Reality Tv – Laguna Beach

              Reality television is a relatively new medium that affects individuals in many different ways.  For me personally reality television makes a very small impact on my life.  Other shows on television though do make larger impacts on my life.  Shows like That 70s Show and Mad Men which are not considered reality television I have watched and they do affect my life in many different ways.  For instance Mad Men has helped shape the way in which I view the 1960’s and the drastic sexism that took place then.  In much the same way reality television affects the millions of other viewers around the world.  What they see on television is what they believe life is like outside of their own secluded boring world.  For this assignment I decided to whatch a show that I had never seen before, or never whatched anything like it for that matter.  I decided to do this to help stretch my boundaries and step out of my normal shows to view something new.  The show I decided to watch was Laguna Beach.

            One way in which reality television does differ from from non-reality televison shows, like the ones I watch, is that reality television could have a stronger connection to what reality is really like to some people.  For some the façade of the “reality” in reality televions is very appearent and they can easily determine reality from tv.  For others the lines of reality and television are very blurred and often times entirely undistinguishable.  For these people, reality television takes a much larger role in their life.  Laguna Beach made a stong attempt to blur that line of reality.  The show tried to make people believe that everything taking place in the show was simply the natural lifes of all these young men women. 

            Overall I believe that reality television can be a tool that can either create or dissolve racsicm, sexism or homofobia.  Reality television is viewed by millions of people every day and therefore has the potential to make a very large impact on society.  If these reality television shows show equality then people will be more receptive to equality, if these programs show pseudo-celebrities as being generally racist, then people may be generally more accepting of racism.  When I was watching Laguna Beach I noticed that the show consisted of extremely rich people only.  This could lead to people being unhappy with their own income and may increase the standard of living for some people because they may believe that Laguan Beach people or normal people in reality, when in fact they are not. 


By Jacob Combs

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