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Oprah and Dr. Phil:  Reality Entertainment

In the early years of the entertainment industry, there was a tighter reign on the movie stars and their personal lives.  There was tighter control on what was publicized.  For example, movie diva, Lana Turner, claims that she fell in love with Tyrone Power who was married at the time.  Because she was not prepared to let him go and was willing to continue the relationship, he was sent out of the country to stop their relationship.  This avoided any public scandal because Lana Turner was pregnant with Power’s child.  This example shows how the studios had a lot of power in keeping the publicity of their stars as “squeaky clean” as possible. 

This, however, started to change in the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s.  For example, when movie star, Elizabeth Taylor, publicly admitted that she was having an affair with Richard Burton, who was married, and she didn’t care what the studios or the public thought, and she and Burton were able to “get away with it,” this began a change where stars were no longer as easy to control.

For instance, the relationship between Meg Ryan, who was married, and Russell Crowe, who was single, falls somewhere in between.  It wasn’t controlled and it wasn’t the scandal it would have been in the 1950s. 

So the point of these examples is to show that at one time, the movie stars were the focus of entertainment.  Of course, they still are today. 

But because of popular talk shows like Oprah and Dr. Phil, there is an addition or an extension to the entertainment industry.  Individuals, couples, families who are not movie stars, also want to become a part of the “reality” entertainment industry.  Entertainment no longer just rests on celebrities, it now has expanded to everyday people like the rest of us.

How is this proven true?  Two great examples include the Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil.  As a fan of these two shows, I continually tune in to find out more about everyday people like myself.  Why?  Because it’s a different kind of entertainment.  It is a curiosity to see everyday people with their “real” problems and “real” accomplishments.

So with entertainment being provided in the traditional forms such as movies, and in the newly added form such as the Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil, and the many, new varied forms of reality shows including home design shows and the Internet, history has shown that entertainment will continue to be a big part of our human lives, and this includes everyday folks who also want to have a chance at the spotlight--even if it means opening up their private lives, their living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms just to be featured, for example, on a home design show.  Or to be shown eating bugs while being dumped in a pit of scorpions.  Or to discuss women's issues.  Or to reveal individual lunacies Dr. Phil hopefully can heal toward health. 

You may have your own reasons for watching Oprah or Dr. Phil.  For me, first, they are great individuals who offer a lot to society.  Second, watching their shows is a glimpse into this sometimes strange but wonderful human species, which includes ourselves.

Not only that, you might even find a guest who will inspire the next character in your screenplay.

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