Remix Proposal: Reality TV Shows and The Human Disconnection

While I was racking my brain trying to come up with a topic of focus for my remix project, I had the Real Housewives of Orange County on in the background (yes, I am guilty of indulging in watching mindless television when I have some downtime). And as the women picked fight after stupid fight with each other, I could help but think about how much their selfish behavior was at the core of their arguments.

That got me thinking about all of the reality TV shows on air at the moment: Keeping Up with the Kardashians, all of the shows on E!, MTV shows, Bravo shows, and countless others. What was the message they were trying to impart? There has to be something, right? Maybe they’re designed to show us (the viewers) how television, and technology in general, has enabled us to connect with each other.

If that’s the case, then why are we all so disconnected? That’s one of the major themes running through young adult literature at the moment, most prominently featured in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The people in the Districts of Panem could have stopped the Hunger Games had they simply refused to watch, but because everyone was too focused on the needs of their individual families, the humanity and compassion for each other had all but disappeared.

Reality shows have the same affect on us. Each of the shows exist because they feed on the assumption that everyone wants to become rich and famous, not as a result of great talent or dedication to a craft or skill, but for being themselves.

Some of the images I’m hoping to incorporate are clips from various reality shows, such as a compilation from the Real Housewives, The Kardashians, The Bad Girls Club, Wipe Out!, and many others against a soundtrack of “Money Make the World Go Around,” the theme song from The Apprentice, or a pop song that emphasizes the selfish mentality that seems to permeate the world today. I’m also thinking of incorporating a brief history of TV and incorporating some clips from the news to begin my remix and then switch over to clips from reality TV, much like the beginning of Imagine This by Caltv.

This is a topic that I’ve wanted to explore as I’ve noticed this trend in society. It’s also one of the major underlying themes of my novel for my Master’s project. My family has always called me an old soul, and trying to fit into, or at the very least understand, this self-absorbed and ego-centric mentality of my generation and younger generations has been difficult. This remix project has provided me with the opportunity to further explore this topic. I’m excited to see how the project will turn out.

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This entry was written by juliannalopez and published on April 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm. It’s filed under Mashup, Remix, Video and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Remix Proposal: Reality TV Shows and The Human Disconnection

  1. Emily on said:

    I think this is a great idea. I hate to admit it, but I do watch reality TV (America’s Next Top Model is my secret addiction). I’m always amazed by the way, like you said, people seem to think they can win these competitions just for being them. “So what if that girl took a better picture than I did. I want this more!” I know the drama and tension on the show is just plain ridiculous, but I can’t help but watch it! They’re so self-centered and I hate them for it, but I watch them and hope they win (or, in most cases, lose) anyway.

  2. Diana Riker on said:

    awesome proposal. great idea. I’ve often thought about this topic. Is there some way you can show just how prolific reality shows have become as far as scope? I mean come on they have a show called Wild Hoggers. Also, I’m interested to know how much some of these shows are staged. Obviously Pawn Stars is very directed at this point but how much are the other reality shows. I think that it’s interesting that networks like the History Channel and the Discovery Channel jumped on the reality bandwagon. It’s like no one was watching civil war documentaries but if someone brings a civil war uniform into a pawn shop everyone wants to know how much it’s worth and are happy to listen to the history behind it. Also, I’m ashamed to admit how much I love Swamp People.

  3. cleverrealitytv on said:

    There is so much reality TV now. I know some of it doesn’t focus on a person’s talent, but some do! I think in a lot of the shows I watch I can see talents, education, experience, etc. I mean we aren’t just watching people stare at a camera, they are actually doing something.

  4. Bill on said:

    Juliana, I think this is an excellent idea and I support the idea of showing a history of television–especially reality television, including many of the important early shows, such as Joe Millionaire, Paradise Hotel, Amazing Race, etc. And don’t get trapped in the idea that reality TV is new. The fact is that we have had so-called reality TV for a very long time, only it was in a different form and we had significantly fewer channels before the ubiquity of cable, so they didn’t take up some much air time. Shows like The Gong Show, Dance Fever, Star Search, and the many that had celebrities interacting with participants, such as on Hollywood Squares, $100,000 Pyramid, Password, and many others, were huge in their day, but were more within the genres of variety or game shows.

    We have also had tabloids and gawkers and so on. These TV shows are, perhaps, moving those print media into the TV realm.

    Your challenge is going to be avoiding the cliche that Reality TV is bad and that regular TV is good (or less bad). All TV is scripted, produced, and controlled. (You might look to the documentary, We Live in Public, for some of the implications of what happens when folks are put on the camera 24 hours a day.)

    Looking forward to what you do with it!

    BW

  5. Hi again,

    You might also think about the beginning of Kony 2012 in terms of the ideas on connection. Are we really so disconnected?

    Lots to think about!!

    BW

  6. Pingback: Julianna’s Remix Storyboard « Let's Get Visual Visual

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