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What Makes Reality Tv So Special In Today’s Society?

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  • Amy Nutt
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    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2007

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      Please consider this free-reprint article written by:
      Amy Nutt

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      Article Title: What Makes Reality Tv So Special In Today's
      Author: Amy Nutt
      Word Count: 607
      Article URL: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=204314&ca=Entertainment
      Format: 64cpl
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      ================== ARTICLE START ==================
      When Survivor appeared on CBS for the first time, it quickly
      became a topic of conversation around water coolers everywhere.
      Even people who didn't watch the show couldn't escape
      conversations about which castaway would be voted off the island
      next. Today, there are dozens of reality shows that offer to
      turn everyday people into chefs, actors, singing stars, brides
      or grooms, millionaires, and almost anything else you can

      And while people make the obligatory negative remarks about
      reality TV, many harbor secret addictions to one show or
      another. What makes reality TV so popular? There are probably
      several factors.

      First, reality TV participants come from all walks of life.
      Whether you're gay or straight, male or female, Christian or
      Buddhist, Black or white, it is easy to turn on reality TV and
      spot someone like yourself whisked away into an adventurous or
      luxurious lifestyle. We experience a vicarious thrill seeing
      ordinary people like us compete for fabulous prizes. And, if you
      are being absolutely honest, you have to admit that you've
      sometimes thought, "I could do that!"

      Another reason people enjoy reality TV is the suspense. On most
      shows, each episode finds another participant being eliminated
      until there is only one player left standing. We agonize with
      our favorite players as they endure challenges and hardships,
      hold our breaths when it looks like they may be on the chopping
      block, and breathe a sigh of relief when they squeak by for one
      more week.

      Watching reality TV also gives us an avenue to communicate with
      acquaintances and co-workers. As the second season of American
      Idol drew to a close, for instance, you could start a
      conversation with a complete stranger simply by asking, "So, is
      it going to be Clay or Ruben?"

      Still another reason reality TV is popular may have to do with
      certain socioeconomic factors. With so many people in debt, the
      cost of living consistently outstripping people's paychecks,
      relatively high unemployment, and wars being fought in Iraq and
      Afghanistan, reality TV gives people something less threatening
      to focus on. It may even help people feel better about their own
      lives. "I may have it bad," some viewers think, "but at least
      I'm not wearing filthy clothes and eating insects." Or, "I may
      have had a bad day of work, but at least the entire viewing
      public isn't watching Simon Cowell blast my singing voice."

      Finally, reality TV initially had a strong viewing because it
      was something unique. Audiences in the United States were used
      to watching television actors deliver scripted lines—we were
      completely unprepared for a show without a script featuring real
      people engaged in real competition. The real live cat fights,
      backbiting, and scheming delighted wide eyed viewers.

      Of course, from the beginning there were a few dissenting
      voices claiming that reality TV was somewhat less than real.
      Furthermore, familiarity has begun to breed contempt. The second
      installment of Survivor, for instance, was the most watched
      series of the 2000-2001 TV series. Survivor China, the fifteenth
      installment in the Survivor series, is ranked number eleven
      among the current fall lineup. Other reality TV shows have seen
      similar rating drops as their novelty faded.

      But even if reality TV is no longer quite as robust as it once
      was, it is far from dead. New reality TV concepts are pitched
      every season, and millions of fans continue to tune in to watch
      their favorite reality programs. For all the reasons discussed
      above, reality TV is definitely here to stay.

      About The Author: HNE is a talent agency that provides casting
      services and reality tv auditions for shows such as American
      Idol, Big Brother, Amazing Race, Survivor, Trading Spaces.

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