All posts by banfulleticia

Married at First Sight (FYI)

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     The Biography network changed its name to FYI and changed its programming in an effort to attract a new audience. One of the shows that this network has created is Married at First Sight. I am sure this show is going to get a lot of attention, but is it really ethical to ask people to get married for our entertainment?

     The premise of this show is that a group of four experts evaluate individuals and then attempt to find them their perfect matches. Once these matches are found, the couples get married without meeting each other or knowing anything about one another prior to the wedding. The couples then live together for four weeks. At the end of the four-week period, they must decide if they want to stay married or if they want to get a divorce.

     One of the women on the show is Jamie Otis, a former Bachelor contestant. On The Bachelor, Ben eliminated Jamie after an extremely awkward kiss that made viewers cringe. Then she appeared on a Bachelor spinoff called Bachelor Pad where she fell for womanizer Chris Bukowski.  Seeing Jamie on Married at First Sight made me wonder if she is just really desperate to get married or if she just really enjoys being on television.

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(Jamie talking to Ben on The Bachelor)  

     In the premiere episode of Married at First Sight, we see Jamie walk down the aisle and finally meet Doug, her match. Doug seems pleased with his bride; he finds her to be very attractive. Jamie, on the other hand, does not seem pleased. In fact, she can’t stop crying. She says that while personality is more important to her than looks, because she does not know her groom, it would have helped her out tremendously if she found him to be attractive.

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Two other couples are matched up as well in the first episode, but viewers will not see them meet one another until the second episode. It will be interesting to see their reactions to one another.

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SMPA Social Final Project

Convergence culture is when old media and new media collide (Jenkins). My blog is an example of that. It is a blog about television and essentially showcases how television (old media) has a place on the internet (new media). The same also works in reverse, with the internet also making an appearance on television. 

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It’s not just my blog though. .gifs from several television shows have made their way onto several blogs and websites. Individuals also use these .gifs on social media sites like twitter, tumblr, and Facebook to make a point and to describe how they feel.

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For example, if my friend posted something on Facebook, instead of saying I told you so, or I knew you would get that job you applied for, I would just post this .gif from Modern Family. 

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Having television and the internet interact is becoming the norm. We can perhaps see it the best when people go on twitter to live tweet their favorite shows. 

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People who live tweet television shows are an excellent example of a crowd/mob (Butsch). In the case of Scandal, they come together on Thursday nights at 10pm and experience strong emotions about the show. They form very quickly and are temporary. Once the show ends they disband.

Scandal has perhaps the strongest presence online. 

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And it is not just scandal. Several other shows experience a large amount of live tweeting when they are on air.

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Twitter is a great place to see television and the internet colliding in real time. 

 

Self-presentation is important when it comes to social media (Ellison & Boyd). Celebrities have a huge presence on social media. For reality television stars, social media gives them the opportunity to show a different side of themselves. If you are portrayed as a catty woman on television, you may want to show people your kinder side on social media.

 

Nene Leakes is often portrayed as speaking her mind and being mean towards her Real Housewives of Atlanta costars. However, on Instagram she can present herself as a loving grandmother and we can all see her maternal side.  


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http://brokeymcpoverty.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/nene-leakes-glambaby.png  

The same goes for Kim Kardashian. On her reality television show viewers see her with expensive things and running a clothing company with her sisters. On Instagram she can present herself as a loving mother, something that you do not see a lot on the show. 

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The internet’s effect on television has been an interesting one to witness. We have seen the two different worlds colliding both with crowds coming together to live tweet about a show and television stars trying to find a way to present themselves on the internet. It will be interesting to see how this trend will continue. 

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)

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       I have been watching Grey’s Anatomy for as long as I remember. The very first episode introduces us to Meredith Grey, a surgical intern who moves back home to Seattle to start her internship after her mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

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      The night before she begins working at the hospital she goes to a bar, meets a man, and has a one-night stand. She shows up at work the next day only to discover that the man she slept with is Dr. Derek Shepherd (a.k.a. McDreamy), neurosurgeon extraordinaire, and one of Meredith’s bosses.

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       The show is now on its tenth season, and while a lot of people I know have given up on it, I have not. Yes, some of the plot lines have gotten ridiculous. And yes, it is almost an entirely new cast at this point. However, there is something about this show that has me coming back week after week.

       When I say that the plot lines have become a bit ridiculous, I mean it. Meredith and her coworkers have experienced a bomb in the hospital, a mass shooting in the hospital, a plane crash, and the deaths of several coworkers. How can one person experience so much misfortune? The probability of all of these things happening to one person is very slim, but these events keep the show very interesting—emphasis on very.

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      I personally have enjoyed watching Meredith and her best friend Cristina Yang grow and become very successful surgeons. Cristina was always my favorite character, partly because for a really long time I wanted to be a cardiothoracic surgeon and seeing that position occupied by a strong female character made me happy. Although she claimed to only care about her career, seeing Cristina always have Meredith’s back showed viewers that she did have a human side, making her a well-rounded character.

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     Apparently this season is Cristina’s last one, and I am sad to see her go. I do not think the show will be the same without her. It is really sad that so many characters come and go on this show. As a viewer you become attached to these characters. You are happy when good things happen to them, and you cry when they feel pain. It feels almost cruel to have Cristina taken away not long after we have lost so many of the former main characters.

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     I am curious to see how they get rid of Cristina on the show. My guess is that she will be hired by a different hospital, but with this show you never really know. She could contract a deadly strain of bacterial meningitis; the writers are unpredictable.

     This season is coming to a close. The season finale is scheduled for May 15th. I wonder how this season will wrap up. I have a feeling that it will be very dramatic. With what has happened in past seasons, literally anything is possible.

The Challenge: Free Agents (MTV)

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         It’s my favorite time of the year! MTV’s The Challenge is back. For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, this show is amazing! It is a combination of everything I want in a reality television show. It essentially combines The Real World, Survivor, and American Gladiators in one show. What more could a girl want?

       The show originally premiered in 1998 under the title Road Rules: All Stars. For The Challenge’s second season it was renamed Real World/Road Rules Challenge and the name stuck until the show’s 19th season when it was simply renamed The Challenge.

           The Challenge, back when it was named Real World/Road Rules Challenge would take former cast members of MTV’s two reality shows, The Real World and Road Rules, and make them compete in physical challenges and puzzles, similar to the format of Survivor. At the end of each episode, whoever lost that week’s activity was put up for elimination. The group then voted on an individual to battle that losing person in the elimination round. The winner of the elimination round was allowed to return to the house. The loser went home.

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     Each year there is a different theme for The Challenge and the elimination rounds work a little differently. One year the theme was exes and the contestants were all paired up with people they had either dated or hooked up with. Another year the theme was ‘battle of the seasons’ and the contestants competed in teams with their former Real World cast mates. This is part of the reason why the name of the show was changed to simply The Challenge. Road Rules was cancelled in 2007 and the producers of The Challenge had ‘fresh meat’ (individuals who had never been on television before) compete on the show. Therefore the old title of the show no longer fit.

    The 25th season of the show premiered this Thursday, April 10th. This season’s theme is free agents. It is an individual’s game and the eliminations for this season work differently. After the challenge for the week, the winners pick two people who lost (one boy and one girl) to enter the elimination round. The people who battle them in the elimination round are completely left up to chance. Everyone who lost that week’s challenge draws cards and whoever draws the kill card competes in the elimination challenge against those selected by the winners of that week’s challenge. The winners of the elimination round return to the house and the losers go home. One boy and one girl go home each week.

 

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     I am so glad that the show is back on TV! Some of my favorite competitors have returned, but there are also some new faces. It will be interesting to see how some of the rookies (new competitors) do against veteran players.

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Southern Charm (Bravo)

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Bravo debuted this show on March 3rd and because I watch nearly every show on Bravo, I decided to give this show a chance. At first I was completely indifferent about it. I watched two back-to-back episodes late one night because there was nothing else on television. Soon the show grew to annoy me and I could no longer tolerate it.

       The first problem I had with the show was that there seemed to be no actual purpose for the show. It seemed like the producers just wanted to display wealth in the southern United States. The show followed a group of individuals around Charleston, South Carolina as they went to polo events, dinner parties, and the beach. There was nothing distinctly interesting about most of these people. Then I noticed a second problem with the show.

       Some of the people on the show looked significantly older than others, so I decided to look up the cast members online. I found all of the cast bios on Bravo’s website and I was right. Some of the cast members were almost twice as old as other cast members. Thomas Ravenel, a former South Carolina politician was 48, and Craig Conover, a third year law student was 25. That led me to ask the question, in what universe would a 48-year-old and a 25-year-old have the same group of friends?

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Here is a link to the bios: 

http://www.bravotv.com/southern-charm/season-1

Then the show got really bizarre when Thomas and another cast member on the show, 34-year-old Shep, competed for the same girl. Which led me to ask the question, in what universe would a 48-year-old former politician and a 34-year-old eternal frat guy compete for the same girl? The show just began to look extremely phony.

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       None of cast members seemed to know each other very well, and as much as some of the cast members claimed to have ‘grown up’ with the others, I knew that it was not true. The age difference between the characters was too significant for them to have ever played in the sandbox together.

       The show also presented cast member Jenna King as the edgy new girl from Los Angeles who captures the attention of all the men on the show. However, in her bio it clearly states that the 28-year-old grew up in rural South Carolina and attended college in Charleston. While she may have lived in Los Angeles right before starring on the show, she is not the non-southerner that they are trying to portray her as. She is not clueless about the way things work around town.

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I realize that most reality television shows are fake, but it seems like Bravo isn’t even trying to cover up some of the phoniness. This show is clearly just an attempt to showcase wealthy individuals from South Carolina. I understand that they need to have some drama in order to make the show watchable, but then maybe they should get some interesting cast members. The only interesting character on the show is Thomas, the former politician who spent time in prison for cocaine distribution.

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The show seems more concerned with his wealth than with his criminal past. They talk about how he is a rich guy who “ruined the family name” with his arrest, but everything is presented with a ‘poor rich guy’ lens. I feel like he has bigger concerns than what is shown on the show, but Bravo appears to be keeping things light. They have him hitting on girls half his age. I wonder if he’s only doing that for the cameras.

Survivor (CBS)

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       I realize that I am really behind on the Survivor train. The show has been on air since 2000, but I only began watching it last season, and I am hooked. I love competition shows, especially ones that involve both physical and mental challenges, so it was expected that I would find Survivor eventually. As far as I can tell (from only having seen 1.5 seasons of the show) the people behind the show have been trying to spice things up in the most recent seasons.

        For those of you who do not watch the show the format of survivor begins with two tribes with about eight or more people each. The tribes each have their own camps and they compete in challenges where the prizes are reward (fire, food, pillows and blankets) and immunity, which means that everyone on the tribe is safe for another week. The tribe that loses the immunity challenge must vote someone off that week. When about half of the people who arrived on the island are left, there is a merge and one new tribe is formed. Once the merge happens all challenges are individual challenges, meaning that only one person can win immunity for that week.

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        There are other ways to ensure immunity though. Hidden around the island are immunity idols. If you have the hidden immunity idol when your tribe goes to vote someone off, you can play the idol and any votes for you will not be counted. Once you use the hidden immunity idol you do not get it back.

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This season of survivor started off different from the rest because instead of two tribes there were three, and they were divided into beauty, brains, and brawn.

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The challenges are designed where there is both a physical component and a puzzle, so none of the tribes necessarily had an advantage. However, the brains tribe seemed to struggle a lot more than any of the other tribes, losing almost every challenge, and even struggling with the puzzles. The brains lost half of its original members fairly quickly, and only three remained.

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When this happened, there was a “pre-merge” and everyone drew different colored scarves (or buffs as they call them on the show) from a basket and formed two new tribes. As a viewer you would assume that the competitors who had a majority of their old tribe in their new tribe would form some sort of alliance with those members, but that did not happen. Instead, in the past few episodes, it appears as though people are taking the opportunity to vote off the people from their old tribe whom they consider a threat for the final merge, or whom they simply do not trust. This was made very clear when although the majority of the old brawn tribe found themselves in the same new tribe, they eliminated Cliff, a former NBA player whom they felt would defeat them in individual challenges once the final merge happened. Lindsey, whose only friend on the island was Cliff, felt betrayed and chose to eliminate herself.

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With two people gone this week, we are even closer to the final merge. Two people currently have hidden immunity idols, so anything can happen from this point on. That’s what makes this show so interesting. 

The Real World: Explosion (MTV)

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     The Real World has been on air for almost as long as I have been alive. The show first aired in 1992 with The Real World: New York. It is now in the middle of it’s 29th season with The Real World: Explosion, and it is clear that MTV tried their hardest to make the show more interesting and to spice things up a little bit.

        This season started off the way every season starts out. “Seven strangers picked to live in a house…to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.” However, it was clear that this would be like no other season. The twist this season was that their exes would come live with them. Even during the first episode, whenever the show cut to commercial, there would be a timer counting down the moments until the exes arrived.

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       One of the original seven, Ashley, had a poor habit of getting drunk and yelling extremely rude things at her roommates. In one instance, she drunkenly threw hot burger grease at one of the roommates. Ashley also ripped up Jay’s (another roommate) list of phone numbers (reality show contestants can’t have cell phones so they must either memorize numbers or have them written down). He was unable to call home, and a few days later he received a phone call from home and was told that his mother passed away from cancer. As a result of her actions, Ashley was voted out of the house by all the other roommates.

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      Instead of replacing Ashley with one new roommate, the producers decided to bring all of the roommates’ exes into the house. One girl’s ex turned down the opportunity to be on the show. There were now eleven people living in the house. When the exes arrived the show became a little boring. We had been waiting weeks for these people to arrive, but now that they were there, there was nothing to look forward to.

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      A few episodes later the audience found out that Lauren, one of the exes, was pregnant. We all wanted to know if it was Cory’s (one of the original roommates) baby. It wasn’t. Cory was completely unsupportive and mean towards Lauren. She chose to leave the show as a result.

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      There were ten people living in the house when this week’s episode started, but one of the exes (Hailey) left at the end of the episode. She could not stand to see her ex-boyfriend (Thomas) start to date one of his roommates (Jamie) while she lived in the house with the two of them.

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       There is a lot of drama this season, which is clearly what the producers wanted. It will be interesting to see if any more of the exes decide to go home. Perhaps in the end we will be left with only six original roommates.