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The New Reality TV
How Much Is Too Much?
Reality TV. There’s sex, backstabbing, partying, fighting, love, babies…it’s the modern day soap operas. Just like the scripted over-dramatized and overly cliché daytime television, reality television has deviated farther and farther from reality.
When the genre was once supposed to shed light into the real lives of real people, we see more and more characters trying to sell themselves to the audiences.
One prime example is MTV’s Jersey Shore. I’m not going to lie, I watch every episode. I was born and raised in New Jersey and I just love to see how these “characters” portray life at the Jersey Shore. And that is why I feel qualified to talk about it.
After the first season, it was hard to not be hooked. There are people like that who happen to live in New Jersey or spend their summers down the shore. If you try to deny that, you’re lying. But instead of going on their merry way, the cast members became overnight celebrities. Now, after 4 seasons have aired and another on the way, these people are marketing themselves. They’ve got books, clothing, perfumes, tanning products and so much more.
How many real life people are doing that?
Actually, a lot more than you think.
The New Platform
Reality TV does still exist just not on the television.
There is a new platform for reality. It’s a place where any Joe Schmoe can post videos about himself just doing day-to-day things. And that place is YouTube.
YouTube is the new Google. You can type anything into the search bar and find a wide range of ‘How-to’s’ to sketch comedy to serial shows. But the biggest craze is vlogging. That is, video log.
Sprung from the world of blogging, vlogging has gained more and more popularity between the creators and audiences alike. Some rants go viral and other go unnoticed. But for those who can generate views and gain an audience, possibilities are endless.
And these people, the vloggers, become Internet celebrities who get booked for interviews, host parties and events and even market and sell their own merchandise.
One such example is a channel titled “SHAYTARDS”. The SHAYTARDS are a family from Idaho that have made it on YouTube for daily vlogging. The father, Shay (ShayCarl on YouTube), decided to make a video everyday for the last year of his 20’s. That pledge was promised over 2 years ago and the SHAYTARDS are going strong. Shay’s 3 year anniversary is coming up in March and his fans are constantly left questioning when and if he will stop.
His videos range in length but are usually around 10 minutes. They highlight his daily life with his wife, Colette (known as Katilette or Mommytard on YouTube) and their four kids, Sontard, Princesstard, Babytard and Rocktard. They were an average family in Idaho where Shay worked countless jobs to support his family. He often talks about his long hours and different ventures but now, he’s a fulltime YouTuber.
The shift in quality programming is apparent. Television will lose ratings to the Internet and these average people letting viewers into their lives will continue to grow. But if audiences are shifting to what’s “better”, television execs should take a hint.