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Thread: reality tv = fake tv?

  1. #1
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    Default reality tv = fake tv?

    i'm no cook but i enjoyed watching the new series top chef until i ran into a friend who popped my bubble. his position is that most reality shows--including top chef--is all staged/scripted.

    is this something that everyone but me knows about? if so, i'm much more gullible than i thought possible!

    perhaps some of you who work in the tv business know something about this. if so, i'd very much like to know what's going on.
    525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    We watch project runway alot.
    It is supposed to be a reality show. Looks for all the works like the kids are purely spontaneous. IF... they are reciting what they read and memorised from a script, this is the best damn acting ever.
    ok, lemme get this straight.
    (no pun intended)
    Project runway and most all other reailty shows in which all these amateurs are trying to acheive whatever goal each respective show has... is shot on a soundstage. and it is all prepped by art directors and prop matsers. and what we hear the 'actors' say, is actually from a script...


    hmmmm...
    seems doubtful. Too much work.

    THAT is why reality shows are being churned out so fast so often. beCAUSE all they need do after tons of auditioning for charismatic individuals, is to roll cameras, and edit the heck outta all the miles of raw footage which is basically full of raw spontaneous actions and reactions of "regular people"..

  3. #3

    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    Quote Originally Posted by shaveice
    i'm no cook but i enjoyed watching the new series top chef until i ran into a friend who popped my bubble. his position is that most reality shows--including top chef--is all staged/scripted.

    is this something that everyone but me knows about? if so, i'm much more gullible than i thought possible!

    perhaps some of you who work in the tv business know something about this. if so, i'd very much like to know what's going on.
    I'm not in the tv business, but here's my 2 cents anyway.

    I think the reality shows are a skewed perspective put together by the show's editors/producers/whatever, who understandably pick out the most "controversial moments" to make "interesting" tv, though most of the time I am convinced I can feel my brain cells dying as I watch this stuff.

    Therefore, stereotypes are emphasized on the shows by selectively portraying only certain moments, while filmed aspects that may conflict with whatever image of a character the editors want to project is cut out. Therefore you tend to have a clear-cut "villain," "hero," ethnic stereotyping, and other kinds of stereotyping, all of which kinda reinforce the images viewers already have and want to continue seeing. It’s definitely not blatant stereotyping all the time, of course--many times it’s really quite subtle. How often, for example, do you see the ethnic character on a reality show involved with a love interest? Unless the reality show ethnic person happens to be gay, which could generate more controversy with a US audience, you probably won’t see it, reinforcing the image of Asian characters as reserved, non-sexual, mysterious sidekicks on these shows. The ethnic characters tend to be marginalized and used as sounding boards for the more dramatic individuals. Asian characters don’t seem to have many romantic storylines of their own. This is just what I've observed, though. Perhaps somebody else can disagree?

    With all the stereotyping and “types” of characters being represented, viewers are given a very specific, and not very balanced, view of the people on these shows. You always have “the pretty one,” the token ethnic character, the ‘in-your-face, stir-up-trouble one,” the “backstabber,” etc. Sometimes footage shot days apart is stitched together to “create” a storyline, and I even recall reading about a reality dating show where the female lead didn’t like her male suitor, so they asked her what celebrity she admired, filmed her saying which celebrity she liked, then edited out the celebrity’s name and inserted the name of the male on the show, and aired that.

    I’m guessing that the amount of editing to create “exciting tv” differs by show, but I also suspect that viewers have no idea how much cutting and splicing has gone into each episode of reality tv they watch. Even after extensive time spent “casting” people on reality shows who should create dynamic tv, if the characters are not controversial or exciting enough, a little editing (or a lot!) will keep those ratings up!
    Last edited by AbsolutChaos; March 18th, 2006 at 08:38 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    Chaos is right on point. As are some of the other comments. The storylines and drama are built up through editing.....because thiese shows are not journalistic in nature, the producers can take liberties by doing such things as taking people's lines out of context and use it to create something different altogether. My favorite editing trick is the use of character's facial reactions to imply their feelings. If you are an aspiring film editor, this is one of the first things you learn in film school.

    An early Russian film pioneer named Lev Kuleshov demonstrated how "cutaway" shots could imply things simply through the images on screen, a process know as "montage" editing. A good example still used today in reality shows involved the face of an actor spliced with an apple. though the two images were separate, the viewer could possibly imply that the person was looking at, and wanted the apple because he was hungry.

    Same in reality shows. someone can say something "bad", and a cut to a disgusted look by another cast member could lead you think the person was pissed at them...even if the two images were shot in different times or places.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    thanks for the comments. hmmmmm... so it appears that "everyone" believes the reality shows to be unscripted and that things are simply amplified through editing... hmmm...

    i hope you guys are right! i'd hate to think that i was watching something totally scripted!
    525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    Quote Originally Posted by shaveice
    thanks for the comments. hmmmmm... so it appears that "everyone" believes the reality shows to be unscripted and that things are simply amplified through editing... hmmm...

    i hope you guys are right! i'd hate to think that i was watching something totally scripted!
    I doubt any are totally scripted but I do think some direction is offered and I'd even venture a guess that situations are "created" while filming. As others have mentioned the magic then happens in the editing room. Editing is a huge component for any project; film, tv, commercial, reality, documentary, you name it!

  7. #7

    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue
    I doubt any are totally scripted but I do think some direction is offered and I'd even venture a guess that situations are "created" while filming.
    I've heard comments during televised interviews that some of the situations are indeed "created". Anna Nicole Smith (or whoever she is) has talked about it, as well as either Paris Hilton or Nicole Ritchie (... ditto on an accurate name guesses), I forget which one of them it was that spoke about it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    unfortunately, i can't name the guy who told me that many reality shows are staged cuz if i did, many of you would know who he is and i'm pretty sure he wouldn't be happy about that. basically, he said that he knows someone who's currently a contestant on one of these reality shows and that that person has confided in him that it's all planned.

    at first i was really disappointed to hear that and it bugged me for quite a while. of course, i'm assuming that this guy is telling me the truth. there's no way i can be absolutely sure that he's not making this up. on the other hand, most people who commented on this issue believe that it's usually not staged but that it's skewed through editing and that there may be some instances where situations are "created".

    at this point, i've decided to forget about it cuz there's no way i can be sure what the truth is about the matter.

    i don't think there's any doubt that these reality shows edit the bejesus out of whatever footage they have for dramatic effect; i just hope that most of what happens (before editing) was spontaneous.
    525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    I'd like to say that getting TiVo a few months ago has made my taste more highbrow, but I'm a reality tv show junkie. I don't for a minute believe most of this stuff is "real". As stated before, it's all in the editing. One of my favorite sites, Reality Blurred , covers reality tv shenanigans and has discussed the editing/fakery on Laguna Beach , The Simple Life , and The Amazing Race.

    I actually don't watch the aforementioned shows, but I do enjoy shows such as Property Ladder, Intervention, Flip This House and America's Next Top Model. I don't care if they're staged (except for Intervention - that would be disturbing) since it's good tv, so I keep watching.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiabla
    I'd like to say that getting TiVo a few months ago has made my taste more highbrow, but I'm a reality tv show junkie.
    wait.

    you are habituated to reality shows.

    Your tastes are more highbrow.

    Huuuhhhh!?

    where were your tastes beFORE?!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    Quote Originally Posted by kimo55
    wait.

    you are habituated to reality shows.

    Your tastes are more highbrow.

    Huuuhhhh!?

    where were your tastes beFORE?!
    No, Kimo; she'd like to say that she's gotten more highbrow... but she can't, 'cause it's just not true.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    OOOhh.. well i didn't understand cuz she didn't say
    "that said"
    which of course makes everything clear.



    wait. if she would LIKE to say she's higher brow, she otta stop watching realtiy shows.
    THEN she can say it.
    oddawise, she really doesn't want to say her tastes are highbrow.
    Last edited by kimo55; March 21st, 2006 at 08:48 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    Quote Originally Posted by kimo55
    if she would LIKE to say she's higher brow, she otta stop watching realtiy shows.
    THEN she can say it.
    oddawise, she really doesn't want to say her tastes are highbrow.
    What happened to you in your childhood that compels you to pick apart the most simple comments in HT?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    I'm that f#cking @$$hole - Hawaiian wannabe "kimo" dass why. Gotta reputation to uphold, I suppose...
    Last edited by kimo55; March 21st, 2006 at 12:41 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    Forgot to mention this fact...

    PZarquon and his wife as well as myself... and anyone else on HT that attended UH Hilo at the time... (Scriv you live in the dorms over there?)

    Cyrus Yarbrough (sp?) from MTV's Real World/Road Rules was living in the dorms with us...He was my upstairs neighbor in the Ikena Dorms...

    Most of the stuff I've seen on MTV seems to be Cyrus at his classic self...
    "a Playah"

    He played for UH Hilo for a few years.... and also tried to promote the local club in Hilo at the time "D'Angora's" (oh the memories)

    I guess this relates to Reality TV....

    I knew him personally and was actually a roommate of some of his Basketball teammates at the time (not by choice need I say)

  16. #16
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    Quote Originally Posted by manoasurfer123
    Cyrus Yarbrough (sp?) from MTV's Real World/Road Rules was living in the dorms with us...He was my upstairs neighbor in the Ikena Dorms...
    Wow. I can't even remember my dorm roommate's name, let alone who lived upstairs!

    I don't know who Cyrus Yarbrough is, either. Or what "Road Rules" is.

    <pointing a gnarled finger>
    In my day, MTV played music videos! Hand me my walker. And get off my lawn!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    manoa, you went to uh hilo? you're probably a spring chicken compared to me but when i read that, i just had to write back and say that i loved my 2 years there. it was right after high school and i loved the freedom of being away from home and partying till the sun came up. definitely the two most carefree years of my life.

    so anyway, i have no idea how staged (if at all) real world was/is but i just have a hunch that some of the reality shows these days are a bit scripted...
    525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?

  18. #18

    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    http://omg.yahoo.com/news/kristin-ca...us-weekly.html

    Oh no! I thought pro wrasslin' was real too.

  19. #19

    Default Re: reality tv = fake tv?

    The Walk Offs are a must for reality tv to show anger by being over the top dramatic.

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