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The Fascination of Reality Television

Whether it be competitive shows such as The Bachelor or simply watching people live their lives like on The Real Housewives, audiences are drawn to watching people live under surveillance. From a production point of view, the gravitation to these shows is obvious: they are inexpensive to make and draw in a large audience. But why are they so popular and when did this trend of reality TV start? What does it say about society that we are so obsessed with these shows? Are the actions of the members on the shows a good representation of society, or are their actions a response to being under constant surveillance?

  • Hi Maddy. Just a quick suggestion. It might be worth looking at the articles and topic suggestions already available at The Artifice, some of which have a theme similar to your suggestion. Perhaps these could be combined in a single analysis. I'd also recommend reading Neil Sanders's 'Your Thoughts Are Not Your Own: Volume 2: Marketing, Movies and Music', as an insight into mass media programming. – Amyus 2 years ago
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  • Hi I am not huge a fan of reality television but my Mum is a big fan of reality show so it dd get me thinking how now in early 2000's we are getting bombarded with more and more reality television shows and when I was growing up I do not remember seeing so many (I wonder if I just did not notice it or was there less on in the late 1900s). Even though as I said reality television is not my thing it would still be interesting to see why we are seeing so many of them now. – Melver 2 years ago
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