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Reality Internet Assignment - Research Paper Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Reality TV Introduction Reality TV consists of a wide array of programs whose objective is to be both entertaining and factual. Charlie Parson’s, creator of the Survivor, contends that reality TV involves environments created by the shows’ producers in order to control the behavior of contestants (Edwards 17)…
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Download file to see previous pages Another definition is given by Jonathon Bignell, who defines it as the unscripted actions and behavior of everyday people, which are the shows’ focus of interest (Edwards 17). While reality TV’s boundaries are blurred, the most fundamental factor separating it from other TV genres is its focus on people’s situational reaction and private thoughts. Effects of Reality TV Production Elements on Non-Reality TV Because of reality TV’s popularity, non-reality TV has been forced to pick up some production elements from them to remain competitive on the screen. One of those elements assimilated into non-reality TV is the use of real-life participants. Since reality, TV’s biggest appeal is the use of real people playing their part, rather than actors, non-reality TV has taken up the tendency to create characters out of real life people (lostintelevision 1). One example of this is the HBO drama The Wire, which uses real life people together with actors to create an authentic feel in their program. The use of real neighborhoods and real occupants of these neighborhoods with no acting experience and placing them in situations like drug busts and murders, while also taking their reactions, is what made The Wire such a big TV hit. With time, these real-life characters, including workers in the Mayor’s office, became integrated into the show, adding to the authenticity of its message. Another element used in non-reality TV and borrowed from reality TV is the use of unscripted performance (lostintelevision 1). Again, The Wire is a good example of this with the producers placing real life characters in the midst of their scenes and focusing on them to see their reactions. Normally, because the people of Baltimore are used to these situations makes their reactions authentic compared to, for example, bringing in actors into these situations. However, while these situations are unscripted, the producer sets up the situations with real life events being controlled using a narrative structure carried by the actors. Another element of reality TV that has been assimilated into non-reality TV is the use of reality-style testimonials, where the characters explain their situations to the camera and the audience (lostintelevision 1), such as was used in the British Sitcom The Office. The narration is usually in the form of present tense and usually deals with what is going on as the audience watches as the narrator of the testimonial adopts informal styles of speech and communication. Surveillance or observation is another production element popularized by reality TV that has influenced the production of non-reality TV. Just as in reality TV, non-reality TV has become reliant on observation and has turned to intrusive surveillance to become more real. Documentaries have especially taken up this element by integrating CCTV images into their production. This has also introduced the element of voyeurism with the CCTV images being used for surveillance becoming increasingly intrusive (lostintelevision 1). The producer uses the CCTV imagery to exhibit something that he/she is investigating and this positions the audience as voyeurs in the situations being filmed. While those being followed do not at the time, and the cameras were not meant to pick up what they were doing, the producer eventually uses these images to create a real-life situation. Impacts of Reality TV on Cultural Norms Sex and promiscuity are some of the most ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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