Articles on Reality TV

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‘I’m sorry honey, there may be no way back.’ KennyK

Why the soap opera is in terminal decline

It has been 30 years since EastEnders arrived on UK screens to begin chronicling the lives of the denizens of fictional Albert Square in east London. But the history of soap operas goes back a great deal…
The First Contact cast members’ transformation over the series is an optical illusion of Australian race relations. SBS

SBS’s First Contact is the real ‘festering sore’ of the nation

The SBS/Blackfella Films production First Contact – that takes six non-Indigenous people and immerses them into Aboriginal Australia for the first time – captured the nation’s attention this week amassing…
Benefits Street is back and it’s ok if you don’t like it. Joe Giddens/PA Archive

Who is censoring who when artists dismiss their critics?

ITV has recently announced that it will not commission a second series of the controversial comedy series Dapper Laughs. The decision comes after a petition to have the programme removed from the air gathered…
Dee and Deirdre featured on Channel 4’s Benefits Street. Joe Giddens/PA Wire

It’s easy to hate ‘poverty porn’ but harder to fight inequality

George Osborne’s recent announcement that households would receive personalised “annual tax statements” allowing them to track how their taxes are spent has been heavily criticised as manipulative and…
The suspense of reality TV hangs on viewers’ votes for contestants. Can social media predict winners and losers? AAP Image/Nine Network/Paul Broben

Online fine line: using social media to predict the Big Brother eviction

Reality television, alongside shows such as Q&A – which may be Reality TV in all but name – frequently drives social media conversations about the Australian television industry. Big Brother, currently…
‘Tranny’ finds a place among many other slurs that have historically hateful roots. Foxtel

RuPaul’s ‘tranny’ debate: the limits and power of language

If you’re a fan of the American reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race, currently airing on Foxtel’s Lifestyle You channel in Australia, you’re likely aware of the ongoing storm that has surged around how…
‘Rendition television’ is conservative and retrograde. AAP/Seven Network

Rewind, repeat: TV’s fame machine is oh-so retro

More than a decade ago, I wrote something on the 1996 film Twister and a host of other action films. I thought it was deep and profound: the new blockbuster films were trying to emulate the experience…
Day 36 in the Big Brother huset and herring supplies are running low. laggyluke

Could Norway’s boring TV be your next audiovisual addiction?

There is reality TV, and there is reality TV Norwegian style. The reality of life in Norway is that events take a long time and unfold very slowly. Norway is a country with a population of barely five…
Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott will both appear on ABC TV show Kitchen Cabinet in the final week of the campaign. But who is more advantaged by the reality TV and the politics of cooking? AAP/ABC

Kevin’s Kitchen Nightmare: Rudd, Abbott and the politics of cooking

The penultimate act in this year’s election drama will be … a cook-off. This campaign has largely steered away from “entertaining politics”, but at the last hurdle, Messrs Rudd and Abbott have fallen for…
The highly edited segments position the advice and decisions of the judges – including Matt Preston, right – as beyond reproach. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Cooking with passion: why audiences still love MasterChef

As MasterChef fans count down to tomorrow night’s season five finale, advertisers will be crossing their fingers that ratings will match last year’s top-ranking-program status. With a season six on the…

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