‘Reality television is a container for a range of diverse programmes, series, formats and events in which elements of documentary, talent shows, gameshows, talkshows, soap operas, melodramas and sports mix together to produce sub-genres’ (Hill, 2014). With reference to examples, discuss how we can understand reality TV as an ‘inter-generic space’.

Essay Structure

• intro
o what are you intending to do?
o how will the essay be structured?
• broad conceptual groundwork
o what are the relevant concepts or debates?
o how do you understand those concepts/debates?
o how are those concepts/debates discussed in the relevant
• analysis of examples
o how do the examples illustrate the concepts/debates?
o how do the examples challenge the concepts/debates?
• conclusion
o reflecting back on the question, what are the main insights and
arguments you arrive at?
• bibliography

Module Overview –

Wk5 Reality TV
• histories – documentary origins, 1980s factual content
• definitions – telling stories about real people and events,
entertaining style, ‘infotainment’, ‘docusoaps’
• mixed genres – factuality+drama+entertainment, e.g. talent shows
• inter-generic spaces – real world, dramatized, and mediated spaces

Reading List –