Television 's Influence On The Audience Essay

Television 's Influence On The Audience Essay

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These days, we are surrounded by mass media. From the radio to the television and to smart phones, mass media has dominated our lives and its influence is impeccable. Television, more than just about any of the other mass media, achieves a wide variety of different goals. Television not only has the power to implant ideas into the viewers’ heads, but it can also convince and alter the perceptions of the general public. For example, take any reality television show, be it Keeping Up with the Kardashians or The Hills; these shows are almost always revolving around tensions between family relationships or romantic relationships, which are inevitably accompanied by a lot of dramatic crying and excessive gossiping scenes. When people watch these so called “reality television”, they tend to think that what they are seeing is a true depiction of reality. Some viewers become so addicted they would do anything to not miss an episode. Viewers don’t actually understand that this “reality” is only being exaggerated and heightened to keep them engaged and entertained. However, there is hope; there is no better way to expose these brutal realities, than watching episodes of South Park, a show that could arguably be called one of, if not the most influential and impactful television satire on the air today. Some people might contend that South Park is an idiotic, mindless show that provides no real benefit to society. However, Just as Professor William Young argued, “South Park is not mindless and harmful; the show, like philosophy, is a gadfly, ‘an annoying pest the goes around ‘stinging people’ with challenging questions and critical reflections’” (Young 4). I absolutely agree, while South Park is definitely raunchy and at times hard to watch...

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...king that it is real. Yes, not everyone agrees that South Park is hilariously funny and that the messages it convey even means anything. However, the thing is South Park uses clever humor, humor that makes you think. Not everyone will understand it, but there are many people out there that do. South Park’s jokes are not as obvious, as say Family Guy’s, but once one understands the message it becomes funny and all the more rewarding because it is true. It is the humor in combination with the irony and satire in South Park that forces people to critically analyze the show and find their messages about American culture, religion, racism and every other unacceptable subjects excluded in non-animated shows. Thus, it is safe to say this show does project educational values. ( starting from yes… that’s my counter argument I think? Do you see any holes?)

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