Thursday, June 23, 2005

Scripted Reality TV...

(producer of the real world radioing commands to crew)

So after getting into an argument with some of my friends about how I felt all reality shows where lies to the public, I decided to post this. Most of the people out there really think what they watch is entirely unplanned, unscripted, and unedited. Yet most of them forget the very last thing they see on the screen when the shows end, the credits. Need I remind people of the credits that list the “writers” of the reality show. One could make the easy connection that if it really is reality- why the heck are there writers for each show? Now, I could go off on a rant about this, but I think quotes are pretty sufficent.

  • “…most shows use "Frankenbites": the art of switching around contestant sound bites recorded at different times and patched together to create what appears to be a seamless narrative. The writers also pen jokes, commentary for the hosts and contestants and make sure that each episode has a beginning a middle and an end -- in other words, a story arc. Think of it as "better than reality" tv.”
  • “According to supervising producer Christie Zelling, at MTV's "Made," where high school students get to live out their incredibly depressing dreams, the staff writes voice-overs for the teenage stars, some about boyfriends they no longer have and all of which the subjects find "totally cheesy.”
  • “Producer Matt Swanson says that when Ozzy threw a block of wood over a fence and shattered the window of his noisy neighbors during the first season of "The Osbournes," it was just a sound effect and a phony reaction shot.”
  • “Once you find out reality stars actually need help to be that dumb, they somehow stop being entertaining."
"We want to believe reality shows are real because they make us feel like other people's lives are more messed up than our own. Though that may not be true, at least we know that without writers they're just as boring as we are."

(thank you msnbc and