Values Portrayed Reality TV the Modern Day Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Values Portrayed Reality TV

The modern day media has recently found out that profits can be higher if reality TV shows are produced. Based on these reasons, there is a long list of reality TV shows that are being produced. Not all of these shows are successful, but the one that are successful have achieved great deal of profits, cultural prominence and popularity. The question that arises here is that if these shows should be produced or should they be aired for the audience.

Many definitions have been given for reality TV but one of the most important definitions is a show that showcases situations that have actually happened. Apparently, there is no scripting in these shows as in the case of dramas and serials. A small group of people are showcased in these shows who are not trained actors but these are chosen as they face unusual situations.

Since a few years, these reality TV shows have gained great amount of criticism as these are now being considered inappropriate (Papacharissi, & Mendelson, 2007, p. 356). Some of the situations that are shown in the shows are inappropriate and unethical posing a negative image on the society. These days, the audience of these reality TV shows is increasing and the audience includes teens and children. The kinds of values which are being portrayed have a great negative effect on the moral values that these children and teens have.

The first argument in these cases is that the concept of Realty TV is not new as one of the oldest examples of these shows is Candid Camera. This reality TV show was produced by Allen Funt and it showed hidden videos of people who are stuck in rather strange situations. This show gained great popularity over a few years. Similarly, it has been seen that there are many gaming shows that are also included in the list of reality shows. There is no need to mention the fact that these days there is a newer version of Candid Camera being produced and aired by the son of Allen Funt and it has gone further than the older version of the show. In this show, humiliating and embarrassing situations are faced by people and the audience laughs at the people that face such situations.

An important fact is that the viewership of these reality TV shows is increasing day by day. Based on an increased viewership and audience, the production of three kinds of reality shows in increasing. If at any moment, the viewership of these shows reduces, it will cause a great reduction in the production of the reality shows. These shows are found to be either too entertaining or too shocking based on which the viewers keep watching these movies (Reiss, & Wiltz, 2004, p. 365).

An important word that can be used in case of reality TV shows is Schadenfreude. It is a German word that means laughing and having fun at the humiliating situations faced by the other people. If someone falls on the ice and gets hurt, it is referred to as Schadenfreude. So what is the one element that causes the others to laugh at the misery of the others? Thereby may be some levels of catharsis involved but this can also be achieved with the help of certain fiction. An important question that arises here is that is it right to have catharsis after seeing others in a certain level of suffering or pain. The viewers may think and feel lucky that humiliating and embarrassing things are not happening to them, but is it right that the viewers find amusement in seeing others in pain.

The fact that people find amusement in seeing others embarrassment is beyond question. One of the main ways with the help of which the production of these reality TV shows can be reduced is by the lawsuits and threats that are in a need to be placed by those who are being embarrassed on these shows. Another important reason based on which these shows are more popular is that these shows cost much cheaper as compared to other shows. Since the beginning of these shows, there have been no claims that argue that these shows are effective or advantageous in any way as there are no programs that are observed to be educational. Another important question that arises here is in regards to the reason these shows are produced (Deery, 2004, p. 7). When the producers and directors are asked for certain comments in relation to the reality TV shows, there is no expression of sympathy and gratitude for the subjects of the show. In the case of these shows it is seen that there is a higher level of harshness towards the embarrassment being faced by the individuals and these individuals are treated as mere means of earning money and profits. Some of the main costs that are earned from the shows are based on humiliation, suffering, and injuries along with higher insurance rates.

One of the main facts that need to be argued in these cases is in relation to the presence of an element of reality in reality shows. The main elements of supposed reality in reality TV shows include unplanned situations that are faced by the subjects of the shows. Secondly, the reality that is shown in these TV shows is not the actual reality. In case of drama-based TV shows, at least the viewers are aware of the fact that what is being shown in the shows is not reality and it is not happening in reality. In the case of reality TV shows, the same cannot be said about the cooked scenes and situations.

The ethical values that are showed on the reality TV shows damage the existing values in the society. One of the main facts in these cases is the perpetuation of racial stereotypes. In most of these shows, a black female character is featured. The woman in every show is different but the character of these shows always features the same angry, pointing, taunting, and controlling woman. Reports have been released by MSNBC and it has been reported that woman being showcased in the reality TV shows are the same. The pattern of characters found in these shows is all similar and there is no special difference in the usual characters. Usually there is one naive person who belongs to a small town representing small town values but thinking to make his life big still following small town values (Olivera, 1994, p. 180). The second important character is the person who always love to party with friends but does something that shocks the users. And another important kind of character is a black woman or a black man who has too much attitude. Further reports have shown that the images in these reality shows are edited in a way that the viewers can be manipulated so that the viewers think that these images are real. There are a number of stereotypes that have become the basis of reality shows.

Thus the question arises on the existence of stock characters. When the characters and the people in these reality shows along with the scripts are unplanned, why is there a need of additional stock characters? Here it can be argued that the stock characters represent the main nature of the drama. The dramas are more successful with the use of these characters. With the help of using the stock characters, the viewers usually don't waste time in thinking about the true nature and existence of the characters in the shows so more time can be given to the plot of the show. Race and sex are some of the most useful characterizations in these shows.

When minorities are shown in these programs, one of the main issues that occur is in the case that these are the individuals in minority that represent the entire sex and race. Angry white man will only represent himself while a black individual when angry will be representing the entire black race. An angry African-American woman would represent all preconceived notions of the black community.

The question arises how stock characters appear in reality shows. It is the audience that likes these stock characters, as the kinds of behaviors that are shown by these characters are more liked by the audience thus gets more airtime. The directors focus more on the creation of these kinds of characters. One of the main reasons in these cases is the motivation of the audience. If a black woman sits alone smiling is not thought of as entertaining as compared to a black woman who sits and points fingers at a white man commanding him.

One of the main examples in these cases is that of Manigault-Stallworth, an important character from Donald Trump's The Apprentice. She is one of the most hated characters of the TV show based on the attitude that the person has. But the one main question in…

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