The Television Experience: The Glass is Half Full Essay

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The content of television shows today ranges from the highly probable to the highly bizarre. Characters are often put into scenarios that are either extremely realistic or totally outlandish. But no matter what the content there is something for everyone and the public keeps watching. In this day, a viewer can instantly switch from watching an hour long quasi-reality show that studies the lives of promiscuous 20-somethings on the Jersey shore to a 30 minute mockumentary that focuses on the not-so-monotonous life in the office to an hour long account of plane crash survivors and an island full of mystery. With so much to choose from, it is easy to worry about what kind of content you are feeding your brain. On the surface, television…show more content…
New Jersey native and Italian-American writer Jonathan Pigno writes, “The program should be perceived and evaluated as a fusion of circumstances that depict an aspect of life in our neck of the woods (Pigno)”. A viewer might be surprised to realize that the 20-somethings of Jersey Shore are depicting the true to life struggles of Italian-Americans growing up in “uncertain times” (Pigno). Ultimately, episodes of Jersey Shore chronicle a sub-culture situation that Americans should be more aware of.

Not only does television enlighten the public to certain burgeoning social situations, it also works to answer some of life’s tougher questions. Each show is viewed differently by each individual viewer and each viewer has a different experience inasmuch as where one viewer might watch ABC’s Lost and almost viscerally feel “a sense of directionless entrapment” (Silverman, Rader. 28), another might identify with the fear and complexity of relationships between the characters of Lost. These relationships between the viewer and the show itself are important to be aware of as they might offer insight into personal problems or help view the world from a more critical perspective. In addition to giving it’s viewers much to chew on, Lost and shows like this one feature enormous casts with a variety of personalities and racial or social identities. These types of shows are increasingly

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