Thus, it can be difficult to outline what exactly reality TV is and what reality television isn’t.
It's like a Merchant Ivory movie." Stick with it, and "Un REAL" zeroes in like a laser on the way these shows reduce everyone to stereotypes, and how the participants play along -- through cajoling and pressure, but also a warped desire for their 15 minutes of fame. They coax an African-American student activist to participate (or "blacktivist," as Quinn calls her), dismissing her concern that "Black girls only last a couple weeks on those shows." And naturally, they seek to create friction between her and a Southern contestant, who is prodded to wear a Confederate flag bikini.
These two examples are just one way in which the programs considered reality TV can differ from one another.
, which can still be considered reality programming, is very different in tone, subject, actor, theme, audience and in duration.
Mead’s subject was a new Public Broadcasting System series called “An American Family,” about the Louds, a middle-class California household.
“Bill and Pat Loud and their five children are neither actors nor public figures,” Mead wrote; rather, they were the people they portrayed on television, “members of a real family.” Producers compressed seven months of tedium and turmoil (including the corrosion of Bill and Pat’s marriage) into twelve one-hour episodes, which constituted, in Mead’s view, “a new kind of art form”—an innovation “as significant as the invention of drama or the novel.”“An American Family” was a hit, and Lance Loud, the oldest son, became a celebrity, perhaps the world’s first openly gay TV star.The line is certainly fuzzy and difficult to clarify however, in the following sections we outline the different types of reality TV shows, popular shows in history as well as popular shows today, to provide a better idea of what reality TV is, and how you can get a job working in this interesting and constantly evolving industry.