Talk shows are becoming increasingly popular and widespread forms of entertainment, however the

1700 WordsApr 23, 20197 Pages
Talk shows are becoming increasingly popular and widespread forms of entertainment, however the underlying premise behind these shows which was originally the idea of empowering individuals and allowing them to share their experiences, has been replaced by a focus on celebrity figures and largely insignificant matters of public interest. The Ellen Degeneres show is a contemporary talk show which although does include therapeutic narratives of disadvantaged individuals including Ellen’s own struggle with discrimination, is mainly comprised of the disclosing of intimate details of celebrity lives. Through her use of humour in dealing with issues of a more serious nature, Ellen provides social commentary which effectively reaches a wide…show more content…
Although it may be difficult, discussing traumatic experiences in a narrative format allows individuals to understand the causes and ramifications of their experiences and consequently begin to overcome the trauma they have undergone (Pennebaker, 2000). Ellen, herself, shares her experiences of being discriminated against due to her sexual orientation and how she has struggled with facing both her friends and family, and the critical public following the revelation of her sexuality. Ellen’s own interview with Oprah Winfrey shortly after her coming out exemplifies the benefits of talk shows which follow a therapeutic narrative structure as Oprah facilitates Ellen’s discussion of her sexuality and Ellen claims that she feels liberated as she is able to be “completely honest” and shares her story in order to “inspire others and let them know that it’s ok to be gay” (Lolluzza91, 2013). However, Ellen does not assist in the restorative process an individual undergoes on her own talk show through adopting a therapeutic narrative format but rather attempts to support individuals through providing financial aid. Hence, although Ellen may encourage individuals to come out and share their experiences of discrimination, she does not provide them with a sense of how to deal with their situation or obtain closure, but instead rewards them for what she considers their ‘bravery’. Although the Ellen Degeneres show tends not to provide a therapeutic outlet for individuals, it

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