This literature review deals with the contemporary topic of reality TV. It is particularly focused on the examination of the ill effects of reality TV shows for both contestants and viewers. The study found out that the appeal which encourages people to participate in such shows is the search for fame. It also underlined the fact that the relationship between reality TV and those who watch it was based on unhealthy motivations such as voyeurism or fake social life. Lastly, this study pointed out the disastrous consequences of reality TV, particularly on contestants which experimented psychological damages caused by unethical treatments. Television, since its beginning, has experimented various stages. From 1950 to 1970, the objective of television was to give essential knowledge to the viewers as a teacher to pupils. Then from 1980 to 1990, television became public-orientated and intimacy appeared more and more often in TV shows.
[...] Hill, A. (2005). Reality TV : audiences and popular factual television. London : Routledge. James, O. (2002, December 20). Danger : reality TV can rot your brain. The Times. Kavka, M. (2005). Love'n the real ; or, how I learned to love reality TV. In G. King Spectacle of the real: from Hollywood to reality TV and beyond. Bristol ; Portland : [...]
[...] Several authors have attempted to give answers to this question: first of all, Hill (2005) asserts that reality TV is watched for the only purpose of entertainment. Besides, viewers are every time more numerous to watch reality TV because of the identification made with contestants ( Tincknell ; James, 2005). By putting people from under privileged background in front of the cameras, the two authors recognize that it encourages fantasy especially from the young viewers thinking could be Moreover, the active role given by reality TV to the viewers is considered by several authors to be one of the essential appeals of games such as Big Brother or Fame Academy (Kilborn ; Roscoe ; Tincknell, 2005). [...]
[...] As this essay has shown, reality TV has effects on both participants and viewers, and most of the authors assert that consequences are disastrous. Indeed, to summarize the reasons why they participate in such games or why they watch it, authors agree that the two main elements, voyeurism and search for glory can only lead to damaging effects on participants and viewers. Nevertheless, due to the novelty of this topic, this essay points out a deep lack of research on reality TV. [...]
[...] Regarding what happen during and after the reality TV show, authors studied the various consequences that reality TV had on both participants and viewers. In the case of viewers, authors' point of views differs : from one hand these shows would have positive effects on audience whereas on the other hand watching these programmes would be destructive. Gillan (2005) and Roscoe (2004) concur in the idea that viewers don't have to be seen as mere victims of bad taste when watching reality TV but as a “savvy audience” who knows exactly how producers manipulate the game. [...]
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