With a sense of voyeurism millions of Americans tune into reality television every night without much thought of the negative message these show project. Since 1948 with the inception of Candid Camera viewers have been able to select between scripted television and reality television changing the nature of at home entertainment. The Millennium marked a change with the Academy of Arts and Science adding the reality genre to the Emmy Awards, celebrating ordinary people in unscripted situations. However with more and more of theses shows glamorizing negative behavior and social situations as well as taking away from scripted television and rewarding bad behavior it is no wonder the Millennial and next generations are said to be doomed.
In recent years there has been an evolution in television networks that focus the majority of their programing on reality television. Bravo which is owned by NBC originally focused on performing arts and ...view middle of the document...
These behaviors should not be endorsed for society to want to emulate.
It is getting harder and harder for scripted television shows to break through and have the kind of staying power that the Real Housewives franchise has had. The 2007-08 Writers Guild of America Strike really opened up the window for non-Union based television to thrive. This instant celebrity phenomenon has nearly erased a whole genre of scripted television. Before these “fly on the wall” programs there were soap operas, which employed thousands of union actors over decades, now most of these shows have been canceled or run on limited online networks. Countless working actors gained their start on daytime television; now with so many fame chasers being exploited by reality television producers there is little room for young talent to be cultivated. Often times, participants on these shows are humiliated and exploited to further the story line and to provide better ratings. Survivor and American Idol have topped the ratings consistently since they began to air in the early 2000s.
The “talent” on these shows are often rewarded for negative behavior, Survivor contestants are told to “Outwit, Outlast, and Outplay” and during many camera confessions claim that they would do anything for the Million dollar prize; often lying, cheating and stealing to make that happen. That is not a positive lesson to be bestowing on society. With shows like 16 and Pregnant focusing on the real life struggles of teen parents, the young women highlighted on these shows have become not only a warnings but negative role models. Several of these young ladies have had issues with the fame that has come along with the show, exploiting their story to the tabloids and glamorizing poor decision making. Viewers are becoming desensitized to the issues of teen pregnancy, drug addiction, plastic surgery, and an over sexualized culture. Gone are the days of the “after school special” that gave parents and teens the opportunity to open the line of communication and discuss these issues and provide a healthy alternative to the social issues facing society.
Is there a Snooki effect?