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Reality TV: Helpful or Harmful?

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by

Bridget Parker

on 25 November 2014

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Transcript of Reality TV: Helpful or Harmful?

There have been many debates over whether or not reality shows are harmful to their viewers. I suppose it depends on your definition of a reality show. Typically the first thing people think of is Jersey Shore or Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Reality TV refers to a much broader genre.
Reality television is a television programming that presents purportedly unscripted melodramatic or "humourous" situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors, sometimes in a contest or other situations where a prize is awarded.
Wickepedia defines Reality TV:
Duck Dynasty
A lot of reality shows seem completely pointless. There is no message being shown other then the fact that some people are ridiculous. They are a good source of entertainment and sometimes are so exaggerated that it is a way to keep yourself from acting like reality stars. Of course when teens are shown making bad decisions on TV, young viewers may follow.
Neutral:
Here are two examples of Reality Shows from two completely different genres:
Reality TV: Helpful or Harmful?
By Laura and Bridget
When Teen Mom first aired in 2009, the teenage pregnancy rate in America dropped 5.7% in the first year of airing alone.

Shows like Biggest Loser promote exercise and tell viewers that with enough motivation, anyone can be healthy.

Similarly, reality cooking shows like Master Chef Jr. or Iron Chef promote healthy eating and cooking meals at home.
Pros:
Teen Mom 2
Neutral Ground
Reality TV can show the ugly truth behind drug addiction and alcohol abuse in shows like Celebrity Rehab or Intervention.

Reality shows raise awareness for different social issues.
Pros:
Because the messages reality TV give are so broad,
it is hard to say that the overall impact is good or bad. There are many positive and negative influences that come from shows of this nature.
Keeping up with the Kardashians
There is a lot of aggression or violence in reality tv.

In shows like The Bachelor, it gives a forced and manufactured representation of how two people interact which can be impressionable to young viewers.
Cons:

It gives stereotypical or false presentations of how girls act and promotes the idea that all girls are "catty".

Cons:
Some shows give viewers a look at serious mental health issues but often don't give out enough information to give educated opinions.
Shows like What Not To Wear give young girls the idea that they need to strive for the "perfect" look or that something about their life isn't good enough.
Here is an example of a negative message from a reality show:
In Conusion...
Reality TV is given many mixed reviews. It all comes down to what you choose to watch and whether you let affect you or not. Notice the good and bad messages of anything you watch. If you find yourself watching Real Housewives of New Jersey and striving to be one of them, you probably shouldn't watch it. Don't take things to seriously or assume that everything is exactly what it seems. After all, it is only television.
Master Chef Jr.
Reality TV is such a huge part of entertainment. As a viewer, you have a responsibility to choose what you watch and not let it shape you as a person in a negative way. Reality shows fall on both ends of the spectrum from extremely beneficial to complete trash. This isn't just with reality TV.

Project Runway- 3 minute clip
December 1, 2004 to present
Reality Competition → Job Search
Age Range: Late teens to early twenties
→ That is around the age of the contestants and fashion is popular among young people
Fashion is a serious industry. It shows that this is a job not just a hobby. We believe this is a positive message.



Project Runway
- 3 minute clip
December 1, 2004 to present
Reality Competition → Job Search
Age Range: Late teens to early twenties
→ That is around the age of the contestants and fashion is popular among young people.
Fashion is a serious industry. It shows that this is a job not just a hobby. We believe this is a positive message.



Keeping up with the Kardashians
-
3 minute clip
October 14, 2007 to present
Documentary Style→ Celebrities
Age Range: 15 and up
→ There is cursing and drinking but anyone who wants to be them will watch because they are amusing and one can get attached to them easily
The Kardashians are really just like us (except not really)



Duck Dynasty- Full Episode
March 21, 2012 to present
Documentary Style- Professional activity
Age Range: 13 and up
→ It is about a family but there is some rude humour and most of the family is older.
Their goal is to show the wholesome and hilarious values of American redneck duck hunters


The Bachelor- 6 minute clip of a few different scenes
March 25, 2002 to present
Reality Competition → dating based competition
Age range: 16-35
→ There are some inappropriate language on this show including cursing and talking about intercourse , but it is also very amusing to watch
Those who watch it can be made to think that true love actually does exist but this shows an unrealistic and awkward way to find it.


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