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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Not so Reality

Steal This Computer Book 4.0

Wallace Wang

2006

Link

2017-12-04

"In Hollywood, it’s an open secret that reality TV shows are rigged for purely pragmatic business reasons. Throw a bunch of strangers together and what usually happens? If you’ve ever been to a party, you know that, almost always, the answer is “not much.” But watch a reality TV show and what happens?...There’s always conflict between contestants involving backstabbing, vicious gossip, and exciting dramatic events that capture our imagination and encourage us to watch the next episode. Most reality show contestants aren’t ordinary people but aspiring actors and actresses whose managers and agents got them on the TV show to gain national exposure and jump-start their careers. With actors pretending to be ordinary people and producers coaching them to behave a certain way...nothing you see on reality TV shows is real." - Steal this Computer Book 4.0

You know, there are always a few who can bring out drama at work or at family events. (Or online.) I always figured reality TV shows carefully selected those sorts of people, put them together, and then did a great deal of editing. Careful post-production can do a lot to slant things one way or the other. But maybe I was insufficently cynical to think that would be enough. Anyway, the Reality TV craze has died down in the years after this book was published.