November 22, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey prepares for nationally ranked Hockey East foes BC, Vermont -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Food scientist proposes way to improve health via breast milk -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons shine in ‘Whiplash’ -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Masculinity: A feminist’s perspective -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UMass women’s basketball uses size and speed en route to its first win against Maine -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why Melissa McBride is the best actor on television -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

‘Gienie’ in a bottle: Patriots, Browns, and Seahawks highlight week 12 picks -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UMass women’s basketball secures first victory of the season against Maine -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Revisiting ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy as the final installment looms -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Establishing the rules of classroom attendance -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UMass hockey’s Troy Power reflects as his 100th career game approaches -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sophomore swimmer Meriza Werenski excelling in increased role -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SGA senator plans survey on bigotry -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Minutemen fall to Akron 30-6 on Tuesday night MACtion -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Awaken your awareness to sleeping -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

T-Swift v. Spotify: The battle over dying album sales -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The pumpkin spice pandemic -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

UMass women’s basketball hosts Maine seeking first win -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Public Engagement Project uses UMass research to promote social change -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

“Rosewater:” Poetic and relevant but nothing special -

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Reality T.V. – Taking Over?

Courtesy watch-jersey-shore-online.info

(Courtesy of watch-jersey-shore-online.info)


Reality television has seemingly become the new craze in programming among networks within the last decade. Especially within the last few years, reality shows seem to have completely taken over our television sets. Why is this new fad of TV so irresistible to viewers? It is the raw drama of these ordinary people “just like you and me” being publicly humiliated, embarrassed, while at the same time being drowned in temptation and drama right in front of our eyes?

The key factor in its success is the unscripted madness that is actually occurring in these cast members lives; regardless of who they believe they are, we as viewers are able to establish a specific character for each person. These people cannot walk off set and escape their character; they now represent the image viewers have assigned to them. For instance the MTV hit series “Jersey Shore” has become the highest viewer rated show in MTV’s history, HISTORY! After the first season, viewers had already created perceptions of each person on the show, which have stuck with them throughout their unintended fame.

Along with the popularity among viewers reality television brings, it also sits comfortably with networks. Where a dramatic series could cost a network up to $2 million per hour to produce, a reality program costs on average $400,000 per hour. With reality show ratings shooting through the roof, networks want in on this inexpensive, yet successful, venture. The numbers don’t lie, this new generation of television does not seem to be slowing down, if anything, we should expect more endeavors in reality-based, or even contestant/competition-based, programming. All in all, reality television (if it hasn’t already), will soon enough consume most of our television programming! It seems to in fact, have taken over.

Gemma Santamaria can be reached at gsantama@student.umass.edu.

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