Some folks can’t get enough of the “reality TV” format, and others just cringe.
Though viewer tastes may wander between singing competitions, real housewives and the Louisiana bayou’s upper crust, reality programming seems firmly entrenched.
During an informal request to Daily Press readers on Facebook to name some of their favorite reality shows, preferences spanned the major networks and basic cable.
Restaurateur Albert Soto had this to say: “Restaurant Impossible and the Duggars 19 Kids and Counting.”
A couple of popular responses named programs with a decidedly rural bent.
A frequent favorite was the A&E show “Duck Dynasty,” which follows the Robertson family of Louisiana. The Robertsons own Duck Commander sporting goods and are fabulously wealthy, but their country customs and idiosyncrasies are undiminished.
“Swamp People,” a History Channel program about Cajuns hunting alligators in the Atchafalaya River wetland of Louisiana, also got some votes.
According to Neilsen, the three highest-rated reality shows during the week of July 8 were all on major networks: America’s Got Talent on NBC, The Bachelorette on ABC and Big Brother on CBS. The three most watched episodes for each franchise were viewed in 6.4 percent, 4.8 percent and 3.6 percent of homes, respectively.
The term “reality show” is often applied to lightly scripted or unscripted shows with unknown actors and small budgets.
But it might be argued that today’s formats are merely the logical evolution of other live productions which could be called “reality TV.” Sports broadcasting, game shows and late night talk are as old as TV itself. The open-ended story lines of many reality series are reminiscent of soap operas.
Does reality TV include coverage of the U.S. Congress? Michael Stopp wrote that he loved “C-Span 2, you never know what they’re gonna do? Though usually nothing….”
Tony O’seland said, “Antiques Roadshow” and “American Pickers” are watched on occasion in his home.
“But I find the ‘reality’ … content on these other so-called shows to be lacking,” he added. “They want reality? Let them come watch us scramble to find the money for our mortgage so we don’t lose our house any given month.”
O’seland highlighted an alternative view held by several of the Facebook respondents: Some people don’t care for the genre.
Margie Teregon Ingram wrote, “I absolutely HATE reality TV. If I can’t change the channel, then I will leave the room.”
Some manifestations of reality entertainment may strike one as odd. Joel McHale, host of E’s “The Soup,” which pokes fun at reality TV, once quipped on the weekly series that we live in “the golden age” of abandoned storage locker bidding reality shows - with three on the air. He spoke too soon: A&E has since added two spinoffs of “Storage Wars.”
“I think the appeal of any reality show is the everyday drama of it,” said Elizabeth Cross of Tahlequah Cable Television, Inc. “On shows like the singing competitions, I think people enjoy the anticipation of who will win or get voted off. They also enjoy actually taking part in the voting.”
Cross said she enjoys a number of series on TLC and MTV, a network many credit as a pioneer of the modern reality show when it started airing “The Real World” in 1992.
MTV will soon air the 29th season. Other long-running reality programs include “Judge Judy” (17 seasons), “Big Brother” (14) and “Survivor” (13).
Longevity of the genre seems to indicate one certainty about reality TV.
“It is here to stay,” Cross said.
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Some folks can’t get enough of the “reality TV” format, and others just cringe.
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Sherman Alexie Jr., self-professed “res” American Indian, dislikes casinos, mascots and Oklahoma for stealing his favorite basketball team.
Northeastern State University welcomed the celebrated poet, writer and filmmaker to campus Wednesday, and the audience was treated to 90 minutes of witty and unblinking observation from the perspective of an American Indian all-too-familiar with life on a reservation.
Alexie, named one of the 21st Century’s top 20 writers by The New Yorker, delivered what was essentially a standup monologue to a packed house in the auditorium of the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center. Some of Alexie’s best-known works are “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” a book of short stories, and the film “Smoke Signals.”
Woman serving time for burning baby seeks judicial review
A Cherokee County mother sentenced to 17 years in prison for burning her 14-month-old baby with an iron is asking for a judicial review.
Court records show Jodi Leann Rock, 21, requested a copy of her judgment and sentence, and this week filed an application for a judicial review. Copies of her request have been submitted to a judge and the District Attorney’s Office.
Concerns expressed as SB 573 awaits House vote
With an Oklahoma Senate bill now awaiting a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, some parents are voicing concerns about the futures of rural K-8 schools in Cherokee County.
Senate Bill 573 calls for a commission to establish charter schools throughout the state. A charter school receives taxpayer funding, but functions independently. They can be founded by an array of interests, including teachers, parents, universities and nonprofits. In Oklahoma, tribal entities can establish charter schools.
Man gets suspended sentence for possession
A 37-year-old Webbers Falls man has been given a suspended sentence on drug-possession charges.
Dusty Kayl Skaggs was charged with endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine earlier this year after he and 43-year-old Misty Hayes Paden, of Muskogee, were arrested during execution of a search warrant.
NSU students observe Earth Day
Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).
Rural smallholders host annual show
More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.
Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop
Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.
Communiversity Band performs Sunday
Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
“Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
“We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”
Council concerned over reports of land contamination
Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.
Council tables cell tower permit apps
Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.
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