Television: Is ‘reality’ real?

Television: Is ‘reality’ real?


Why is reality television so popular?

Genealogists think researching our own unique families is real enough!

Of course, genealogists love shows on genealogy, which offer insight into breaking through brick walls. Those shows also allow us to vicariously achieve success along with the celebrity tracking his or her ancestors.

My favorite part of all those shows is how the celebrity always finds a convenient parking place directly in front of every archive he or she visits. That doesn’t happen very often in real life.

If your own family research isn’t quite enough for you, there’s a new book out on reality TV.

June Deery, an associate professor of communication and media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York), says in her book, Consuming Reality, that this genre is changing the face of both the entertainment industry and culture – whether we like it or not.

The media form, she says, has altered our ideas of entertainment, privacy and commercialization.

Deery says the subject has two parts. One is how the shows have changed the entertainment industry’s internal workings with lower production costs and non-professional actors. The other focuses on how these shows have affected culture.

By exposing the private lives of individuals for profit, says Deery, reality TV has re-written concepts of privacy and intimacy.

“What’s supposed to be shared? What’s public? What does it meant to sell your persona on a media platform?” Deery said. “You are commodifying your experience, and these questions become controversial.”

And what about those makeover shows – whether they are construction, real estate or beauty and fashion? Deery believes that the shows pressure people to acquire more “things” and to become dissatisfied with what they have.

How do you feel about reality shows? What should or shouldn’t be shared? What should be public or what should be kept private? Let us know in the comments below

Leave a comment

The email address is kept private and will not be shown

  • coral

    October 22, 2012

    never watch reality shows as most are rigged

  • Wanda

    October 22, 2012

    I think they are a waste of time. Reality is teen suicide, animals being abused, children starving, we need to make it a better world for all living species.