Reality vs Reality TV

Essay by YukaicCollege, UndergraduateA-, March 2005

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Today, many people have a problem distinguishing between reality and fictional fantasy. The severity of this problem is increasing at a substantial speed due to the abundance of reality shows in our society. Reality TV is becoming more and more popular because of its unscripted performance and cheaper production costs. Instead of watching actors and actresses memorizing lines and twitching face muscles in front of the screen, the audience can view people with real emotions facing situations that he/she can relate to. Reality TV is also cheaper to produce compared to other shows because it does not need a screenwriter, paid actors, or artificial settings. According to Scott Collins in the Los Angeles Times, "scripted series, which routinely run more than $2 million per episode" can be twice to four times the price of producing a reality episode. Besides being cheap to produce and unscripted in performance, many other reasons can give us some clues as to why these "favored children at networks" (Scott Collins) have risen to their popularity in today's media.

To explore these reasons why people watch reality shows and what effects they have on the people, my English Composition group made a survey to find out what kinds of people watch reality TV and what their attitudes toward it are. To have a more concrete example, we focused our survey on one specific reality show, Newlyweds, and attempted to discover what effects it has on the audiences' view on marriage.

Our survey is targeted at younger adults, ages sixteen to twenty five. We divided the survey into four groups: first by gender and then by age. We had two age divisions, from sixteen to nineteen, and from twenty to twenty-five. In this way we limited our age group to people who were old enough to...