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The Lounge: Chat. Relax. Unwind. > Reality TV: dystopian prediction come true or the latest fad?

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message 1: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Obviously, a lot has been said about the cultural phenomena known as "reality TV", most of it negative. I can remember back when it was still becoming mainstream how many were concerned about what this said about our culture. Today, I get the impression that the discussion has kind of faded into the background as more and more programs are being introduced. Still, would like to hear what people think about this.


message 2: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16056 comments To me most of them are cheap entertainment, offering a quasi-legitimized opportunity to pry into someone's life under these or that conditions. I don't watch these, however it's not that I think anything negative about those, who find them interesting -:)
On the other hand, those that offer some 'talent competition', be it - singing, dancing, cooking or whatever, give a shortcut opportunity to the contenders to come out of anonymity and jumpstart their careers. These are sometimes nice. The recent winner of the Eurovision contest won an opportunity to be there through first winning a local singing competition.


message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11779 comments I don't watch them either, by and large, and besides being tolerably cheap, I think their main attrition to the producers is you don't need scripts, or have to pay attention to sets, etc. However, like Nik, I can see a value in talent contests as it gives someone with some real talent a chance to get noticed, which I assume is as difficult for a performer as it is for a writer


message 4: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments I watch the occasional reality show - well, actually, basically only Masterchef Australia. Mainly because it is generally about the cooking.

I struggle with talent (music) shows, because they often focus enormously on 'back story' rather than actual talent. Having said that, they do sometimes find real talent. I do wonder though, how often real talent is discarded due to lack of backstory at auditions.


message 5: by Holly (new)

Holly (goldikova) I watched the Real Housewives franchise on Bravo about five years ago. It was fascinating to watch the ego trips and pathetic melodramas of these women who were thoroughly unlikable. A little of that goes a long way, I haven't watched any of the Housewife shows in ages.


message 6: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "To me most of them are cheap entertainment, offering a quasi-legitimized opportunity to pry into someone's life under these or that conditions. I don't watch these, however it's not that I think an..."

You raise an interesting point, Nik. It got me thinking, how often do people who win the talent contest shows - say for example, American Idol - go on to achieve actual fame? I'm asking seriously because the only names that I know of are Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood? And I should note that the only reason I have heard about them is because my wife is pop culture-literate in ways I am not! ;)


message 7: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Also, another good points about reality TV. I remember hearing a panel discussion on the subject of "Honey Boo Boo". One person made the usual points about reality TV - how it was exploitation, how it made fun of the people it showcased, how it was lowest common denominator, etc. The other person was a studio personality who was involved with the show. She came back with, "it lets them tell their story" and "people watch it, so its what they are asking for".

What do you think? Total bullshit, or did she make some good points?


message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16056 comments Matthew wrote: "....how often do people who win the talent contest shows - say for example, American Idol - go on to achieve actual fame? ..."

From what I know - fairly many, especially in singing contests, where the winners and sometimes even runner-ups are awarded a contract to cover their first album. Some really became mega-stars..


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16056 comments Matthew wrote: "Also, another good points about reality TV. I remember hearing a panel discussion on the subject of "Honey Boo Boo". One person made the usual points about reality TV - how it was exploitation, how..."

Apparently, there is supply and demand for different types of exhibitionism and not necessarily in a negative sense ... Maybe Olympics don't provide enough backstory -:)


message 10: by Matthew (last edited May 16, 2018 01:15PM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "Matthew wrote: "....how often do people who win the talent contest shows - say for example, American Idol - go on to achieve actual fame? ..."

From what I know - fairly many, especially in singing..."


That's what I'm wondering. I can't think of anyone other than Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Who else is there? And did they get beyond a single album (i.e. being a one-hit wonder)?

And that's the other thing I wonder about. Reality TV execs have been using the "people watch it" to say there's a demand for this kind of programming from the beginning. "Just giving the people what they want," has always been the excuse of shock entertainers. But in truth, no one was asking for Honey Boo Boo or similar ideas. They simply tuned in once they were already on.


message 11: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments Because he's local, the local news still can't stop covering Scotty McCreery...OMG he released a Christmas album. OMG armed thugs robbed him while he was visiting a friend's dorm room. OMG he's set to get married. Ugh.


message 12: by Marie (new)

Marie | 28 comments I don't watch the reality tv shows - they do nothing for me. About the closest thing to reality I watch is the news and the weather channel. I would rather sit down and watch a regular show as those are more entertaining. :)


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