Children's Television

Children’s television programs were designed to re-enforce the lessons and good behavior they were taught at home and in school. But these shows reflected the same changing cultural attitudes seen in adult primetime viewing. Over the last 60 year, children’s TV characters have changed with the times from the 1950s Western influence of Howdy Dowdy, the 1960s psychedelic sensibility of H.R. Pufnstuf, to the more sophisticated 1980s writing style of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Say kids, what time is it? It’s time to celebrate local and national children’s’ programs.

Reality Television

Reality TV takes our longing for the authentic to the next level. With shows like Survivor, American Idol, Dancing with The Stars, and Fear Factor we vicariously experience the trill of mastering extreme circumstances or challenges. These programs offer the ultimate in audience identity. Real people just like us volunteering to test their mettle in insane situations, motivated by the surefire motivators of our time, fame and money. Shows offering equally menacing and difficult mental challenges such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and The Weakest Link shot rapid-fire questions – not projectiles – at us, and dared us not to blink. Candid Camera was the good-natured show that slaked our hunger for voyeurism starting 1948.

 

More recently, The Osbournes, Big Brother, Jersey Shore, and Keeping up with The Kardasians kicked it up to the extreme with 24/7 access to those living in homes wired with cameras or otherwise tracked by video crews who broadcast their every movement.