The Perception of Reality through the Influence of Television

The author says: Even my ideal car seems to represent the care of the person I admire from television. Through an examination of the consumerist society that has been constructed by the infusion of the constructed reality of television into the real world, I can look at the way that my own life has been affected by the goals and ambitions put into motion through desires to emulate certain characters and lifestyles that I am attracted to on television.

The entertainment world has been significantly affecting the lives of Americans since the 1950s. When Donna Reed and June Cleaver wore their petticoat circle skirt dresses with a strand of pearls as they participated in their television role as the ‘average’ middle-class mother and wife, millions of women across the United States began to feel the pressure. While this was not the beginning of the media pressure on the public to perceive a happy life from a particular set of social structures as films and periodicals had been in place for many decades before this time, it was the first time when the pressure to see a successful life from a certain point of view would be a part of daily life. Television brought these moving images into the home, cranking up the pressure on a developing consumer public.

Early television did not focus merely on the promotion of an ideal. The concept of selling the products that advertised to support the program budgets was clearly evident, but selling the ‘lifestyle’ was not necessarily the focus. Early television stars that were the most popular were the ‘vaudeo’ these stars were vaudeville based comedians who translated their skills to the small screen. Stars that fit into this category include Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Burns and Benny, and Ed Wynn. According to Murray (2002), the post-war Hollywood screen hero tended to be the virile, but psychologically tormented detective. On television, however, the main male stars were&nbsp.older comedians without a sense of the ideal that was promoted in motion pictures.

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