, 08:53 PM
 
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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.
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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.]
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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.
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#29 of 41 Old 02-17-2005, 09:43 PM
 
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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.
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#30 of 41 Old 02-18-2005, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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