Hollywood has lost touch with the common man. The standard of beauty and success portrayed are not the societal norm. Today’s television shows and movies are generally unrelatable and most Hollywood professionals don’t understand the struggles of life for the majority of society.
Nowhere is that more obvious than looking at the course of history of the reality show. Originally, a reality show was just that…Reality or at least a much closer version of reality than we see in shows today. Survivor brought a naked Richard hatch into our living rooms, with every wrinkle and flabby part exposed. Real world had us cheering for Pedro and booing at Puck. Our love for Pedro brought homosexuality and living with HIV to the forefront, and initiated social change. All of these characters had reality in common. True Reality that every human could relate to. These shows were edited, certainly, but although shown in their best light, these were all real people living their lives.
Over time Hollywood has put their own spin on “reality,” creating scripted and otherwise altered realities on their shows. It is difficult to find a character on a reality show that couldn’t also work as a model or isn’t some kind of a social “freak”. Our curiosity of those different than ourselves has created a whole world of reality shows spotlighting the outliers of society. While entertaining to some, these shows are hardly relatable and are just the equivalent of a modern freak show.
It is also hard for the average joe to relate to the level of wealth portrayed on these shows. These are not people that are dealing with everyday issues. The rent is always paid in their world of “reality”. Financial problems are the number one thing keeping Americans up at night, however shows rarely show the audience the reality of financial struggles or the effects of those struggles. Even in shows that portray the “average” family, there never seems to be much talk of finances. Gone are the days of Roseanne and Dan figuring out how to make it all work and taking second jobs. Now, if you want to hear about financial stuggles you will have to tune in to Breaking Bad, because the conception is that only the fringes of society have financial struggles.
The level of notoriety that can be achieved in Hollywood quickly affects those working in the industry. Writers, producers, actors, and other Hollywood professionals lose touch with the realities of everyday life as they achieve success in the industry. Fame means something different now than it did in the days before the internet and being world famous is much more attainable than ever before. Many people have been unknown to all but their friends and families one day, to suddenly become an internet sensation the next day. The fast rise to fame gives people an unrealistic outlook on life. If they are unable to relate to the common man, they will not be able to create relatable characters or portray them onscreen.
Hollywood has lost touch with viewers for many reasons. The constant push for reality to fit the Hollywood mold has made most shows and movies unrelatable to viewers. Most Hollywood insiders are so out of touch with “normal” people that their view of society is skewed. It is hard to portray reality when you have no idea what the common reality is. If Hollywood wants to get the attention of viewers they are going to have to give them more than superheroes and love stories.