In late 1999, a multi-million dollar bachelor made a deal with Fox television to marry a beautiful, attractive, and interesting young woman. The bachelor agreed and word was put out that any eligible woman interested could come and audition to marry the millionaire bachelor. After months of auditions the lucky woman was chosen and the telecast of their marriage was publicized. Over forty-two million people tuned in to watch, as the two were married on primetime television. Why, one might ask, would so many people care to watch two strangers tie the knot? They weren?t celebrities or sport stars. The reason so many people took interest in the marriage of millionaire Rick Rockwell and his bride Darva Conger was because they had never before met. A romantic millionaire and an attractive young woman were married on national television. In less than one month the couple filed for an annulment, and split under well-publicized and negative terms.
It is too often that television portrays interpersonal relationships in a negative or idealistic way. The most prominent theme in prime time television programming is the interaction between the sexes. Television?s realistic conceit enables it to represent social structure powerfully in the case of visualized and exaggerated occurrences. However, the substance that is required to sustain an actual relationship is actively omitted on television. With the average time a television is on in the average household at an astounding seven hours per day, television?s impact in society is undeniable; therefore, one must consider the negative effect television has on interpersonal relationships. The blurring of lines between visualized and substantive private relationships, known as the Dramaturgy Effect, is a prevalent issue in television programming. In dramaturgy, the self adopts the perspectives of the generalized other, or society, an amalgam of individual choices and embedded constraints.