Do you remember…

Video Killed the Radio Star“?  It was the first video played on MTV, August 1, 1981…music and music television has come a long way since…today, they don’t play much music!  I’m beginning to feel like “Reality TV killed the TV Star”.  Have you noticed how much “reality” programming is on your television?

Reality television can find it’s roots in radio…in 1948 when Allen Funt produced a radio show called “Candid Microphone” then switched over to television with a new show called “Candid Camera”.  This show ran to May of 2004 and portrayed real people’s reactions as they were pranked or involved in awkward, comical, outrageous or abnormal situations.  Considered to be the very first reality television ever produced it’s precedence and innovation is still felt as the American public watch numerous shows each week that are considered reality television series.

Wordiq.com calls reality television “a genre of television programming in which the fortunes of “real life” people (as opposed to fictional characters played by actors) are followed.”  Wikipedia lists reality television as “a type of television programming that presents purportedly unscripted melodramatic or “humorous” situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors, sometimes in a contest or other situation where a prize is awarded”.

Viewers are attracted to this particular type of television series for a myriad of reasons. But the popularity has increased over time and the genre continues to evolve as producers brainstorm up scenarios and premises for new shows each week. The genius in producing this type of programming is that it can be customized to any viewing audience, of any age and interests including cooking, dancing, survival, fashion, home improvement, adventure, family life, weight loss etc.

The popularity of a reality TV series is directly affected by the level of involvement of the audience and the  subjects that are explored as the cast of show interacts. The audience must connect with the characters on some level for the show to be successful. Reality shows in recent years have incorporated audience interaction methods in the form of voting online or texting as a method of determining the outcome of the show.

This voting may be used for ratings, elimination of a cast member, or in some other aspect of the show. Viewers are often encouraged to interact on social media sites and receive updates concerning the show which entices the audience to have a heightened sense of involvement in their favorite shows and retain the interest of the viewers. This interaction also provides data to producers to determine what types of programming viewers might want to see in the future.

The more popular a series becomes, it can be syndicated to a national audience, spinoff shows created, and in the end spill over into other media outlets such as video and dvd sales. Merchandising is incorporated to cash in on the show’s popularity. As a show declines in popularity it may be cut from a network or bumped to a less desirable time slot.

Audiences are drawn to reality shows for the drama, shock factor, raw human emotion, to see how every day normal people react to abnormal situations using their personal morals and decision making skills. This leaves the viewer at home wondering how they themselves would have handled the situations they see portrayed on the screen and is generally discussed between friends and coworkers the next day.

As reality television shows branch out into every possible subject matter, social boundaries are tested and acceptable moral codes are broken as producers attempt to create shows that will compel the interest of the American viewing public. The affect that this has on the younger generations is more pronounced as they are more susceptible to the influence of these shows…for better or worse.

Ultimately as a source of entertainment audiences are affected by both the negative and positive natures of these shows. Repeated and regular exposure to either type will influence those watching and result in the imitation of good or bad qualities exhibited by the characters on these shows.

Some level of scripting or directing is involved in the production of a reality television series it is regularly argued that they are not in fact based on reality and will result in the audience believing what they seen on the television screen to be completely normal, acceptable and real…when the truth is that all of these shows contain an element of embellishment to make the show more enticing to it’s viewers.

Reality (pun intended) is reality television shows are less expensive to produce and can have a much larger payout over time depending on the level of popularity of the show. This makes it a steady source of income for most television networks and will continue to be used to grow their business in the future. For good or bad reality television shows appear here to stay and will continue to evolve with it’s audiences as controversial and important topics are explored through this unique social media outlet.

I admit, I love HGTV and my favorite “make-over” “reality” show has been What Not To Wear for many years, but do we really care about Honey Boo Boo?  Why does anyone want to keep up with the Kardashians?  Or do we need to know more about multiple women marrying 1 man on Sister Wives?  I wonder…is the fact that Snooki even exists as a television personality truly a sign of the Apocalypse?

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Vicki Reed

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Do you believe?

I read this story on Facebook today…don’t know if it’s true, but I choose to believe that there there is a greater being guiding our lives.  Many of you know (many of you may not…), but I have struggled with my faith for some time and have only recently began the trek back to the fold and putting my faith and future into God‘s hands.  The beginnings of this journey have been amazing and the more I walk in faith the greater my life is becoming.  Read this story, it may warm your heart…it may make you cry (I did, but I cry at commercials!) or you may not care, but I do and hope to be able to repay all of the love and support my family, friends and fellow Keller Williams agents have shown me during this past year…enjoy:

Good morning said a woman as she walked up to the man sitting on the ground.

The man slowly looked up.

This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new.. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life.

His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before.. “Leave me alone,” he growled….

To his amazement, the woman continued standing.

She was smiling — her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. “Are you hungry?” she asked.

“No,” he answered sarcastically. “I’ve just come from dining with the president. Now go away.”

The woman’s smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm.

“What are you doing, lady?” the man asked angrily. “I said to leave me alone.

Just then a policeman came up. “Is there any problem, ma’am?” he asked..

“No problem here, officer,” the woman answered. “I’m just trying to get this man to his feet. Will you help me?”

The officer scratched his head. “That’s old Jack. He’s been a fixture around here for a couple of years. What do you want with him?”

“See that cafeteria over there?” she asked. “I’m going to get him something to eat and get him out of the cold for awhile.”

“Are you crazy, lady?” the homeless man resisted. “I don’t want to go in there!” Then he felt strong hands grab his other arm and lift him up. “Let me go, officer. I didn’t do anything.”

“This is a good deal for you, Jack” the officer answered. “Don’t blow it..”

Finally, and with some difficulty, the woman and the police officer got Jack into the cafeteria and sat him at a table in a remote corner. It was the middle of the morning, so most of the breakfast crowd had already left and the lunch bunch had not yet arrived…

The manager strode across the cafeteria and stood by his table. “What’s going on here, officer?” he asked. “What is all this, is this man in trouble?”

“This lady brought this man in here to be fed,” the policeman answered.

“Not in here!” the manager replied angrily. “Having a person like that here is bad for business..”

Old Jack smiled a toothless grin. “See, lady. I told you so. Now if you’ll let me go. I didn’t want to come here in the first place.”

The woman turned to the cafeteria manager and smiled……. “Sir, are you familiar with Eddy and Associates, the banking firm down the street?”

“Of course I am,” the manager answered impatiently. “They hold their weekly meetings in one of my banquet rooms.”

“And do you make a godly amount of money providing food at these weekly meetings?”

“What business is that of yours?”

I, sir, am Penelope Eddy, president and CEO of the company.”

“Oh.”

The woman smiled again. “I thought that might make a difference.” She glanced at the cop who was busy stifling a giggle. “Would you like to join us in a cup of coffee and a meal, officer?”

“No thanks, ma’am,” the officer replied. “I’m on duty.”

“Then, perhaps, a cup of coffee to go?”

“Yes, ma’am. That would be very nice.”

The cafeteria manager turned on his heel, “I’ll get your coffee for you right away, officer.”

The officer watched him walk away. “You certainly put him in his place,” he said.

“That was not my intent. Believe it or not, I have a reason for all this.”

She sat down at the table across from her amazed dinner guest. She stared at him intently.. “Jack, do you remember me?”

Old Jack searched her face with his old, rheumy eyes. “I think so — I mean you do look familiar.”

“I’m a little older perhaps,” she said. “Maybe I’ve even filled out more than in my younger days when you worked here, and I came through that very door, cold and hungry.”

“Ma’am?” the officer said questioningly. He couldn’t believe that such a magnificently turned out woman could ever have been hungry.

“I was just out of college,” the woman began. “I had come to the city looking for a job, but I couldn’t find anything. Finally I was down to my last few cents and had been kicked out of my apartment. I walked the streets for days. It was February and I was cold and nearly starving. I saw this place and walked in on the off chance that I could get something to eat.”

Jack lit up with a smile. “Now I remember,” he said.. “I was behind the serving counter. You came up and asked me if you could work for something to eat. I said that it was against company policy.”

“I know,” the woman continued. “Then you made me the biggest roast beef sandwich that I had ever seen, gave me a cup of coffee, and told me to go over to a corner table and enjoy it. I was afraid that you would get into trouble… Then, when I looked over and saw you put the price of my food in the cash register, I knew then that everything would be all right.”

“So you started your own business?” Old Jack said.

“I got a job that very afternoon. I worked my way up. Eventually I started my own business that, with the help of God, prospered.” She opened her purse and pulled out a business card.. “When you are finished here, I want you to pay a visit to a Mr. Lyons…He’s the personnel director of my company. I’ll go talk to him now and I’m certain he’ll find something for you to do around the office.” She smiled. “I think he might even find the funds to give you a little advance so that you can buy some clothes and get a place to live until you get on your feet… If you ever need anything, my door is always opened to you.”

There were tears in the old man’s eyes. “How can I ever thank you?” he said.

“Don’t thank me,” the woman answered. “To God goes the glory. Thank Jesus…… He led me to you.”

Outside the cafeteria, the officer and the woman paused at the entrance before going their separate ways….

“Thank you for all your help, officer,” she said.

“On the contrary, Ms. Eddy,” he answered. “Thank you. I saw a miracle today, something that I will never forget. And.. And thank you for the coffee.”

God is going to shift things around for you today and let things work in your favor.

God closes doors no man can open & God opens doors no man can close..

Thoughts?  Would love to hear from you…

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Vicki Reed