Scrolling Headlines:

UMass football can’t overcome four third quarter Mississippi State touchdowns, fall 47-35 Saturday -

September 24, 2016

UMass football’s fourth quarter comeback attempt falls short against Mississippi State Saturday -

September 24, 2016

Cyr: Despite improvement, UMass football still can’t capture first marquee FBS win -

September 24, 2016

MassPIRG kicks off for the fall semester -

September 22, 2016

UMass Resistance Studies Initiative hosts activist and author George Lakey -

September 22, 2016

UMass field hockey readies for tough tests against Stanford, Boston College -

September 22, 2016

Calling the shots: everything you need to know about the flu vaccine -

September 22, 2016

UMass assistant Professor speaks about oppression of American Indians -

September 22, 2016

Astronomy department head hosting sundial and sky-watching event -

September 22, 2016

UMass football looks to pull off upset against Mississippi State Saturday -

September 22, 2016

Cyr: Comis? Ford? Here’s how I would handle the UMass quarterback situation this weekend against Mississippi State -

September 22, 2016

An unofficial presidential debate drinking game for the unruly masses -

September 22, 2016

Stop sweating the small stuff -

September 22, 2016

In defense of being uncomfortable -

September 22, 2016

Please go to sleep -

September 22, 2016

VIDEO – ‘Life in the Dollhouse: Wes Anderson and the Dollhouse Aesthetic’ -

September 22, 2016

Student struck by car near UMass’ Mullins Center -

September 21, 2016

President Anthony Vitale and Vice President Nick Rampone anticipate productive year at SGA -

September 21, 2016

Symposium hosts discussion on safety for journalism students -

September 21, 2016

Andrew Ford, Ross Comis still battling for UMass football’s starting QB position -

September 21, 2016

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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