FMST 038. Reality TV

This advanced Television Studies course explores the history and practices of the television medium in its connections to concepts and theories of realism. We will be considering reality modes in early anthropological films and documentary/fiction hybrids (People on Sunday, Nanook of the North), and the 1930s TV coverage of the German Olympics alongside the works of Andre Bazin, Siegfried Kracauer, Sergei Eisenstein and others.  We will discuss the impact of neo-realist schools of filmmaking (Italian, French and German) on the first "reality" series on U.S. television - An American Family (PBS, 1973) and vice versa.  We will investigate the live-studio audience aspect of talk and game shows, the rise of The Real World, the longevity of Survivor and Big Brother, think about global television formats and how reality shows interact with social media and socio-political practice (American Idol). How and why is realism semiotically and socio-politically connected to the televisual medium?  How does this relationship change over the years and through the different cycles of technological, digital and programmatic innovation?
Prerequisite: FMST 001 FMST 025  or FMST 054
1 credit.
Eligible for FMST
Spring 2018. Simon.
Catalog chapter: Film and Media Studies  
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Check the Spring 2018 Schedule of Courses

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