Violence-a major theme in reality TV. BY: KYLE T. SHEMELIA. Jersey shore ( mtv ).
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MTV debuted this brand new series on December 3rd, 2009. The first episode garnered 1.38 million viewers. After a clip of cast member Snooki being punched in a bar leaked ,the clip went viral and 2.48 million viewers tuned in to catch the fourth episode.
MTV did edit the actual punch out after receiving criticism for the preview. Season one featured fights between Jwoww and Mike “the Situation,” Snooki and a house guest,
and Ronnie and a guy on the boardwalk. The show gained more viewers with each episode.
Seasons 5 and 6 featured a more peaceful cast, violence and aggressive behavior declined and so did the viewers. Season 5 started off strong, but gradually fizzled out; Season 6 debuted to 4.69 million viewers, but its most recent episode only had 2.41 million viewers tuned in. Season 6 also featured former wild-child Snooki pregnant.
Social Awareness- many reality programs include messages about preventing violence or anti-bullying in their opening or closing credits.
Shifting of Cultural Norms- viewers see violence on TV and soon believe it is acceptable to society, when in reality if a person not on TV were to fight like the “stars” of their favorite programs, they would most likely be arrested and face assault and battery charges.
Desensitization – the more viewers are exposed to violent behavior, the less of a “shock factor” they have when they see these acts.
“I think that the biggest danger for our society is the fact that we are really becoming desensitized to things that are really awful and traumatic to watch.”
“Things that we used to turn away from are now things that we watch on television on a daily basis; it sends a message to the viewers that its something that is socially acceptable in our society these days.”