Reality Television/Docu-Series Television

While reading Here’s What Happens When Fashionistas Finally See The Sweatshops Where Clothes Get Made and Anthony Bourdain and President Obama on Parts Unknown Season Premiere it made me think about how documentaries enable us to see what other parts of the world is like.

For majority of the population of the world, being able to travel and see other parts of the world isn’t always a possibility. With documentaries they are able to. When watching the documentaries they can also learn about some of the social issues that are going on. One of the social issues that was talked about in the film was sweatshops.

The points that the documentary made about sweatshops were very valid. It was also shows what life-style the people who work in the sweatshops live like. What the documentary misses is that the three people who went to visit the sweatshops visited there for four weeks, yet only showed about 50 minutes of them living there. What did the film crew film that didn’t make the cut to be in the docu-series? Even though they didn’t show everything that was filmed in the four weeks, the docu-series showed the people who watch the series about what it is really like working in a sweatshop.

The other article that spotlights the influence that Anthony Bourdain has in the television world. It’s pretty amazing that he was able to have the president of the United States of America on his premier of his own television show. His television show not only highlights only a portion of the food that is from that country, but also some of the social issues that happen in that country. Something that comes with watching documentaries, is knowing that there is always a bias. No matter how much the producers of the show try to make the show un-biased there is always a bias. Bourdain in the show can come off as biased and even naïve. A specific example of this is in the episode of when Bourdain is in Beirut in Lebanon. In this episode Bourdain is talking about how great it is in Lebanon, when he was having lunch with a woman. When he was having lunch, the woman explained that he didn’t live in Lebanon so he doesn’t really get the full impact of living there. This shows that it might be really nice to visit a country, but it is never like living in that country for an extended period of time.

Watching episode in both of these docu-series is that you need to always remember that the show has a bias. You should know that there is a bias in this show even though they try to have a show that doesn’t. These docu-series do show a part of the world that majority of the population doesn’t have the possibility to see since they don’t have the means to. With watching these shows, they are able to educate themselves about world and see a different view point as they would see from just watching the local news.


One thought on “Reality Television/Docu-Series Television

  1. This is the issue with any medium really. No matter how objective the creators try to be, there will always be bias because of editing. Something has to be cut. Sweatshop was heavily edited, and it does make us wonder what happened the rest of the time they were there, but at least it is a reality show that is trying to take on a social issue, and in many ways call into question our own Western ignorance about issues like the realities of sweatshops. So, while maybe watching three wealthy teens doesn’t give a total view of the situation, what it does do is show us how naive we are about the issue.

    Bourdain is much more realistic, but he loves to travel and meet people, and he doesn’t shy away from hard questions. But, he is innocent in some ways because he doesn’t really think about what it is like to live on a “volcano” (as the woman put it) all of the time. What he does well is give us insight into other cultures since the average American will never get to travel to these places, and perhaps he is able to show us how people across the globe are more like us than different.



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