Real Popular Television:
An Explanation Synthesis Essay about Reality Television
Are normal people more entertaining to watch than professional actors? Apparently the answer to this question is not an outstanding no. Today people all over America have fallen into the craze of watching reality television, but why has this genre become such a cultural phenomenon? There are many ideas as to how this genre of television has become so popular. It could be because people have grown tired of traditional television or because of its ability to advertise itself through conversation. Most of all, people watch these shows in order to live vicariously through the people on television who were once as ordinary as they are.
First, it is important to understand the significance of reality television in American popular culture. According to Slocum and his writings in “The Real History of Reality TV or, How Allen Funt Won the Cold War” the television show know to be the first in the genre of reality television is the series Candid Camera which was run in 1948 by a man named Allen Funt. Additionally a few game shows including I’ve Got a Secret and To Tell the Truth debuted in the 1950”s. These shows featured real people who competed on live television. Furthermore the reality television genre was expanded with the well known series An American Family which aired on PBS in 1973. This series followed the Louds Family and showed a true representation of a modern family which shocked viewers with such events as the coming out of one of the family’s sons on the show being gay as well as the Loud family’s parents deciding to get a divorce. Soon game shows and soap/drama reality shows like An American Family began to merge, creating shows that had both competitive and dramatic elements, that persevered and can still be seen today. In 2000 America would see the introduction of the UK import Big Brother and an original creation: Survivor. These shows have stood the test of time,...