Scrolling Headlines:

UMPD crime alert informs campus of motor vehicle theft near Rudd Field Sept. 17 -

September 22, 2017

‘It’ has revitalized the modern monster movie -

September 21, 2017

UMass Republicans feel ostracized in political climate -

September 21, 2017

Irma hits Cuba, putting rain cloud over students’ study abroad plans -

September 21, 2017

UMass football travels to Tennessee for its first Power Five game of 2017 -

September 21, 2017

UMass women’s soccer looks ahead to Thursday matchup with Davidson -

September 21, 2017

Perussault and the Minutewomen are ready for the start of A-10 play -

September 21, 2017

Behind the “Hate has no home at UMass” campaign -

September 21, 2017

A-10 field hockey notebook: VCU, St. Joseph’s, and Lock Haven dominate -

September 21, 2017

Video games as art -

September 21, 2017

A-10 men’s soccer notebook: Davidson falls to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg -

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Glazed and confused: what youth should know about vaping -

September 21, 2017

Trust the professors, and trust the system -

September 21, 2017

Beauty that exists all around you and how to notice it -

September 21, 2017

Student death reported to the University Sept. 19 -

September 20, 2017

Domestic violence and experience of Muslim women lecture kicks off seminar series -

September 20, 2017

Students demand bathroom accountability -

September 20, 2017

Small trashcan fire broke out in Kennedy Hall -

September 20, 2017

Immigration policy discussed in public teach-in -

September 20, 2017

Massachusetts men’s soccer ties Central Connecticut State in double overtime -

September 20, 2017

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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