Television has come a long way from the first black and white silent show to its current craze, which happens to be the television talk shows. In the nineteen eighties, the daytime airwaves were monopolised by soap operas and game shows but the trend gradually evolved to talk shows towards the nineties. Being before my time, research appears to imply that the talk show intrusion of our airwaves all seemed to start with the originals such as Geraldo Riveria, Donahue and Sally Jesse Rafael. Surprisingly though, some of the morality and the topics remain somewhat similar throughout the years, such as the improvement of society and the quality of life often show on shows like the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Montel Williams Show. As we approach the darker realms of talk shows, we come to talk shows such as the Jerry Springer show.
At first impression, one may get the inherent idea that the show is basically is exploiting the misery and troubles of real life people who do not live the blessed lives that we imagine up in our ideal minds. There is no doubt to me at all that the main aim of such shows is to exploit the lives of these misfits and the more dirt the producers get, the higher their ratings. But unfortunately, it is ironic that when the decrease in society’s morals is highlighted in every episode Springer airs the producers are getting richer. Looking deeper at the show, we can safely say that the show is based mainly on relationships between people. Morality is first put into question when guests start to confess of deeds that have betrayed their partner’s trust, at this point, a fight would normally occur and the audience would cheer on the fight with shouts of “Jerry, Jerry!” Once again, morality questions the reactions of the audience.
There is no basis on what is the right kind or ideal life, but it is apparent that when the audience cheers when the guests act up, the audience is reassuring the guests that the lifestyles in which they live, regardless of how the audience truly feels, are satisfactory . Jerry Springer would end every show with his final thought and it is here where he offers advice as to what is the appropriate way to handle one’s personal relationships. Personally I think that this is a bid to enhance his already established good guy image, but what I cannot deny is most of the time, his views on life and relationships, regardless if he had a creative team working to write these speeches for him, is politically correct and it is what the audience wants to hear. His speeches at the end, to me, are basically an assurance that the values and morals passed down by our elders are still intact and they are the correct approach to life. What we need to look at is if whether there is a deeper meaning or rather if there is truth that is displayed on the show that could enlighten us about the reality of the lives of people who walk on the more controversial walkways of life.
Consider this though, as long as ratings for the Jerry Springer show are high, this would prove that society has not deteriorated to a stage where acts of orgies, homosexuality, sex changes and multiple sex partners are acceptable as we are only interested in such acts only if they are appalling in the sense that they are out of the ordinary. When the time comes when we no longer find these acts of betrayal, incest and unnatural sex interesting or extraordinary, we will know that we have sunken deeper into the pit holes of immorality as it would already become a part of life and it would be as natural as seeing the sun rise in the morningNext, we have to try to assess as to what is the reason for the insane popularity of shows like the Jerry Springer show all around the civilised world. Is there justification at all if the majority of television audiences find fights and acts of perversion interesting enough to have them religiously stuck to their