This book is a study of the 'Reality TV' format which, in less than a decade, has transformed network programming schedules, branded satellite and digital stations, become a favourite target for anti-television campaigners, and turned viewers into savvy readers of (and participants in) the mechanics of television production.
Is reality TV a coherent genre? This book addresses this question by examining the characteristics, contexts and breadth of reality TV through a history of its programming trends. Paying attention to stylistic connections as well as key concepts, this study breaks reality television down into three main 'generations': the camcorder generation, the competition generation and the celebrity generation. Beginning with a consideration of the applicability of the term 'genre' for this televisual hybrid, the book takes a transnational approach to investigating the forms and formats of reality TV framed by relevant popular and critical discourses. Key Questions * What formal characteristics broadly define reality TV? * Can reality TV be considered a genre when it relies so heavily on mixing together elements of establishes television genres, film practices and even industries unrelated to television, such as pop music and modelling? * How can the genealogy of reality TV programming trends help us to understand the cultural discourses and concepts with which reality TV is associated. e.g. surveillance, performance, voyeurism, celebrity and even reality itself?
teaches film, television and media studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. In addition to having published numerous articles on reality TV, she is the author of Reality Television, Affect and Intimacy: Reality Matters (Palgrave Macmillan 2008) and the co-editor of Feminist Consequences: Theory for the New Century (Columbia UP 2001) and Gothic NZ: The Darker Side of Kiwi Culture (Otago UP 2006).