Reality TV; the end of civilization as we know it or the end of civilization as we know it this season.
Ever since CBS struck ratings gold with its hit show survivor in 2000, the copycats have sought to recreate its mass appeal. The most recent attempt at reality success is the Fox Network's hit show "Joe Millionaire". Fox's recipe for success - love, hope, French cuisine, and a big fat lie. Make no mistake, people are watching, 18.6 million viewers tuned in to the shows January 16 debut and by the February 17 finale that number doubled to just over 36 million.#.
The key to reality TV's success appears to be appealing to the lowest common denominator. Face it, North Americans enjoy laughing at the shifty antics of the Reality TV's player of the week. Here in lies the problem; not that people are laughing instead of thinking, but that don't understand what they are laughing about and why they've stopped thinking.
In this light, we can view Reality TV. shows as having many of same effects as of proletarian literature, and reinforcing many of the works of Carole Pateman, and Emma Goldman. In analyzing Reality T.V's most recent hit "Joe Millionaire", many of these themes become apparent. Further, many reality TV shows also premise themselves as being democratic in nature, the show Survivor for example, relies heavily on the voting process. Does voting alone however provide a democratic nature or are the votes merely just a strategy for contestants to win.
It is not this authors contention that reality TV has the same overtly political.
messages as the proletarian literature of the 1920's and 1930's, however each ultimately reinforces certain ideals. By mindlessly succumbing to mass culture society dangerously forgoes the right to think for oneself.
Proletarian literature emerged in the first half of the twentieth century in attempt to prepare the masses for socialism.