American reality television dating game
This season, one of the stars, Chelsea, unloaded the dishwasher in her new house, watched closely by her father, who had agreed to pay the rent.“I’m just standing here, watching you pretend like you’re a little housewife,” he said, fondly.“I ,” she said, and then she drew a fine distinction that any scholar of kinship structures would appreciate.“A house_mom_.”One of the biggest differences between today’s reality television and its 1973 antecedent is the genre’s status.
She charts the various programs that punish women for their alleged greed, like “Joe Millionaire,” in which the titular millionaire finally reveals himself to be more or less broke, and “Charm School,” which promised to “tear down and rebuild” its female participants.
That show was a gleeful train wreck, powered by its female contestants’ desperation to be picked, which is to say, married.
Pozner detects a similar anxiety in a more venerable show, “The Bachelor,” which recently ended its fifteenth season on ABC.
For millions of viewers, the story of Lance Loud began in 1973, but it didn’t really end until his death, from hepatitis C and H. V., in 2001, at the dawn of the reality-television era that he helped inspire.
There is a taboo that left-leaning critics of popular culture are obliged to observe: never criticize the populace.“I think we need a new name for it,” she wrote, and in the past decade we have mainly settled on “reality television,” although not without trepidation.