The Reality Show in Today’s Culture

It seems to me that American TV enthusiasts are obsessed with reality shows.  Whatever topic you are interested in there is a “reality show” that explores that.  There are cooking, decorating, teenage pregnancy, fashion, travel, endurance, and talent reality shows.  Some of them are so contrived that they are beyond belief. Reality television frequently portrays a modified and highly influenced form of reality, utilizing sensationalism to attract viewers and so to generate advertising profit. Retrieved April 2009. Participants are often placed in exotic locations or abnormal situations, and are sometimes coached to act in specific scripted ways by off-screen “story editors” or “segment producers,” with the portrayal of events and speech manipulated and contrived to create an illusion of reality through editing and other post-production techniques. Retrieved April 28, 2009

Flipping through the channels, I shake my head at most of them.  However, “American Idol” has caught my attention.  It is fascinating to see people with absolutely no talent make fools of themselves on national TV.  But soon you see someone that appeals to you and you are drawn in and are rooting for them. The program aims to discover the best singer in the country where the winner is determined by the viewers. Through telephone and SMS text voting, viewers have chosen as winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, and Lee DeWyze (listed in chronological order).The show was described by rival TV executives as “the most impactful show in the history of television. “For Fox’s Rivals, ‘American Idol’ Remains a ‘Schoolyard Bully'”. The New York Times.

I think that part of the appeal is that the average viewer can have an active part in the selection of a star.  Whenever they hear a song on the radio by a winner they think the performer’s success is due in some small part to the viewer’s action.

So although I am not a reality show fan, I will make an exception for “American Idol”. One of my favorite “Idol” stars is Carrie Underwood.   Her journey took her from a small farm in Oklahoma to world-wide fame.  Here is a link to one of my favorite Underwood songs—Mama’s song. .  This song honors a daughter’s appreciation for her mom.



About smurphyrules
I love my son, my fiance, my mom and the new children that will be becoming a part of my life.

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