Satire Truman Show Essay

Satire Truman Show Essay-14
The film stars Jim Carrey as the happy-go-lucky insurance salesman Truman Burbank, a man whose every moment, unbeknownst to him, has been broadcast on television, turning his life into a 24-hour reality show.Millions have watched him grow up, go to school, fall in love, get married, eat, sleep, brush his teeth.While Truman comes to feel trapped in his colorful bubble, his master-controlled life is set in an environment much more beautiful than reality.

The film stars Jim Carrey as the happy-go-lucky insurance salesman Truman Burbank, a man whose every moment, unbeknownst to him, has been broadcast on television, turning his life into a 24-hour reality show.Millions have watched him grow up, go to school, fall in love, get married, eat, sleep, brush his teeth.

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Earlier this year, Norwegians stayed up for a continuous 30-hour interview with Hans Olav Lahlum, one of Norway’s most popular authors. But enough about Norway—Americans spend too much time watching television as it is.

In 2011, 2.5 million Norwegians (that’s half the country’s population) tuned in to watch a ferry crawl across Norway’s coast. The Truman Show’s central conceit—a reality show becomes a massive, generation-spanning media franchise—criticizes the habits of watching too much television—where one man’s life is exploited not for his own benefit, but for the purposes of corporations.

The show’s massive expenses (as well as the fact that it has been running for the 30 years of Truman’s life) are paid for by product placement.

The irony is that not only is The Truman Show a satire of reality TV, but also of urban planning.

The television watchers celebrate Truman’s finale, but quickly grow bored, and change the channel.

Americans might be fortunate that they don’t watch salmon swimming upstream for 18 hours, but the fact that the alternative—Honey Boo Boo and House of Cards—are much less wholesome. Seahaven was filmed in Seaside, one of Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk’s first planned New Urbanist communities, characterized by mixed uses and walkability.Seaside was designed to provide a community feel that countered suburbia, and felt authentic—not fake, like a movie set, which Truman eventually determines to be unsatisfactory.While Americans don’t watch boats for days on end, they do watch Downton Abbey and Homeland to similar lengths. It would be better if people, you know, got stuff done rather than binged on Netflix television, but regular live network shows are so inferior to the stuff produced on the movie channels that perhaps people are better off wasting time on uninterrupted storytelling and better writing than commercials and lousy writing.There’s always a choice—as Truman is given in his series finale.Truman’s character is suggestive of Jimmy Stewart’s characters of Mr.Smith and George Bailey for his boy-scout optimism and naiveté.Recently I watched the 1998 movie The Truman Show, in which Jim Carrey plays Truman Burbank, a man whose entire life is a 24-hour reality TV show. The show takes place in a gigantic domed movie set that depicts a Florida island town called Seahaven, lifted straight out of the ideal small town suburban community from the 1950s. Adopted by a TV corporation as a child, Truman’s life is dictated by the show’s mastermind, Christof, played to perfection by Ed Harris.If it ever comes to the point where people like Truman don’t even enjoy the consequences (good and bad) of reality TV, then the power of television has definitely gone out of hand. Now, it’s easier to watch television than ever before.Netflix and Amazon Prime subscribers can burn through entire TV seasons in massive binge sessions, thanks to Netflix’s policy of releasing TV seasons it has produced all at once, (including the Emmy-nominated House of Cards and the fourth season of Arrested Development), instead of timing the releases week by week. The only conclusion that can be made is that it’s different.


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