Television and Its Effects on Its Viewers

Topics: Reality television, Television program, Television Pages: 6 (2287 words) Published: June 25, 2013
Television And Its Effects On Its Viewers
Most of today’s society might think that reality TV started with MTV’s hit show the real world, or CBS’ show Survivor. That in fact is not true, reality TV started in 1948 with the Alan Funt Show called “Candid Camera” which was originally started as a radio show when he was in the service. Reality TV blew up as a major part of television around 1999–2000 with the triumph of such television series like Big Brother. Programs in the reality television programs are often produced in a television series. Reality television often depicts a custom-made and highly subjective form of the normal daily life, at times exploiting lies to attract viewers and increase marketing profits. Reality TV is not just television programs like Jersey Shore, but reality based programs such as, Friends or Seinfeld, but even reality based movies like The Help. All these programs and movies have a way of warping the sense of what reality truly is. In today’s society people are captivated by what they see on television. Viewers tend to spend most of their days watching TV rather than being productive. Television has become a way to communicate with others. The way we perceive movies is much different from reality television, with movies we have the ability to know the characters and situations are fictional, but we tend to relate certain roles of characters with the outside world, as the Authors James Harold and Susan Douglas, explain in their articles. In the article written by Francine Prose she reveals that with reality TV, the viewer is not able to distinguish what is real and what is fictional, ultimately the viewer believes everything they see on reality TV as being true in the outside world.

Reality based television and movies has the ability to perplex the associations between people in the real life. The fact that television has certain programs and movies that takes over the minds of its viewers, which eventually makes the viewer stop thinking about outside problems and only relate to problems that the characters possess. Fictional movies and programs are not the only thing that captivates its audience, but reality television is now a huge factor in today’s society and television programming. Reality television, and movies, often represents a very unclear and restricted view of reality and the subsequent effects of everyday viewing of these potential lies that can bring to mind strong emotions for a character or person we might not have originally had. Today’s viewers tend to have a more optimistic view towards television. When people are watching certain programs, they have the ability to relate with what is happening in the program. Whether it be happy or sad, it will ultimately have no affect on the viewer watching it; they will have the ability to understand the morals of each show. James Harold the author of the article “A Moral Never-Never Land: Identifying with Tony Soprano,” states that television has the ability to help people evaluate emotions and problems on the show. People that view television programs, have a deep inside look on what is good and bad. Not everyone that watches TV is affected by the program. In the hit HBO program The Sopranos, Tony Soprano is the Mob boss that threatens and kills people. Harold states, that it’s okay to like Tony because he is a fictional character (241).

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When people realize that Tony is a fictional character, they tend not to relate their problems and emotions to the show because the show is not real in any sense. Television shows such as The Sopranos make people emotionally attached to the character and their problems, even if they are fictional. When people hear about the anarchy and love of diverse societies, they have the tendency to convey a positive response to their thoughts of television. Harold states, “One of the things that worries some of us is that television shows like The Sopranos make very bad people seem, well,...

Cited: Boyd, Todd. “So You Wanna Be A Gangster?” Signs of Life In The USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. Eds Jack Solomon and Sonia Maasik. 6th Ed Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. 2009.
Douglas, Susan. “Signs of Intelligent Life on TV.” Signs of Life In The USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. Eds Jack Solomon and Sonia Maasik. 6th Ed Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. 2009.
Harold, James. “A Moral Never-Never Land: Identifying with Tony Soprano.”Signs of Life In The USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. Eds Jack Solomon and Sonia Maasik. 6th Ed Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. 2009.
"Has Reality TV Gone Too Far?" Scholastic Scope Sep 17 2007: 22-3. ProQuest Education Journals; ProQuest Research Library. Web. 10 July 2012 .
Prose, Francine. “Voting Democracy off the Island: Reality TV and the Republican Ethos.”Signs of Life In The USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers. Eds Jack Solomon and Sonia Maasik. 6th Ed Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. 2009.
"Reality Tv Thrives on Human Weakness." Dayton Daily News: A.8. ProQuest Newsstand. Feb 14 2004. Web. 11 July 2012 .
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