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Types of Reality TV

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Types of reality TV There are a number of sub-categories of reality television: Documentary-style In many reality television shows, the viewer and the camera are passive observers following people going about their daily personal and professional activities; this style of filming is often referred to as "fly on the wall" or cin�ma v�rit�. MTV's Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County may be the epitome of this style of show, with unscripted situations, real-life locations, and no tasks given to the cast (at least, no known ones). Often "plots" are constructed via editing or planned situations, with the results resembling soap operas - hence the term, docusoap. Within documentary-style reality television are several subcategories or variants: Special living environment Some documentary-style programs place cast members, who in most cases previously did not know each other, in artificial living environments; The Real World is the originator of this style. In almost every other such show, cast members are given a specific challenge or obstacle to overcome. Road Rules, which started in 1995 as a spinoff of The Real World, started this pattern: the cast travelled across the country guided by clues and performing tasks. ...read more.


Some shows, such as Making the Band and Project Greenlight, devote the first part of the season to selecting a winner, and the second part to showing that person or group of people working at what it was they were selected to do. There are some popular subsets of the competition-based format: Dating-based competition Dating-based competition shows follow a contestant choosing the hand of a group of suitors. Over the course of either a single episode or an entire season, suitors are eliminated until only the contestant and the final suitor remains. The Bachelor is the best-known member of this category. Individual-episode examples include Next, Room Raiders,Date My Mom, and My Own. Job search In this category, the competition revolves around a skill that contestants were pre-screened for. Competitors perform a variety of tasks based around that skill, and are judged, and then kept or removed, by a single expert or a panel of experts. The show is invariably presented as a job search of some kind, in which the prize for the winner includes a contract to perform that kind of work. Examples include The Apprentice (which judges business skills), America's Next Top Model (for modeling), American Idol (for singers), Hell's Kitchen (for chefs), Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, and Project Runway (for clothing design). ...read more.


Hoaxes In hoax reality shows, the entire show is a prank played on one or more of the cast members, who think they are appearing in a legitimate reality show; the rest of the cast are actors who are in on the joke. Like hidden camera shows, these shows are about pulling pranks on people, although in these shows the hoax is more elaborate (lasting an entire season), the particpants here know they are appearing in a TV show (it is the true nature of the show that is kept secret from them), and the cameras are out in the open. Also, the point of such shows often is to parody the conventions of the reality TV genre. The first such show was 2003's The Joe Schmo Show; other examples are My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss (modelled after The Apprentice), My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, Space Cadets (which convinced the hoax targets that they were being flown into space) and Invasion Iowa (in which a town was convinced that William Shatner was filming a movie there). Other shows, though not entirely hoax shows, have offered misleading information to some cast members in order to add a wrinkle to the competition. Examples include Boy Meets Boy and Joe Millionaire. ...read more.

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