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Hey,...Why isn’t there a section on Big Brother?
Posted: 11 August 2012 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Does anybody watch reality television? Can you admit it to anyone?

I’m watching the new season of Big Brother as I do all seasons. The last few were kind of boring and predictable. But this one’s got some good twists so far. When I first discovered these reality shows I thought they were the coolest idea because they are virtually social experiments that were and still are morally contentious if they were done outside the domain of entertainment. I know that NASA had done ‘Big Brother’ type simulations to test out how groups of astronauts could handle long durations in confined spaces without killing themselves. Mundane social situations can be observed and potential big problems could be averted. For instance, could sending a single, very attractive woman in space among a crew of men present a distraction problem? Or would it enhance their efforts?

Although you can learn a lot from people directly, some of these shows enables you to induce common cultural behaviors. Many complain that since these programs are precast and directed en-route (they sometimes add alternate twists or challenges based on the present events of the contestants). But even so, because they cannot hold to an experimental model that threatens or harms anyone anyway, we can still glean insight into what we do get.

So what do you think? Is there good value in reality television?

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Posted: 11 August 2012 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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So what do you think? Is there good value in reality television?

 

To sum it up in one word, Snooki.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 12 August 2012 04:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I admit to being totally captivated by Myth Busters.  I’ve worked as a welder/fabricator all my life and have a good friend that teaches electronics.  When we have time to play we build fun stuff.  The guys on the show get paid to build fun stuff.  They’re all smart and they’re secular, Adam Savage is an outspoken atheist, the women are beautiful and smart. In my opinion, the show is all about critical thinking. I think there’s real value to watching the show, it’s interesting, fun and makes me think.

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Posted: 12 August 2012 05:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Jeciron - 12 August 2012 04:16 AM

I admit to being totally captivated by Myth Busters.  I’ve worked as a welder/fabricator all my life and have a good friend that teaches electronics.  When we have time to play we build fun stuff.  The guys on the show get paid to build fun stuff.  They’re all smart and they’re secular, Adam Savage is an outspoken atheist, the women are beautiful and smart. In my opinion, the show is all about critical thinking. I think there’s real value to watching the show, it’s interesting, fun and makes me think.

Yep, a great show!

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Posted: 12 August 2012 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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On the other side, I get really annoyed when, in skimming through the channels, I run into a “reality” show and click to the next channel, and there’s a two second delay.  Geez, they are all horrible.  If I want to watch TV and there seems to be little on but those abortions, I’d much rather settle for watching fourth time reruns of Mash or Big Bang Theory. 

Occam

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Posted: 12 August 2012 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Jeciron - 12 August 2012 04:16 AM

I admit to being totally captivated by Myth Busters.  I’ve worked as a welder/fabricator all my life and have a good friend that teaches electronics.  When we have time to play we build fun stuff.  The guys on the show get paid to build fun stuff.  They’re all smart and they’re secular, Adam Savage is an outspoken atheist, the women are beautiful and smart. In my opinion, the show is all about critical thinking. I think there’s real value to watching the show, it’s interesting, fun and makes me think.

Since it is filmed in the Bay Area, they often ask for volunteers. I will be on a ‘Battle of the Sexes’ show, and my son will be on the ‘MythAir’ show this season!

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Posted: 12 August 2012 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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asanta - 12 August 2012 02:51 PM

Since it is filmed in the Bay Area, they often ask for volunteers. I will be on a ‘Battle of the Sexes’ show, and my son will be on the ‘MythAir’ show this season!

gulp

So cool, asanta! Please let us know how they go!

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Posted: 13 August 2012 03:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It fulfills a need to be a voyeur.

That’s all.

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Posted: 13 August 2012 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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First, I’m not sure i’d call MythBusters a reality show. Great show, just not anything like the stereotypical reality show where they follow the lives, fortunes, etc. of some folks in a real or imagined social situation.

As for real reality shows, when they first came out I think they were targeted mostly to the MTV generation. I thought they were exceedingly stupid to me as an adult, BUT were great for teens and young adults because they showed kids talking to each other, working things out etc.  That versus solving problems through violence.  Unfortunately I think they’ve devolved into utter garbage.  It’s as if the writers sit around and think of cute phrases, then see if they can fashion a “reality” show around the phrase.  And read somewhere that mostly things are scripted now…I mean the point of these shows is to make money. Greed won’t let some 2-bit faux-actors get in the way of the money flow so they stage things to ensure situations will have the right appeal $$.

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Posted: 14 August 2012 12:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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It’s a myth that they get scripted. At least for the shows I watch. They did have one series though where they had all actors except for a dupe and they wanted to see if he could figure it out. They made only two seasons at once without airing until both were made. I can’t remember the name now and they can’t repeat the same scenario without being discovered. It is virtually impossible for one actor to be sufficiently good enough to pull off a long-time running reality program let alone a cast of them.

They do set up scenarios, activities, games, or environment to engage the ‘contestants’ (they are usually playing contestants for some competitive prize or award). You also must audition for these shows so that they can try to bring together varying different people that the audience will respond to. It doesn’t always go in their favor and the season becomes either predictable of who might win or just plain boring because no one is causing any controversy amongst each other.

Strategy, skill, and luck all play a role on the outcome of who wins. But even where luck takes the lead, the illusion in the minds of the players keeps them strategizing which makes it all the more entertaining.

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Posted: 14 August 2012 03:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Scott Mayers - 11 August 2012 05:03 PM

Does anybody watch reality television? Can you admit it to anyone?

The closest I get to them, I guess, is the cooking competition shows. And even those are getting on my nerves. As for the ‘main stream’ ones? I’d rather have a root canal. wink

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Derek

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Posted: 14 August 2012 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Since it is filmed in the Bay Area, they often ask for volunteers. I will be on a ‘Battle of the Sexes’ show, and my son will be on the ‘MythAir’ show this season!

 

That’s fantastic Asanta! You do live where the action is. Hope you let us know when it airs. Mythbusters is a really fun show to watch. Those guys can get really crazy. I really don’t class it with the reality show genre though. Of course I’m referring to The Batchelor and Hillbilly hand fishin’.

 

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Posted: 14 August 2012 06:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I don’t have access to television, but I stream some Netflix.  They put Mythbusters in the reality show category.  My friends tell me it’s not really a reality show.  I stand corrected.  You’re very lucky, Asanta.

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Posted: 14 September 2012 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I must say when I read the title of this thread I thought this was going to be about Orwell’s 1984…

However, I don’t particularly enjoy reality t.v. It often infuriates me because one cannot say survivor is not scripted - you can’t get those camera angles and perfect dramatic moments for every episode without a script, and I believe that to be true with most reality t.v.

I do love Mythbusters however which, in a way, could be taken as reality t.v. but I think in the best possible way. Survivor Man and Man vs Wild are also ‘reality t.v.’ but it’s very hard when (in the case of Les Stroud) you’re doing all of the filming yourself because your crew leaves you alone for 7 days, to be able to script and influence much of what happens. Obviously he has access to his crew for safety reasons, but overall, I would say that that would be a reality t.v. show worth watching.

But: Survivor, Cake Boss, Storage Wars (though sometimes strangely captivating), Canadian Pickers, Big Brother (celebrity or not), The Dog Whisperer, and all these others silly shows on t.v. are precisely the reason why I’m glad I don’t have cable anymore. It makes me wonder what kind of lives we live. Someone earlier said it is simply us fulfilling our need for voyerism, whcih could very well be. I suppose I just wish that we could all enjoy life without having to vicariously live through the silliness of cable t.v.

Guilty pleasures are fun, but life is far greater than just watching representations of people through a box. Life is so great tat you can actually meet real people, but I think many forget that about the world today.

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Posted: 14 September 2012 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I remember catching a bit of something that must have been Man vs Wild or something similar. The guy obviously had a cameraman with him (it was handheld) and often talked to the camera about what he wanted to do. He was hauling a deer carcass back to his camp (this is where I tuned in) and the setting was in the middle of winter somewhere, with about 2 feet of snow on the ground. He came to a creek, and proceeded to act ilke a supreme idiot, walking into the creek and getting his carcass lodged in some brances, in the creek, instead of trying to find a way to cross it without getting wet. You know, like maybe where he had to have crossed it hours before while he was hunting. He started talking about how cold the creek was, how he could probably only last about a minute in there before going numb . . . not mentioning that once he dove in, he would anyway because his clothes will be soaked until he gets back to his camp to dry them out at a fire . . . anyway, supreme idiocy. I watched for about 2 minutes, then changed the channel.

But, I guess it was entertaining enough to hold me for that long. hmmm

[ Edited: 14 September 2012 10:03 AM by TromboneAndrew ]
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Posted: 14 September 2012 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Yeah, Man vs Wild is a little ridiculous. Les Stroud in Survivorman actually discusses what you should and shouldn’t do and though he sometimes fucks up, he kicks himself in the ass and reminds you that he fucked up.

Bear Grylls from Man vs Wild has a camera man who is just as crazy as him, jumping over waterfalls and apparently running through freezing cold creeks, lol.

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