The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #63.1: Reality Television

General Introduction
– And you know what that means!
– Backlog of emails
– A female listener!
Toward a Christian Conception of Satire
– A long digression about Steve Taylor
– Post on our message boards
– A long digression about academic conferences

Defining Reality Television; or, Is Michial a Hypocrite?
– No scripts for actors
– Scripting and editing
– The affordability of reality TV
– Stupid teenagers

Tracing It Back to Its Source
An American Family
– Revolutionary and controversial
– Documentary vs. reality television
– Striving for something higher
The Real World, Gilmour’s favorite

The New Game Shows
– How Millionaire changed everything
– Surfeit of time
– Lack of screening
– Contempt and admiration
– In praise of The Weakest Link
The Real World with a prize
Fear Factor as the end of civilization
– How Kurt Cobain is implicated in all this
– Dating shows

The E!-ification of Cable Television
– Nathan defends Kim Kardashian
– Two sorts of celebrities
– On the rise of the celebrity dating show
The Soup

Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children?
– Facebook as reality television democratized
– The American Idol phenomenon
– Nathan Gilmour’s karaoke picks
– Celebrity narcissism
– Major and minor fame

Recommendations
Project Runway, for very strange reasons
The Weakest Link, again
Penn and Teller Tell a Lie, if you can stand Penn Jillette
– Morgan Spurlock: Good or evil?

6 thoughts on “The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #63.1: Reality Television

  1. Interesting episode. I continue to wonder how pervasive and damaging this vicarious entertainment is to our culture. I’m not optimistic (but then, I never am).

    Yet I contribute to it! I wanted to mention one reality show that my wife likes that does have a positive goal, and that is, “The Biggest Loser.” Yes, it can be terribly cheesy at times, but the whole point is to help dangerously overweight people get into shape and reform their lifestyles in terms of health. Again, VERY cheesy at times, but very positive as well. Thanks again for a great show guys.

  2. Also, to fill in some gaps that I left while recording…

    Katelyn Thompson is the CWC listener who discovered us through their show. Thanks for listening, Ketelyn!

    James O’Keefe is the kid who records and edits sting-videos for various right-wing causes.

    I still can’t run down that Vonnegut quote, though I remember it like I read it yesterday.

    And to finish up my scattered thought on Facebook, the study’s thesis was that, for young folks who want fame most of all (as opposed to the sorts of success that the Harvard-bound are after), posting notorious things on Facebook is a shot at achieving “viral video” status and thus worth what little prospects for success, a good reputation, or other such goods that life seems to offer.

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