Reality TV: Audiences and Popular Factual Television

By Annette Hill | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 1

Understanding reality TV

Welcome to Reality TV. It's Friday night and I'm watching the finale of Teen Big Brother. It's an emotional experience. The remaining housemates sit around a table, choosing who will win the first Teen Big Brother. Commissioned by 4 Learning, the educational wing of Channel 4 in the UK, Teen Big Brother is an experiment in the reality genre. Part observational documentary, life experiment, educational programme, gameshow and soap opera, this reality programme has hit the headlines for being the first UK Big Brother to feature sex. 'Bonk on Big Bruv', says the Sun. 'Horny Teens Show Big Bruv Way to Go', adds the Daily Star. Love it or hate it, the programme is a popular topic for public debate. I'm watching Teen Big Brother to see what all the fuss is about. I missed the tears and tantrums, the backbiting and bedroom antics, only to tune in to the last ten minutes of the final programme. I'm gripped. The housemates explain why they should win. They go around the group, each one speaking with tightness in their throat. Everyone says the same thing: 'I should win because I've been myself - what you see is what you get.' Everyone cries. Everyone votes. The winner bursts into tears of gratitude, excitement and something else known only to them. And I watch with mixed feelings - fascination, anticipation, and scepticism. As I watch I'm enjoying the drama of the moment, and judging the reality of what I see on my television screen. This is my viewing experience of Teen Big Brother.

During the course of writing this book, I have watched a lot of reality TV, from Cops to Children's Hospital, UK's Worst Toilet to Survivor, Celebrity Detox Camp to When Good Times Go Bad 3. I've seen all of these programmes, and more. But I also watched a lot of reality TV before writing this book. And will continue to watch reality TV long after the publication of this book. So, is this a book about my experience of watching reality TV? Like many viewers of reality TV, I only watch certain types of programmes. I like watching Animal Hospital because I'm an animal lover, but I dislike When Animals Attack because I think it's tacky. I enjoy Temptation Island because it is melodramatic, but I don't enjoy The Bachelor because it isn't dramatic enough. I love The Edwardian Country

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Reality TV: Audiences and Popular Factual Television
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 231

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?