Reality Television Analysis

Essay by whitneycalkCollege, UndergraduateA-, November 2008

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Life, in general, is not to supposed to be scripted, planned, or edited. It is supposed to be spontaneous, different from day to day. So why is it that so many people have been pulled into the phenomenon that is now dubbed "reality television"? Every week, millions of viewers plant themselves in front of their televisions and view in to watch ordinary people that have their lives captured on film for the pure entertainment of an audience (Hill 8). Most of these viewers are not aware that their favorite television shows, such as Survivor and The Real World, are not, in fact, "reality" are picked apart, rearranged, and edited to fit what the producers of each show feel will entertain the most groups in their specific demographic (Hill 9). There are a couple of different types of reality television shows. There are the competition types of shows, such as Survivor, and then there is the most general form of reality television where the viewers watches the everyday happenings of a person or several people are they go throughout their regular routines (King 7).

Survivor first made it's debut in the United States in 2000, and it was instantly a critically acclaimed hit ("Reality"). The show has been very successful, rating amongst the top ten most watched shows each television season for its first ten seasons. It is commonly considered the mother of American reality TV because it was the first highly-rated and profitable reality show on broadcast television in the United States. The basic premise of the show is around fifteen to twenty individuals are picked from around the country to come to a previously selected country to see who can survive on the island the longest. The individuals are put into tribes, and these tribes are the...