The American Talk Show. Essay

1387 words - 6 pages

The American Talk ShowAs I sat down and began to think about American Culture, I realized that there is one thing that binds us as a nation: Television. Television has been a part of American society since its prevalent emergence in the 1950's. The surfacing of the television quickly began to alter the hard working and ever-so-changing America into a mindless society completely devoid to the sense of right and wrong. Soon after television made its way into American homes, major changes to society took place. The nights that were usually spent with the family gathered around the radio listening to the next installment of your favorite series quickly became accompanied with visions. Thus television - bringing with it its gifts of paralysis- initiated the notorious couch potato behavior. This became the newest factor, encouraging anti-social behaviors. One could assume a 'vegetable' state in a trance-like manner, pushing their responsibilities aside. From the television, viewers are exposed to the ideas and influences proposed and applied by the endless commercials, movies, and shows, and when ended, leaving their mind's imagination without substance.Television in the home became a part of a normal phenomenon in America and today in the year 2000, and a home without a television is a rare occurrence. The television shows of the fifties however, such as "I Love Lucy" and "The Ed Sullivan Show" are long gone. It almost seems that anything goes in regards to television these days. Shows such as "The Jerry Springer Show," "South Park," "NYPD Blue" and "The Tom Green Show" often include violence, profanity, and partial nudity in their programming.One genre of popular Trash TV that has taken American culture by storm is the Talk Show. The Talk Show has become as American as apple pie, although not quite as tasteful. It is difficult to find someone who does not recognize the names Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones, Montel Williams, or Ricki Lake. These hosts and their shows, along with many others, have captured the interest of the nation and staked a spot within American culture. How did these talk show hosts become so popular? What gained them acceptance into the American society?There are many different ways that Trash Television has captured our society and become part of our culture. First is the availability of programming, followed by the attention given by viewers of these shows. By simply looking at the television listings in a daily newspaper, a viewer can find on an average day, with basic cable, countless hours of Trash Television Talk Shows. The unceasing availability of these shows is indicative of how they have become part of our culture.Americans simply watching the talk shows is not in itself proof that they have been integrated into our culture. However, the fact that each of the shows has a separate mass following, whether positive or negative, adds validity to its integration. Arguably, the most popular host is Jerry Springer.Watching Jerry...

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