Professional Writing: Process and Practice
EN 1700 – Fall/Winter 2009/2010 – Jan Rehner
Lecture 19 – Reality TV – March 11
- Serious TV (postman): educational programs, political programs, news.
- Junk TV: everything else.
- TV is everywhere.
- It is so common, that we are probably too immersed to think objectively of it.
- TV representations are slightly different from objective reality (viewers still
however find images familiar).
- TV offers ‘full experience’, a fake experience.
- Not experiencing the same thing as the characters in the TV.
- The blurring of the real and the representations of the real is clearly evident, we
should not be unconscious.
- Narrow content of TV, highly biased, highly stylized narrative.
o The need to close things up when writing similar to how stories on TV
have closure in the end.
- Most popular form of TV: reality.
- Most enthusiastic from viewers.
Definitions and Audience
- What is reality TV?
o Different forms
o Can be part documentary and drama.
o Wide range of productions and the quality of it.
- Common features of reality TV:
o The ordinary person put in the extraordinary environment
o Constant surveillance.
o Unscripted reactions.
o Competition among contestants.
- Reality TV is highly edited has a lot of music.
- Constructs conflicts to maximum emotional impact.
- What does reality TV provides that’s different?
o ‘Water cooler TV’: trendiness.
o Appeal: combination of exhibitionism, voyeurism.
o 18-24 years.
o College/university students
o Ethnicity is not a factor
o Slightly more women than men
o Constructed as vulnerable
Voyeurism - As cultural construct means, pleasure derived from access to private details.
- A curious peeking into other people’s life.
- Reality TV promises for the viewer to see something exciting.
- You are safe as a viewer.
- Adopts a fly on the wall perspective.
- Usually emphasizes a public rather than a public place.
- Privacy also is about intimate relationships: shared and exclusive.
- This inclu