Understanding Reality Television / Edition 1

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Overview

"Popular factual programming" has rapidly come to occupy a place at the forefront of contemporary television culture on an international scale. This collection responds to this shift by analyzing the terrain of "Reality TV"-its range of economic, technological and cultural implications for our understanding of "television" as both an object of study and a contemporary cultural form. Recognizing how definitions of Reality TV are contentious, the collection examines a range of programs which claim a privileged relation to "the real," from: Candid Camera, Big Brother, Survivor, The Osbournes, The Real World and A Wedding Story, to the spheres of "real crime" programming and make-over TV. Adopting an interdisciplinary focus, these essays cover Reality TV in its myriad forms, examining historical precedents, the international nature of its circulation and consumption, and exploring the key debates which Reality TV has put on our social, cultural and televisual agendas. Topics covered include surveillance, the construction of celebrity, temporality in Reality TV, the politics of representation (with case studies considering the construction of community, women, gay identity and "class"), audience responses and fandom.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415317955
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/23/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

'Su Holmes is a Lecturer in Media with Cultural Studies at Southampton Institute. She has published widely on the early relations between British television and film culture in journals such as Screen, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television and Journal of Popular British Cinema. She is currently writing on a book on the early cinema programme on British television, and is working more widely on the subject of Reality TV'.
Deborah Jermyn is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at University of Surrey, Roehampton. She has published widely on crime and the media, and women and popular culture, including articles in Screen, Feminist Media Studies and The International Journal of Cultural Studies. She is also the co-editor of The Reader in Audience Studies (Routledge, 2002) and The Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow: Hollywood Transgressor(Wallflower Press, 2003)

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Table of Contents

Notes on contributors
Acknowledgements
Introduction: understanding Reality TV 1
1 Candid Camera and the origins of Reality TV: contextualising a historical precedent 33
2 From Ozzie Nelson to Ozzy Osbourne: the genesis and development of the Reality (star) sitcom 54
3 'This is about real people!": video technologies, actuality and affect in the television crime appeal 71
4 Reality TV, troublesome pictures and panics: reappraising the public controversy around Reality TV in Europe 91
5 'All you've got to worry about is the task, having a cup of tea, and doing a bit of sunbathing': approaching celebrity in Big Brother 111
6 Temporalities of the real: conceptualising time in Reality TV 136
7 In search of community on Reality TV: America's Most Wanted and Survivor 154
8 'The New You': class and transformation in lifestyle television 173
9 Socially soothing stories? Gender, race and class in TLC's A Wedding Story and A Baby Story 191
10 The household, the basement and The Real World: gay identity in the constructed reality environment 211
11 'It isn't always Shakespeare, but it's genuine': cinema's commentary on documentary hybrids 233
12 Big Brother: reconfiguring the 'active' audience of cultural studies? 252
13 'Jump in the pool': the competitive culture of Survivor fan networks 270
14 Afterword: framing the new 290
Index 300
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