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Author Topic: The language of "reality" TV
Babbler # 1064

posted 14 September 2004 04:42 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

In what was later determined to be a network clerical error, I was hired by Showtime and Actual Reality as a writer and producer on the political reality series American Candidate, currently airing on Showtime (Sundays 9 p.m. ET). A writer on a reality show must, as a means of professional survival, have a healthy sense of self-ironyŚwriting for reality is sort of like being a fluffer on The Sorrow and the Pity.

As the only member of a 50 person crew who had never worked on a reality show, I had to learn the language of reality TV, which, like most professional worlds, has a nomenclature all its own. For the layman watching The Amazing Race or Big Brother at home each week, here's a list of terms that may help you better understand the reality behind the reality on your television:

Frankenbite (n): An edited reality show snippet, most often found in contestant testimonials, that splices together several disparate strands of an interview, or even multiple interviews, into a single clip. A frankenbite allows editors to manufacture "story" (see definition below) efficiently and dramatically by extracting the salient elements of a lengthy, nuanced interview or exchange into a seemingly blunt, revealing confession or argument. While the frankenbite's origins certainly don't reside in reality TV, this is a reality show editor's most potent tool for manipulating viewer perception of a contestant. Usage: "Man, they amped up that catfight with that vicious frankenbite of Lisa."

And so hilariously forth.

From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged

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