April 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 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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