Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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Reality is the New Imagination

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In class we spend quite a bit of time discussing the changes in current media and what popular culture considers “in”. And what popular culture approves of today is reality. Reality is the new imagination. Twenty years ago, sitcoms ruled the airways in both television and radio. Now the sense of realness and reality has taken the lead. Entertainment networks and shows would hire writers and brainstormers to think of new ideas for their shows. In present day, the youth’s desire to be entertained has evolved to putting twelve people in an over sized, over furnished mansion and watch the drama that results. The decades old “I Love Lucy” was replaced by “The Newly Weds” and shows as famous as “Saved by the Bell” or “Dawson’s Creek” were traded for “Laguna Beach” and “The Real World”. This wasn’t enough though. The public soon got bored with the day to day lives of teenagers who weren’t going through anything difficult and demanded further force. This is when reality shows with challenges blossomed. “Project Runway”, “America’s Next Top Model”, “Top Chef”, “America’s Best Dance Crew”, “The Apprentice”, “The Hills”, “Road Rules”, and “American Idol” are just SOME of the examples of shows that are reality based with a twist of incentive that creates a whole new scale of drama for the viewers to enjoy. Some shows have mixed scripted lines with a image of documentary style filming. Some examples of this include “The Office”, “Cold Case”, and “Modern Family”. This sense of reality isn’t held to just television, it’s also spilled over into the film industry. With the popular culture switch, producers and writers are changing their filming techniques and story lines. What started with the “Blaire Witch Project” rapidly grew to “Cloverfield” and “Paranormal Activity”. Even the Saw series have this. The writers have taken the infamous psycho character and brought him into present day. The characters in those movies commit everyday “sins” and then captured and are punished in horrendous ways. Cheating on one’s significant other, becoming overweight, and lying on one’s taxes have become punishable by death.

I don’t know where this is going. There’s not much more altering one can do to make TV shows or films more realistic. This change is a sign of mind set. Because of the access that one has to information and knowledge, we have become bored with the made up “nice” family shows. The public wants extraordinary or raw. The only thing that will insipre and prosper in this day and age is something new. Things need new offers. But what else can they offer?

Written by minisoda4

May 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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