Reality Shows

Topics: Reality television, Television program, An American Family Pages: 5 (1542 words) Published: May 10, 2006
Reality shows, why do we like them so much? I started thinking about this question, and then I though about how many I actually had watched. Reality shows has become a big trend in our society today. People can become famous for almost anything, and a lot of people seem to think that being in a reality show is the biggest thing that can happen in life.

I think all of us have though about being famous at some point in our life. How nice it would feel to be that athlete, singer or actor that everyone knows. Maybe you always dreamed about becoming a model, a writer or why not just get married to a rich & famous man or woman. I don't see this as something wrong, I think that everyone, at some point, wishes for that feeling of being someone important and well known. An easy way of having 15 minutes of fame today is to be in a reality show. Today you can probably turn on the TV at any time of day and be able to see a reality show. The market has exploded, and they are almost taking over TV.

We might think that reality television are a new phenomenon, but the truth is that the first reality show debuted in 1973, and it was called An American Family. On Thursday, January 11, 1973, the first broadcast of An American Family changed television history forever. The Loud family were from Santa Barbara, California and consisted of Mother Pat, Father Bill, and their five children Lance, Kevin, Grant, Delilah and Michele.

It was a fascinating documentary series. The members of the Loud family opened up their home and lives for seven months to producer Craig Gilbert, who shot 300 hours of footage. Only 12 hours made it to television. As many as 10 million viewers watched the marital breakup of Bill and Pat Loud and the coming-out of their son Lance. The family complained that the hours chosen for broadcast misrepresented their lives.

After An American Family stopped airing, it took amost twenty years until the reality TV we know today started. The Real World, started in 1992, with the concept of putting strangers together in the same environment for an extended period of time and recording the drama that ensued. Survivor was also one of the first shows to start this era of reality TV that we live in today. After those two, it has just kept on going, and up until today there have been hundreds of shows produced.

There are a number of sub-categories of reality television. One of them is documentary style. In many reality television shows, the viewer and the camera are passive observers following people going about their daily personal and professional activities; MTV's Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County in an example of this style of show, with unscripted situations, real-life locations, and no tasks given to the cast, at least, no known ones. Within documentary-style reality television are several subcategories or variants.

Special living environment is one of them. Some documentary-style programs place cast members, who in most cases previously did not know each other, in artificial living environments; The Real World is the originator of this style.

Celebrity reality is very popular category. These shows often show the everyday life of a celebrity. Some of these shows are The Anna Nicole Show, The Osbournes, and Newlyweds. In other shows, the celebritys are given a certain location or something specific to do, like for example The Simple Life and The Surreal Life.

Another type of reality TV is so-called reality game shows, in which participants are filmed competing to win a prize, usually while living together in an enclosed environment. Participants are removed until only one person or team remains, who/which is then declared the winner. Usually this is done by eliminating participants one at a time through voting; voting is done by either the viewing audience or by the show's own participants.

Probably the purest example of a reality game show is the show that is popular in over 50 countries; Big Brother, in...
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