There almost appears to be an unspoken understanding with networks when it comes to reality shows: The show make a ton of money and be wildly popular but you run the risk of being sued for practically everything. Maybe read the fine print a little closer and, for Christ’s sake, don’t sell drugs on television.
It's 1997, and Jenny Mc Carthy appears behind a crowd of several dozen men in an MTV studio, wearing a tan lace-up shirt and grabbing her own ass. To understand dating-as-sport TV, we have to start with the date itself.
By the mid-1800s a shortage of women in the rapidly-expanding West forced men to place ads like this one, which appeared in an Arkansas newspaper: "Any gal that got a bed, calico dress, coffee pot and skillet, knows how to cut out britches and can make a hunting shirt, knows how to take care of children can have my services till death do us part." Practical life demanded less romance and more of what a woman could bring to the marriage.
Flash forward to the 20th century where romance played an increasingly important role in dating.
In the 1920s and ‘30s, the concept of "dating and rating" — in which a woman's popularity, or rating, was determined by the amount of dates she had and the quality of men they were with — took hold on college campuses.
This is in large part due to the broadness of the term ‘reality television’ and the many ways in which aspects of reality and daily life are integrated into what people like to watch on television.
Since its conception, television has been portraying the lives of people through dating shows, contests and pranks, giving reality television a much broader history than most people might think when considering modern reality television and its boom in popularity in recent years.
The suit claimed “Nearly every aspect of the Series is faked, even down to the plastic surgery that one of the female cast members underwent in order to create more “sex appeal” for the show” and went on to say valuable items are often added to the storage units.By the time the word made it into middle-class usage in the early 20th century, dating began to look a lot more like it does now: two people doing some sort of activity together with the possibility of a romantic outcome.It was still an economic exchange — men, after all, were still footing the bill — but the trade-off for dollars spent was companionship, not (necessarily) sex.These competition-style reality programs, which began in the 50’s, have been a successful model for modern reality TV as we see it today.Back in colonial America, marriage was less about romance and more about men finding women who could bear children to help share the heavy workload that frontier life demanded.“It was a magic formula because, here you have a woman picking from three guys, so at home everybody's saying, “Oh, she's gotta take that number two, he's so handsome." The fact that women were making choices was a total different thing for dating,” said Jim Lange, host of the show until it went off the air in 1980.