Tue. Jul 5th, 2022

Introduction: Why is Reality TV Creating a Problem for Content Creators?

The internet, however, is nowhere near as revolutionary as the emergence of reality television (modern day 24-hour reality shows). It wasn’t long ago that reality television was a niche activity that viewers turned to rarely, if ever. But audiences have found themselves in a world where they can watch people live their lives 24/7. And with the rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that make the lives of celebrities accessible to literally everyone in seconds, so too has the rise of reality television become unavoidable.
If you’ve paid attention to the news, you’ve undoubtedly seen the story. This year alone, there have already been many high profile firings of reality-TV related talent (Jenny McCarthy from NBC’s The View and Mike Ditka from ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption :). But it wasn’t just celebs and their jobs that were harmed by the reality TV beast; it was also those shows themselves. Gone are the days when a show’s success was measured by how many people watched and how many records they broke. Instead, networks now have to consider the fact that the average person is watching these shows 24/7; so if something goes wrong with The Real World, it can be seen at any time. It doesn’t matter what your job is or where you work — it could very well be a matter of life and death. And it’s hard to make the argument that’s it’s worth it.

what is the main point macneil is making in the trouble with television
what is the main point macneil is making in the trouble with television

How Reality Shows Destroy Entertainment Value and Ruin Entertainment Shows

First, reality television has created a culture that rewards the ability to entertain. When a reality TV show is popular, people want to know who’s in it and they want to be able to talk about it. They don’t necessarily want to see it or be entertained by it, but they want the chance to join in on the conversation if they hear something interesting that happened. When everyone is on social media, everyone has the potential to be a celebrity and to talk about the latest reality TV show event or drama.
Second, the reality stars are often more famous than the television celebrities. The average viewer knows who some of the stars of Friday Night Dancing are, but people may not know that Joey Fatone is one of their favorite singers. The reality stars have become a part of the pop culture conversation because they’re the ones who participate in it themselves.
Third, because viewers don’t really watch the shows for the television celebrities, they’re not as interested in what these television stars are actually doing out in public. When a television star goes to a restaurant, the average viewer doesn’t care about what the reality stars are doing at the same time.
Fourth, these reality TV shows are taking the elements of television that have made it so popular for so long and turning them into something else. Without making entertainment as entertaining, people who’re looking for entertainment may simply turn to other forms of entertainment.

what is the main point macneil is making in the trouble with television
what is the main point macneil is making in the trouble with television

Reality TV Stirs Up Culture Wars And Divides Society Into Separate Worlds

Second, reality TV has become a forum for people to simultaneously express their political views and their interest in the latest news items. The world has become divided between those who watch reality TV and those who don’t, especially as it pertains to politics. People who watch reality TV are likely going to be more social media obsessed, and thus more politically active. As a result, people who don’t watch reality TV have been castigated for their failure to view the world through the lens of political correctness. Not only have such people been labeled as easily triggered attention whores and sheltered individuals who don’t really know how things work out in the real world, but they have also been accused of being racist for not agreeing with things that may or may not be pertinent in their community.
Finally, many people believe that the increasingly popularity of reality TV has a lot to do with most people’s inability to relate in their daily lives. Instead of watching a show about themselves and what it is like to live in their neighborhood, or go through a divorce, or cope with infertility, or work through racial issues, they would rather watch someone else simulate such experiences as it pertains to celebrities and strangers. Even if one were to admit that reality TV has helped some people who live in the real world, they would likely now be left with the dilemma of what to watch. As a result, people who don’t watch it are now expected to follow a show or two that is somewhat engaging, but they are not going to get into a political debate.

what is the main point macneil is making in the trouble with television
what is the main point macneil is making in the trouble with television

Who Are the Brains Behind Realities Sexiest Women?

Third, reality TV has contributed to the rise of social media addiction. The rate of social media usage has continued to increase in recent years, and shows like The Bachelor show how easy it is to get sucked into the world of social media when you don’t have much else going on in your life. Sexting is used as a form of entertainment by reality TV stars. Television has taught us to see sex as a form of entertainment and a way for people to get attention. From the start, this show has been about sex and relationships. This show is focusing on the wrong things and taking away from the real issues that people have to deal with in their everyday lives.
There are a series of online petitions asking ABC to cancel The Bachelor over its lack of respect for women. There is no reason this show needs to be on television anymore. It doesn’t represent women or men well and it doesn’t teach viewers anything productive about relationships or life.

what is the main point macneil is making in the trouble with television
what is the main point macneil is making in the trouble with television

How Do You Watch What You Want on Television?

Fourth, reality TV is being blamed for the decline in quality of scripted television because viewers who used to watch scripted shows now feel that they are watching the same thing over and over. The argument here is that they can’t distinguish between a scripted series like The Wire, which follows a similar storyline each season and has several familiar themes throughout, and a reality show that follows a similar storyline each season and has several familiar themes throughout. The trick is to make compelling entertainment, regardless of the form it takes. If a show is good, people will watch it.
Another article: MacNeil, Margaret. “The Trouble with Television.” New York Times , June 24, 2007 (p. D1 – D3).

what is the main point macneil is making in the trouble with television
what is the main point macneil is making in the trouble with television