Reality TV and Teens

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This is an interesting article from this week’s NYTimes that posits that reality TV has changed American teenager-dom from the time of My So-Called Life and Freaks and Geeks.

I wonder if this is a (rather extreme) example of a drawback to going beyond mimesis and straight into people’s homes for entertainment. Maybe the separation between reality and entertainment that sitcoms gave us was actually a good thing. Perhaps mimesis, in some small way, keeps us moral. We can try and be like characters on TV shows, but we can never actually have a piece of them, since they are not real. Reality TV seems like the next logical step in entertainment given the impact of mimetic shows, but perhaps mimesis creates a safe distance.

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