Framing and Reality TV

In her blog today, Arianna Huffington asks if CBS’s new reality offering, Undercover Boss, is the most subversive show on television. It’s a provocative question, as most of us would like to think that a reality show existed that could turn the genre on its head.  Maybe spotlight some of the reality that real Americans face, rather than spotlighting primarily those obsessed with fame. In the show, CEOs infiltrate the lower ranks of their organizations, often service industries, to see how business is going on the ground. Huffington proposes that in revealing the reality and conditions of low-wage work and workers, the show allows audiences a somewhat unprecedented look at what it really takes to get by in this country, while also illuminating the stark divide between the haves and have nots.

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