“Reality” programming has become popular because, I would suggest, Americans at some level sense the deception that pervades public life. Especially that which is propagated by those who claim prestige on their own terms. In other words, we see through it and more clearly every day.
This is why so many look for something “authentic” or “genuine,” never for a moment considering that reality programming is also contrived. What must be reasserted is the complete falsehood of the stage. It is only through the shared and knowing fiction of intentional falsehood between performer and audience, that the truths of existence may be communicated. The ancients knew this. We knew this, collectively, up until just 50 years ago.
Perhaps in a generation, with the right education of the talented, capable and discerning young, many of whom I have met, we will see a marked improvement in the quality of aesthetic endeavor in this country. I know from experience that the shoots have popped out of the soil, but we must search for them and nourish them.