State of Reality TV

Dumpster Divers or Culture Jammers?: TLC’s Extreme Couponers

May 5, 2011
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Dumpster Divers or Culture Jammers?: TLC’s Extreme Couponers

The Learning Channel's Extreme Couponing evokes surprise, and even disgust for the lengths to which people go to accumulate coupons, acquire products, and display their stockpiles. It fails, however, to thoroughly explore people’s motivations for their actions.
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Posted in Columns, Perspectives, State of Reality TV, TV | 3 Comments »

Parenting Teenage Style

April 29, 2011
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Parenting Teenage Style

It’s not like me to leave new episodes of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant languishing on my DVR, especially the first two episodes of a new season. What can I say? April is the cruelest month.
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Watching the World’s Amazing Races

March 30, 2011
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Watching the World’s Amazing Races

What I find frustrating about the show is not simply that it ends up Othering the world, but that it could be so much better. It’s like a B student who writes occasionally brilliant sentences, yet who isn’t trying hard enough.
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Posted in Columns, Global, Perspectives, State of Reality TV, TV | 3 Comments »

The State of Reality TV: Producing Reality on Joan & Melissa

March 1, 2011
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The State of Reality TV: Producing Reality on <em> Joan & Melissa </em>

WE's new series, produced by and starring Joan & Melissa Rivers draws attention to the artifice of reality TV, but in the fourth episode, the mask slips and reveals something that may be...possibly...perhaps..."real"...
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Posted in Columns, Perspectives, State of Reality TV, TV | 4 Comments »

Compulsory Masculinity on The Jersey Shore

February 26, 2011
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Compulsory Masculinity on <i>The Jersey Shore</i>

The oppression of women is a daily activity for the men of the Jersey Shore, but so is the production of male beauty and labor in the domestic sphere.
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Posted in Columns, State of Reality TV | 6 Comments »

The State of Reality TV: When Reality Worlds Collide

February 16, 2011
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The State of Reality TV: When Reality Worlds Collide

What does the rumored union between Pauly D and Farrah Abraham “mean” to us, and what does it tell us about the state of contemporary reality television?
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Posted in Columns, State of Reality TV | 2 Comments »

The State of Reality TV: How Joel McHale and Chelsea Handler Saved My Life

February 10, 2011
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The State of Reality TV: How Joel McHale and Chelsea Handler Saved My Life

Much as with the celebrated film Showgirls, a lot of reality TV is unintentionally funny, and the comic framings of both shows aim to make you laugh at even the most serious moments.
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The State of Reality TV: When in the World is Project Runway?

February 5, 2011
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The State of Reality TV: When in the World is <i>Project Runway</i>?

While the basic format of Project Runway has made its way to other countries, its scheduling model has been lost in translation.
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Posted in Columns, State of Reality TV | 2 Comments »

The State of Reality TV: The Pain of Watching The Bachelor

February 2, 2011
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The State of Reality TV: The Pain of Watching The Bachelor

This season is painful to watch, but not in a fun, carnivalesque way. Rather, the pain seems to be much more serious and reveals the emotional trauma that we can experience when we blindly submit ourselves to normative ideas of patriarchy and the nuclear family.
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Posted in Columns, Perspectives, State of Reality TV, TV | 12 Comments »

The State of Reality TV: Kidding Around with Reality

January 26, 2011
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The State of Reality TV: Kidding Around with Reality

Though not the most popular or influential entry in the genre, Kid Nation appropriately offers an elementary school primer both on the conventions of reality competitions and their negotiation of social structures taken for granted in the "real" world.
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