Reality TV in Indonesia

During my past few blog posts I have been talking about reality tv’s influence within America.  But I not only want to explore the effects reality tv has in our own country – I want to explore it’s world wide influence as well.

In the article, Indonesians Embrace American-Style Reality TV, the reality tv shows of Indonesia are explored.  Indonesia has always had their own form of reality tv shows however they do not compare to the shows currently being produced today.  In recent years the ratings of reality tv shows in Indonesia have skyrocketed primarily because these newer shows have been influenced by “American” culture.  In 2009 it was reported that around 79 reality tv shows were circulating throughout their media.  One extremely popular show in particular is called, Termekeh-Mehek (“Sobbing”).  The premise of this reality show is essentially to reunite people with their long-lost relatives or loved ones.

But the show discussed in this article I personally found most interesting was entitled “What a Wonderful World.”  This show is essentially an Indonesian version of Paris Hilton’s reality show, The Simple Life.  In both shows a young, attractive, and wealthy young girl is followed as she learns what life is like for the lower class.  But the major difference between the two is that while Paris Hilton was displayed as a ditzy dumb blonde who never truly takes away important life lessons from the experience, the young women followed in What a Wonderful World are extremely thankful for their experience.  One of the women followed, Tashia, ended her episode thanking the elder couple she spent time with “for giving [her a] precious lesion, so [she] can live [her] life.”  One major point I took away from this article was observing the differences between an American show and an Indonesian show when it comes to substance.

Another major point I took away from this article was what Eko Nugroho, the president of Dreamlight World Media, had to say about reality tv in general.  As I explained in my last post watching reality tv allows us to escape our own reality.  We are able to enter the lives of a stranger and walk in their shows for a period of 30 minutes to an hour.  Essentially we are all connected through reality tv because Eko explains it everyone has the “same dream, no matter who you are, no matter what nationality you are.”  However the majority of the world truly believe that these dreams are “American” because “Americans [were] the ones who first promoted [these] dream[s] and these values through the media.”


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