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Reality Television MEDIA LITERACY LANG AND COMP. Definition How would you define reality TV? genre of television programming that presents purportedly.

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Presentation on theme: "Reality Television MEDIA LITERACY LANG AND COMP. Definition How would you define reality TV? genre of television programming that presents purportedly."— Presentation transcript:


2 Definition How would you define reality TV? genre of television programming that presents purportedly unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors. (wikipedia)

3 History of Reality TV Alan Funt, with his 1948 TV series Candid Camera is often credited as reality TV's first practitioner (secret cameras) – Lets watch! Lets watch! What's My Line premiered in 1950; I've Got a Secret in 1952; To Tell the Truth in 1956 (brought real people into the studio) What's My Line To Tell the Truth

4 History of Reality TV (cont.) Real People and That's Incredible in 1979 and 1980, respectively, took the camera fully out of the studio to capture people in their real- life settingsThat's Incredible The Real World moved the format ahead by staging an environment in which "reality" could occur in 1992

5 Performance based (competitive survival dramas) American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Cupcake Wars, Top Chef, Project Runway, Apprentice, The Voice, Biggest Loser, etc.

6 Improvement / Makeover Supernanny, Extreme Makeover, Trading Spaces, Intervention

7 Social Experiment Secret Millionaire, Wife Swap, Secret Boss, Big Brother

8 Hoax / Hidden Camera What Would You Do?, Punkd, Candid Camera, Cheaters

9 Lifestyles American Pickers, Survivor Man, Ice Road Truckers, Swamp People, Hillbilly Hand Fishing, etc.

10 Voyeurism Hoarders, Real Housewives, Cribs, Honey Boo Boo, Toddlers and Tiaras

11 Benefits of Reality TV Extreme Makeover: Home Edition can make a positive difference in peoples lives America's Most Wanted has helped catch 842 actual criminals Secret Millionaire

12 Criticism of Reality TV What do you think would be some of the criticism of reality TV?

13 How real is it? A look at some highlightshighlights

14 Four ideas about reality tv Corporate Interest Reality as a misnomer Instant Celebrity Humiliation – blood sport

15 1. Influenced by corporate profit motive Product placement – Coke next to judges in American Idol Corporate sponsors – Home Depot for Trading Spaces

16 2. "Reality" as misnomer Unreal environments – Activities are controlled – Mark Burnett (creator of Survivor) describes his shows: I tell good stories. It really is not reality TV. It really is unscripted drama. – How its edited.edited.

17 "Reality" as misnomer Misleading editing: combine audio and video from different times to create an illusion of chronology or participant actions Restaging: recreated incidents that had actually occurred, but were not properly recorded by cameras to the required technical standard, or had not been recorded at all. In order to get the footage, the event was restaged for the cameras

18 "Reality" as misnomer Premeditated scripting and acting second season of Hell's Kitchen, it was speculated that the customers eating meals prepared by the contestants were in fact paid actors.

19 3. Instant celebrity Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a contestant on Survivor: The Australian Outback, later became a host on morning talk show The View Snooky – Need we say any more? Kelly Clarkson Honey Boo-boo

20 4. Humiliation These shows provide us satisfaction of seeing others humiliated. We watch for those awkward scenes that make us feel better about our own little unfilmed lives. Humor is added when some contestants are good humored and resilient, convinced of their own talent. Want to see?Want to see?

21 Narrative Structure Open Narrative Structure – Underlying conflict (competing for the ultimate prize) that is not resolved until the final episode The conflict is Plot A – it drives the story – Plots B, C, D, etc. are components that hold the audiences interest from week to week (confessionals, conflict between judge and contestant or contestant and contestant)

22 Types of Narrative Episodic- The show happens in episodes, while building on initial Plot A: Who will be the next American Idol? After each show, more and more people are eliminated while a select few are chosen to go on to the next level. Examples: Amazing Race, Top Chef, Project Runway

23 Types of Narrative Cinderella story line- Transformation from nobody to discovered somebody For example, in American Idol: Taylor HicksAmerican Idol: Taylor Hicks Examples: Extreme Makeover, Biggest Loser, any underdog making it.

24 Types of Narrative Talent Search – In American Idol, Judges travel all over the nation to find characters who will be able to participate in the upcoming episodes. Examples: Americas Got Talent, X-Factor

25 Types of Narrative Competition and Survival-Rival opponents compete against one another as the stakes get higher. – In American Idol, with each new round characters are forced to sing better, perform stronger, and take on the ultimate role of being America's new favorite star.

26 Types of Narrative Initiation - This occurs as contestants bloom from the amateur world to the professional world. – In American Idol, characters are initiated by competing against thousands of other competitors in ordinary settings. The initiation room is white, plain, and intimidating. One must pass the initiation phase in order to move on to the next level.

27 Types of narrative Exaggerated Crises and Resolutions- This is where contestants face drama and tears. We get to know about what individual characters are thinking and feeling before, and after their fatalistic performance, and we sometimes see the unexpected happening. Did she really get kicked off the show? Did he really win? I can't believe Simon just said that!I can't believe Simon just said that!

28 Types of Narrative Interpersonal Conflict/Tension – This occurs between the judges. As they deliberate over who should stay and who should go, tension is created between those who favor the contestant vs. those who oppose the contestant. – For example: In most cases, Simon was more than willing to cut out a contestant while Paula and Randy argued why they believe the contestant should stay. For example:

29 Types of Narrative Private Confessionals-These are composed outside of the performance chambers/ reality setting or game Example: plotting in Survivor

30 Characterization The purpose for each person in a reality TV show Usually a protagonist/main character Antagonists foils and sidekicks Example: Turtle Man, the creatures, Neal James

31 Iconography/Symbolic representation What audiences read and relate to in order to identify the medium – Celebrity judges that fit a stereotype – Contestants from different backgrounds – Stage, lighting, costumes, music that the audience expects to see and hear

32 Setting Creates the illusion of a bigger than life world A world that can only be experienced by the privileged contestants, unlike the ordinary people who watch the show

33 Style How the director gets his/her point across – Confessionals – Post-production manipulation – Crosscuts – Lighting – Physical positioning of characters – Music bed/sound effects

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