Reality TV argument Paper

Reality TV argument Paper - Reality television could hardly...

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Reality television could hardly be classified as a new creation in television programming. Reality TV dates back to the late 1940’s when Candid Camera was at its peak ratings (Biressi 72). During the late 90’s was when the reality television boom started and has continued to this day. However, most of the reality television shows on air today fail to meet the definitions of “reality”. Reality television is characterized by light weight or handheld cameras capturing people in unscripted events and being broadcast to the masses (Kilborn 12). Cops or Real TV are television programs that fit the reality television definition; their program is comprised of many home video tapes of accidents or disasters or police dashboard cameras. When would twelve normal people be stranded on an island and have to compete in silly challenges in order to keep from being voted off? In the real world, the twelve people are likely wanting to get off the island rather than live off rats and bananas. The reality television programs being broadcast on networks today are nothing more than lightly scripted soap operas where the same stock characters are copied from show to show for entertainment. There is a distinct pattern of "characters" that is not very far different from the stock characters found in fictional programming. There is the “Sweet and Naive Person” from a small town looking to make it big while still retaining small-town values. There is the “Party Girl or Guy” who is always looking for a good time and who shocks those around them. There is the “Evil Black Woman” with an attitude, or sometimes “Black Man” with an attitude - and the list goes on (Smith 243). Why do these stock characters exist, even in so-called "reality" television that it supposed to be unscripted and unplanned? Because that is the nature of entertainment. Drama is more readily propelled by the use of stock characters because the less you have to think about who a person really is, the more quickly the show can get to the plot. Reality television programs are a leading factor in the corruption and degradation to the American society. Reality Television promotes social quandaries such as: racial and gender stereotyping. Sex and race are especially useful for stock characterizations because they can pull from a long and rich history of social stereotypes. There is a growing concern with how reality television shows perpetuate racial stereotypes. Reality television shows all feature a stereotypical racial character; although African Americans are generally stereotyped more than other races. The term, “The Evil Black Woman” has been used to describe this sort of individual: brazen, aggressive, pointing fingers, and always lecturing others on how to behave (Kilborn 150). Black men have also been heavily stereotyped in reality television. On most reality television programs, black males are shown as either: angry and violent, lazy and stupid, sexually aggressive and dominating, or any combination of the six (Kilborn 164). When the
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2008 for the course ENGL 1302 taught by Professor Vieth during the Spring '08 term at Texas Tech.

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Reality TV argument Paper - Reality television could hardly...

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