“Congratulations, Betty. You have appealed to our higher natures.”

After watching this weekend rehearsals of Betty’s Summer Vacation, not only does the play parody the sit-com format, but it also seems to foreshadow shows like Big Brother or Survivor where the darker side of human nature unfolds in a seemingly utopian situation. Perhaps the relevance of reality TV is “old news” in 2007, but as the reality TV gained popularity, it was striking to hear reports that reality TV was not only entertaining, but “good for us.”

In 2003, TIME published an article “Why Reality TV Is Good for Us.” Crediting the generation of viewers who had grown up with MTV’s The Real World,

“reality shows don’t just reach tens of millions of viewers but leave them feeling part of a communal experience — what network TV does best, but sitcoms and dramas haven’t done since Seinfeld and Twin Peaks.”

Later, in 2005, FoxNews, sent medical experts to test the health benefits of reality TV.

“The resulting experience is a complexly constructed — and highly individualized — experience the researchers call “hyperauthenticity.” That viewers may be drawn by the chance to mentally “test” their behavior against that of the actual participants contrasts with the common criticism of reality TV viewers as passive voyeurs.”

To read the entire article “Why Reality TV Is Good for Us”.

To read the FOXnews/WebMD report.

-Heather Helinsky


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: