The Reality of Reality TV
“Re-al-i-ty, noun, the state or quality of being real.” ("Reality - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary." ) Reality television has been an important component of our culture since Candid Camera in 1948. The drama, excitement, anxiousness, competition, and celebrities who have come out of Reality TV are what keeps viewers watching. The positive and negative opinions of critics and the controversies generated are countless, as well as the number of viewers. (Slocum) By looking at the history of Reality TV, the stars who have emerged from the shows, and all the opinions on reality TV, one can see that it has changed the culture of America.
Since 1948, reality shows have been featured on television. Alan Flunt’s Candid Camera was the first reality show to air, and it still holds the record as the longest running reality show in television history. Candid Camera was a spinoff of a radio show about playing practical jokes on different people and catching them on camera. “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera” was the shows famous slogan. (Loomis) In the 1980’s, reality shows were in their prime and the 80’s were known as “the most recognizable wave of reality TV”. Shows like Real People and That’s Incredible were very popular. However, by 1992, when MTV aired its first season of The Real World, the television environment for reality shows had changed. More genres of reality based shows emerged including hybrid, comedy, and talent searches. (Slocum) Through time, some viewers believe that reality shows have become less real than they appear on television and talent show judges have become more fake as time has gone by. (Wolcott) There are countless numbers of reality shows running now and many more that have ended. Whether they have been spinoffs or producers pushing the perfect new idea, reality based shows continue to receive good ratings and evolve over time.
It has been said that reality stars are...
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