Brainwashed: The Reality in Television Programming
Television has been around since the early 1950s and since then has changed the human social experience today. Instead of getting your exercise you can watch others struggle to lose weight. Instead of hanging out with your friends, you can watch seven strangers share a summer beach house. Instead of living your life, you can watch others live theirs. This is what comes from Reality television in the twenty-first century, and it's only getting worse for the minds of teenagers and up. Here's my question though: What makes it so addicting?
I too am an avid Reality TV watcher, and even though I'll shake my head and claim that I can't stand it, I still find enjoyment out of the random pugnacities between Snooki (Jersey Shore) and her so-called "besties". How is it that audiences get so sucked in by these pointless charades that make us tune-in for more every week? MTV'S hit reality series "Jersey Shore" has come a long way since 2009, breaking Thursday night records in its 10 PM time slot. What makes visiting the Shore every Thursday night so tempting is the way it's presented to us: very raw and very explicit. Even though MTV manages to block out just about everything, it's still bad enough to make viewers feel more mature about their age, especially younger teens. The show, which was only supposed to last one season showing the fun in living with young Italians, became offensive to Italians very quickly. Spurring out of control with its series premiere, it became shocking to audiences that MTV allowed the word "Guido" to play on the air. "Guido", being a term just as offensive as the "F" word to homosexuals and the "N" word to African-Americans, Italian-Americans didn't take the use of the word lightly. So what keeps a series so offensive on the air? In the article, "Embrace or Reject" by Caryn Brooks, a quote from MTV'S big-star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino states his opinion saying that a Guido is, "...a good looking Italian-guy." The crazy partying and offensive satires in "Jersey Shore" are not alone with TV programming now-a-days, in fact, it's only the beginning of the worst.
The controversial simulations that come from "Jersey Shore" is not the only show MTV struggles to endorse. Their new series, "Skins", which is scripted and not "real" was backed against even before it premiered in the beginning of 2011. With less than ten episodes aired, it's made its mark on television sacrilegiously violating child pornography laws. The new series, adapted from the British series created by Bryan Elsley (also creator of the American version as well) defends his show passionately, but, how long can he keep it up for until his show is destroyed by controversial errors? In the article, " 'Skins' Boss Defends His Racy Show", by Judy Berman, she mentions that one of the most recent episodes of "Skins" prompted worry for MTV because, as Berman states, "The episode contains, among other things, a scene in which a 17-year old actor is seen naked from the back, as he runs down the street, having been locked out of his house by an intruder". The scene altogether sounds pointless to me, but, Elsley then comments the episode saying, "It's about a boy who is abandoned by his mother...How he deals with that and how his friends come to realize that this happy-go-lucky boy has led an incredibly sad and fractured life." With a plot so grave and serious-minded, you'd think teenagers would be able to feel for these characters and maybe learn something, but, the show instead obliterates itself with the incongruous mishaps unsuitable for their age.
The disparities that come from "Skins" and "Jersey Shore" is that "Skins" is scripted television, meaning it's mapped out before being filmed, while "Jersey Shore" is reality television, and played out wherever the cast decides to go. The two shows have both faced serious hullabaloo but what "Skins" is able to do that "Jersey Shore" can't is ease down on the earthy behavior contained it its episodes. "Skins", not being reality, has the adeptness to adjust its scripts to shy away from public intoxication. "Jersey Shore", however, being reality television can't mechanism it's comportment because it's about witnessing real-life people wreckage away their lives. While both kinds of television can be bad for teenagers, you could say that scripted television is much more suitable because you could call it "fiction". Even reality TV can sometimes be framed for its outline but young teens believing what their seeing could think that because it's "real" it's okay to do. The reality in television can brainwash young adults into thinking their old enough to portray what their seeing, but is what their seeing something that should be cancelled altogether? Why do channels like MTV allow such series to stay fit when it not only makes them look cruel but embraces teens into doing things they shouldn't.
No matter what happens, television will probably get worse for the minds of teenagers today over the years to come. What we've seen from MTV and any other television programming channel is only the beginning, and what we have witnessed feels like as worse as it can get.
As bad as it is, "Jersey Shore" can sometimes be the least entertaining. It's stupidity is laughable and the cast can sometimes create a good show. Visiting the Shore once a week isn't a habbit, I watch the show because it's trashy, vile behavior issues soak my attention easily and after everything I've mentioned above, you'd think I'd be against the show, but it's actually the complete opposite. I may be against the way the show is presented for mostly young audiences (both this and "Skins") and I also believe it affects the minds of young audiences as well. But, I still can't get enough from these idiots. I can probably handle one more season of it, then I'll stop caring. Until then, I don't mind taking out the trash.
This review was presented mostly on compare and contrast between reality TV and scripted TV...Jersey Shore was just a good show to put this under.
Thanks for the read!