“Reality” TV Shows: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly [2/2]   Leave a comment


I love AlterNet.Org there are times when we have things in common and times when we couldn’t be more divided. This time around however we couldn’t be more divided, in an August Article concerning Reality TV Shows, The Destruction of Society, and The American Psyche the author claims that there are certain TV Shows that critics have gotten wrong, in fact the author claims that these critics are coming from a “dunderheaded” position. At the heart of my position when it comes to TV Programming is the simple desire to see TV Programming become Programming of Achieving the Highest Ideal while putting up with our faults and weakness, it is these types of programming that can make us think outside of the box.

Furthering My Concerns

My concerns are twofold, first the naivety of thinking that TV Shows do not influence and inform society of actions of a moral aspect and the second is my concern with TV Programming that limits if not glorifies our current circumstances over a more idealistic circumstance. My general premises is simple enough, if you are told something over and over again we are more likely to believe that message to be a true, to be unquestionably obvious like the air we breath. First of all, let me provide for you actual scientific research done by a TV Executive Lauren Zalaznick as she talks about how Television has a Conscience, how Television is a reflection of our values and morals:

She concludes that, the TV does have a conscience and that we give TV Shows Life, Longevity, Power or not. Television programming does influence society, it is at best a reflection and reaffirmation of what our society values and believes or at its worst something that has a very definite influence on changing a society. In order to change society, you need to both diminish the force that keeps people to maintain said values while increasingly the attraction to adopt new values. In TV we see this clearly, with a marked sense of Irreverence and Mockery of old moral structures on one hand and glorifying and emphasizing the rewards of the new moral/value system on the other. After going through 5 Reality TV Shows and delivering a commentary to them, can one not see both a marked presence of Irreverence on one hand and Hedonistic Superficiality on the other hand?

Second of all, I raise my concern that Television rather then being the instrument of emphasizing despair, vice, preferential behavior, and suffering ought to be the instrument of Hope, Virtue, Principles, and Idealism: Not to make a naive society, but in order to acknowledge that in a world that contains despair, vice and excess, preferences, and suffering we ought to aspire toward a greater height then what we are now in. Current Reality TV does not show these characteristics, these things are boring and ratings go low for such things, and because telecommunication is more so monopolized on TV by a few corporations they are either dependent on the high ratings of the violence and excitement of such low and mundane realities or they do not want people to aim for higher and more ideal circumstances: After all how can a society based on spending and consumption survive if people were actually able to control how much they consume and spend?

My concern then is that these so-called Reality TV Shows are very dis-empowering and illusory. Again, we are told that this is the way things are by these shows, and because of that we should not try to rock the boat, we should not try to fix these problems. Rather then idolizing and desiring to become a “Snooki” Clone or a “Situation” Clone, rather then idolizing and desiring to become like the cast of “Skin” or idolizing and unquestionably internalizing the value systems of “Californication” or “South Park” we should be more critical, more mindful of what we are watching and what it is suggesting, treating it not with a passing superficial glance but a serious consideration.

Therefore I seek to conclude that, television as with all forms of media is capable of infecting the viewers [and you] with unwanted memes, talking points, and subliminal suggestions. Does this mean I am telling you to throw out your Television? No, but I am telling you – like in all things – to moderate how much you view and regardless how funny it maybe always have a critical mind when viewing it so as to make sure that you do not infect your mind with unwanted things. Perhaps I am being to harsh on these so-called Reality TV Programs, perhaps they do have a purpose. If I had to give Reality TV Programs a purpose it would be this: They Show Us Perfectly What NOT To Strive For, What NOT To Become, What NOT To Embody and Live as we interact with others in our lives. In the future I do desire to write more specifically concerning the issues of Memes, in particular as it relates to Christianity.


Posted October 8, 2011 by jimbo9889 in Current Events

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