Thursday, February 21, 2013

Reality Television?

Baja-Apple Images

















According to this blog's 'All-Time Popular Most Pageviews', 'Thoughts On Image & Reality Television' in presently #6. Since that time, to be honest I have become tired of the Storage Wars and Storage Wars Texas reruns. With A&E and OLN here in Canada and the repeats of programs during the day I think some individual episodes have been repeated many times. OLN repeats some programs twice in a day. Operation Repo as well, which is not on as near as often as the Storage Wars programs, as it is on OLN and not A&E, also seems to be slow producing new episodes. I will state as I did in the previous post in regard to the genre of reality television: In my terms it is theatrical reality as opposed to a true documentary reality. This should be understood for those that claim 'fake' etc. It is theatrical. It is not always entirely fictional but is often non-fictional with theatrical aspects.

Interesting news:

Dave Hester and Storage Wars-Jan 13, 2013

'Dave Hester says he was fired for complaining 'Storage Wars' is staged and is owed $2.2 million.'

 'In a lengthy denial to a lawsuit filed by former “Storage Wars” star Dave Hester - who in a breach-of-contract lawsuit alleges that producers fraudulently stashed valuable items among the junk in storage lockers, a process he called “salting” - A&E is asking a court to toss out the suit but never addresses his accusation that the show is rigged. Hester filed the suit in December after he was fired from “Storage Wars.”'

 'In his suit, Hester, known for bidding with a brash “Yuuup,” makes a number of claims. For instance, he says the producers asked him to place his own valuable items in lockers during the first season.'

Hmm, this looks like potentially an awful lot of 'theatre' and deception may have been taking place on Storage Wars. Perhaps with these problems this is why there are so many reruns and so few newer episodes.

Therefore, the integrity of these Storage Wars programs, especially, Storage Wars, is of course in question.

I am not someone that spends a lot of time relatively speaking watching television or movies. I spend far more time online, much of it career related. However, I must admit to finding 'Shipping Wars' amusing. Again it is quite theatrical. Along with Operation Repo it provides me with the most laughs in the genre of reality television. Actually I find these programs generally more amusing than comedy films where humour is generally scripted.

Often with entertainment it seems it is easier to be subtly, inadvertently and indirectly funny through events as opposed to scripting humour where it is often forced.

imdb-Shipping Wars

Shipping Wars 2012- 'Show revolves around teams of independent heavy-duty moving companies bidding for the chance to transport unshipable items, from oversized loads to bulky packages and bizarre items.'

wikipedia-Shipping Wars

'The show follows six independent carriers who have discovered that fortunes can be made transporting items that traditional carriers either cannot or will not haul.[2] The series also features uShip, the world’s largest online auction house for independent truckers.'

 'Ties are broken in favor of the carrier with the higher average feedback rating. Winners load their cargo and attempt to deliver it intact by the client's deadline. Feedback ratings from clients are displayed as the loads are delivered.'

I have to admit, that I find the show near endlessly entertaining. But I do wonder in light of the accusations with Storage Wars, how much of Shipping Wars is possibly planned theatre 'reality television'? In other words how much of the programming is what many critics would state as 'fake', and what is more so on the border of being documentary reality television where the persons are placed in positions where unplanned situations, perhaps interesting and humourous, can take place?

Philosophically, realizing a documentary is not the entertaining end goal producers are aiming for, I think my second suggestions is an ethical one. In other words, to let events play out in a realistic way, in reality, but if the work for example, such as shipping with Shipping Wars, has it's natural hazards and risks, and persons 'play it up' for the camera, it can be understood by both producer and audience that 'theatre' does take place, but this would not necessarily make the entire production fake. I would state this could be a genuine, legitimate form a reality television, but not to be confused with a documentary.

Philosophically, reasonable reality television to some extent would be like a bunch of friends getting together on a Friday or Saturday night and being filmed. Some theatrical play may take place, whereas typically without the cameras they would not act up, more like a documentary.

It depends I suppose upon how far the theatre is taken and if there is really any significant 'reality' remaining in a reality program.

Short clips from A&E











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