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Reality TV. Compare these two clips, how real are they?.

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Compare these two clips how real are they
Compare these two clips, how real are they?



ALL reality TV shows are constructed to a certain degree, whether that’s having some scripted elements, getting people to do certain activities, or just having a camera follow someone.


  • Create a continuum like the one below including the following reality tv shows and any others you can think of.

  • X Factor

  • Big Brother

  • Keeping Up with the Kardashians

  • Cake Boss

  • The Amazing Race

  • The Real World

  • The Apprentice

  • America’s Next Top Model

  • Duck Dynasty

  • Jersey Shore







Strictly Come


Why do we watch reality tv
Why do we watch reality TV?

  • Uses and gratifications

  • How about this:

Is it wrong to enjoy watching people humiliate themselves
Is it wrong to enjoy watching people humiliate themselves?

  • Was it right that Susan Boyle was catapulted into the spotlight when she had history of mental health problems?

  • Why is it funny to watch people fail? How are these people represented?

  • Is it fair that people like Simon Cowell are allowed to increase the humiliation with scathing remarks?


  • Voyeurism is a term used to describe the pleasure that people get from watching other people.

  • First TV show to play on this was Candid Camera:

  • People were filmed without their knowledge, in humourous situations. Again, audiences enjoyed watching the humiliation.


  • This trend continued with more modern shows like Trigger Happy TV

  • And more recently, Punk’d

  • Worldwide:!


  • Punk’d is attractive to watch for audiences because famous people are being targeted.

  • Is it right that shows like Trigger Happy should target ‘normal’ members of the public? Should we be allowed to watch their humiliation?

  • Are people being exploited, or is it ok for companies to make money from these shows because the people agree to participate?

Bad taste
Bad Taste?

  • Some reality shows have really pushed boundaries.

  • Wifeswap invaded the family home and swapped family members

  • Ibiza Uncovered showed how young british people spent their holidays – producing a very negative representation of young people.

  • What values do these shows present to audiences?


  • Create a table of reality TV shows, and then the groups of people that they represent in a good light, and those they represent in a bad light. (if any…)



How are they represented? Why are they chosen?





“dumb blonde”


What others can you think of?


  • Stereotypes are important for reality TV because they help viewers to relate the participants with other, similar types of people we know. This could stimulate interest in the program.

  • Other reasons?


  • You are working for BBC Three.

  • You have been asked to find 4 participants for a new reality TV show where they will be asked to live in a underwater house for two weeks.

  • The show is designed to target 18-24 year old males and females.

  • Provide a brief profile for the type of people you want to appear in the show. Do not use specific individuals, but rather a set of criteria you might use to filter people who apply.