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DukePaul
2010-Nov-18, 09:39 PM
I have a problem with certain media programs you see and I have labeled them "Fiction Reality" programs. You may have a better description but my problem is some "reality" programs (UFO Hunters for example) try to give the appearance of applied research of a subject. But in fact that is not at all what is happening on the show. Of course you say that is an "entertainment" show and I should not expect truth but my problem is the fog of disinformation and unfacts these programs hype as new evidence or as "proof" from their "experiments". My choice of terms: Reality Fiction and Fiction Reality are different in that programs like "Cops" or "Top Chef" to me are "Reality Fiction" because they have real people reacting but with video and sound editing to create fictional tension to keep the viewer interested. No problem here. But with "Fiction Reality" programs the truth is never considered important. I really dislike the Fact or Faked show because their guise of running down the "facts" and their stupid experiments. In no way am I saying these type of programs shouldn't exist but I cringed to think how often these "facts" will be repeated and pollute the evidence that may or may not be out there.

Fazor
2010-Nov-18, 09:51 PM
What you call "Fiction Reality" I call "Trash." I hate it for all the reasons you list and more. I thought I remembered a time when shows would clearly label something as untested or unproven, or at least widely disputed. Those days are so long ago that I'm not sure if it was ever that way, or if it's only an optimistic memory.

Though, easier than distinguishing "Reality Fiction" and "Fiction Reality" is to just learn the rule that the word "Reality" used to describe any type of television program really means "Not real in the least." Sort of the same way 'inflammable' really means 'easily flammable.'

NEOWatcher
2010-Nov-19, 01:47 PM
It just changes over time. Decades ago, it was disguised as documentaries (http://www.angelfire.com/mn/nn/inSearch.wav).

Paul Beardsley
2010-Nov-19, 02:52 PM
I agree with your sentiments, DukePaul, but I'm not sold on your terms. I'd really have to struggle to remember which way round the "fiction" and "reality" should go.

I'd prefer the term "pseudoreality" or "pseudodocumentary" to describe a programme that on the surface resembles something real, but does not have the rigour or even the basic research that should have gone into it.

The adjective/phrases "dramatised", "dramatically enhanced", "dramatically edited" or even "artificially dramatised" would fit a programme like Masterchef, but they are probably redundant.

Swift
2010-Nov-19, 03:18 PM
I'll echo Paul - I really like the concept, but maybe better terms are needed.


...in that programs like "Cops" or "Top Chef" to me are "Reality Fiction" because they have real people reacting but with video and sound editing to create fictional tension to keep the viewer interested
I'd even make a further sub-division here. Programs like "Cops" are as you describe them, real people reacting in real situations, but with editing.

But there is also the group of "reality" shows (like "Survivor") that put real people in completely unrealistic situations, and script those situations to some degree (some more, some less). To me, those aren't even reality any longer, they are fiction, and I'm unclear what separates the "real" people in these programs, from actors, other than membership in the Screen Actors Guild.

NEOWatcher
2010-Nov-19, 03:54 PM
To me, those aren't even reality any longer, they are fiction, and I'm unclear what separates the "real" people in these programs, from actors, other than membership in the Screen Actors Guild.
Very gray indeed. I keep thinking of things like the way their paid, but even actors can get away with a simple 1099, and maybe million dollar bonuses.
Even the style can be thought of as Improv.

DukePaul
2010-Nov-19, 05:43 PM
But there is also the group of "reality" shows (like "Survivor") that put real people in completely unrealistic situations, and script those situations to some degree (some more, some less). To me, those aren't even reality any longer, they are fiction, and I'm unclear what separates the "real" people in these programs, from actors, other than membership in the Screen Actors Guild.

Survivor is a good example of this "scripted" reality. This program's utterly fake and unrealistic portrayal of conflicting groups completing for limited resources was just one of the glaring signs that this show was only as real as the show's lawyers would be comfortable with.