The city of Atlanta, Georgia is home to over 430,000 residents and is constantly growing in popularity among young adults. Atlanta, Georgia is also referred to as the “Dirty South” and houses some of the music industry’s most notable artists, such as 35 year old rapper Ludacris, 27 year old singer and dancer Ciara, and rapper T. I. who is known as the “Prince of the South”.
Presently, Atlanta is becoming a common setting in a variety of reality television shows that allegedly portray the lives of individuals who currently reside in the state capital. For example, Bravo TV’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and the “Kandi Factory”, VH1′s “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta”, and most recently, Married to Medicine, are reality television shows that are based off of the lives of the “elite” in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Married to Medicine” follows the lives of six women: board certified OGYN Jacqueline Walters, Kari Wells, the CFO of her husband’s practice, Mariah Huq, the wife to Dr. Aydin Huq a Bangladeshi E.R. physician, Quad Webb-Lunceford, the wife of a psychiatrist, Simone Whitmore, an OBGYN, and Toya Bush-Harris, the wife of an E.R. emergency physician. Their family interactions and social lives are documented extensively throughout the series.
Initially, the show appears to separate itself from the previous installments of the portrayal of Atlantans due to the fact that it features extremely affluent and well-educated doctors who succeed in their craft. Quickly, Married to Medicine’s message becomes convoluted and is lost in the midst of drama that is seen in almost every reality television show: cat fights, cliques, and divisiveness among the women.
Also, there appears to be a social hierarchy among the women because some of the women featured in the television show are not physicians, but merely the wife’s of doctor’s, therefore, their lifestyles are essentially provided for them rather than earned. Instantly, the city of Atlanta’s current popularity among reality television has elevated the social pressure for its residents to live lavishly and adhere to the standard of living that was portrayed on certain episodes.
However, many critics disagree with the way Atlanta is portrayed by reality television and many openly reject the lifestyles of certain cast members. The Bravo TV network is essentially the mecca for reality television shows that derive from Atlanta, Georgia considering the extreme popularity of The Real Housewives of Atlanta produced several spinoff shows for several cast members.
“Married to Medicine” may not be a seemingly inaccurate depiction of Atlanta’s elite, but Love & Hip Hop, for example, has been noted as a poor citing of the portrayal of black women. In conclusion, reality television shows based off of the lives of Atlanta residents are slowly but surely revamping the public’s opinion about Atlanta’s social life and the lives of African-Americans.