Wednesday, January 25, 2006

TOPIC: "How Reality TV Fakes It" from
Frakenbiting: Phony quotes, bogus crushes, enhanced villains: the makers of "unscripted" TV spill its secrets...
It's a hard case to make; that taking liberties is a crime against viewers, who widely accept that the shows use the term reality loosely. True, the shows sell themselves as more authentic than scripted programming. But in a recent TIME poll, only 30% of respondents believed that the shows largely reflect what really happened, and 25% of them believed that the programs are almost totally fabricated.
If reality participants think the enhancement amounts to a lie, they have little recourse, since they usually sign a thick stack of waivers. In other words, the participants have to live with whatever the producers make up about them. Case in point...
"The first season of Laguna Beach, MTV's reality series about rich teens in Orange County, Calif., centered on a love triangle among two girls (LC and Kristin) and a boy (Stephen). The problem, says a story editor who asked not to be named, was that the triangle didn't exist. LC and Stephen, he says, were platonic friends, so the producers played Cupid through montage. LC 'would say things about [Stephen] as a friend,' says the editor. '[LC] said, 'I just love this guy.' All you have to do is cut to a shot of the girl, and suddenly she's jealous and grimacing.'"
Another example, which was much more morally repugnant, involves a young woman living with the results of frakenbiting:
"Sarah Kozer, a contestant on the Fox dating show Joe Millionaire, says producers doctored a scene in which she went for a walk behind some trees with the show's bachelor, Evan Marriott, to make it seem as if they had oral sex. The producers added sound effects and captions, she says, and dubbed in a line--'It's better if we're lying down'--that she had said earlier in the day in a different context. 'It couldn't have been more misrepresented and fictional if it had been completely scripted,' she says. (Fox declined to respond to Time regarding the matter.)"
This sort of irresponsibility on the part of producers and editors should be criminal. I suggest that each show's fans contact the shows' producers and advertisers and demand more responsibility and truth in "reality" television.

[Emphasis added by me. Most of the text culled from; as linked above.]
[ This post marked as January 23rd because I already posted on the 25th (when the story was listed on]

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