Reality TV : Constructed Reality

HumanitiesReality TV
Humanities, Art, and MusicReality TV

Transcript

00:13

What is constructed reality?

00:15

So...

00:16

Construction is what happens when you take

00:19

a bunch of different ideas and put them together to create

00:22

a theory or a bigger idea.

00:26

Usually, it's subjective.

00:28

So constructed reality is when you take

00:30

little pieces of reality,

00:32

put them together, and you have

00:34

a new reality which

00:36

in the end, in this case with reality TV, isn't actually real.

00:40

So give us an example. Walk through a construction of a reality

00:43

and how that plays out.

00:44

Okay, awesome.

00:45

So let's go back to The Bachelor. That's an easy target.

00:48

There are two people having a conversation. And the guy says

00:52

something really intimate and how he really

00:55

loves the person he's dating and,

00:58

"I care so much about you." Et cetera, et cetera.

01:00

Cut to the girl

01:02

gasping in horror

01:04

and being like, "[ scared noise ]".

01:06

And you think, "Oh, well she clearly does not

01:10

like what he's saying."

01:11

It is true that the guy said that

01:13

and it is true that she reacted that way,

01:15

but they probably happened hours apart.

01:17

The editors have taken two little bits of reality

01:21

and put them together to create a constructed reality.

01:23

What's happening in the house or on the show,

01:25

sure, it probably is dramatic for the people there.

01:28

You see people crying, they're crying for a reason.

01:30

But it's way more dramatic for us

01:32

because we're seeing the editors who have picked --

01:34

Out of a week's worth of footage,

01:36

they've gotten it down to two hours

01:38

and they've hand-picked exactly what's gonna go in and created this reality for us.

01:42

Got it. Very interesting.

01:42

So in the history of the movie business,

01:44

this was a common way to get people to come to the sequels.

01:50

The Lone Ranger, I think is the most famous example

01:53

where they would show the good guys

01:56

in an impossible situation with a train about to hit them,

02:00

and you knew the Lone Ranger was dead.

02:02

And the question was,

02:03

"Is the Lone Ranger dead?"

02:05

and then the movie would end.

02:06

Well then two weeks later,

02:08

they've forgotten to put in a shot

02:09

that, in fact, he jumped over the train, not in front of it

02:13

and so he was long gone when the train went through the tunnel or whatever.

02:16

There's a concept called closure,

02:18

which we use to talk about comics.

02:19

When you're reading a comic and there's, say, four panels.

02:22

Between the first panel and the second panel,

02:24

we don't know what happened in that space,

02:26

but we do something in our brains

02:28

to say, "Oh, he was here.

02:29

If he was on the left side of the panel here

02:31

and on the right side here, he clearly walked over."

02:33

That's closure. That's the term we use to describe that.

02:36

And that's kind of also what happens

02:38

in reality TV with this kind of constructed reality.

02:41

We see one thing and see another

02:43

and we put it together in our heads that,

02:44

"Oh, okay. Here's what must have happened

02:45

and here's what the emotions must be."

02:47

[ pen writing ]

02:49

What is constructed reality?

02:53

Like a building.