Why we love Reality TV part 1
How reality TV went from triumph to tribulation. Over the course of the last two decades we have seen a renaissance in reality TV. We went from human triumph over nature to watching people do their job...every day. TV gets dumber and richer, producing content that is much cheaper and more effective than anything else before.
Why we love reality TV part 1
Mark Burnett is the Robert Oppenheimer of Television. In 1992 he created the Eco-Challenge, which in my opinion, is the very first reality show. It featured teams of four (originally five) highly skilled adventurers who trek through thick jungles, canoe rapids and climb mountains in a non-stop race to the finish. From there he went on to spawn Are you smarter than a 5th grader, The Apprentice and of course 24 seasons of Survivor. By the turn of the millennium Burnett's reality TV mushroom cloud would kill most sitcoms. And, like all nuclear bombs, it's the fallout from the blast that does the most damage. In TV land that fallout shows up in the form of swamp people, parking meter maids and truck drivers in an all out "shock war" to keep us glued to the TV. But where will it end?
Survivor really opened the door for both the commercialization of reality and filmed psychological experiments as entertainment (re: survivor, the apprentice, big brother). The commercialization is a no-brainer, you get the same amount or more viewers to sell to advertisers without the hassle of dealing with a TV star's temperament and salary demands. The later however is Pandoras box. You never know what you might get with reality, which is part of the excitement but also taps into the darker side of humanity. It's the shock value that now sells most reality TV. I've narrowed it down to two categories: Triumph and Carnage. Who knows what will happen when you put a group of people that tend to clash together in a house for 6 weeks. No one does but it's probable that some will triumph and others will not, but one thing is for sure, it's a lot more entertaining then a group of friends -or so says a study conducted at Ohio State in 2004.
Stay tuned to tomorrows continuation of this thread!