Explain what is “real” about reality TV through Susan Boyle’s debut on Britain’s Got Talent.

Essay by ppant12University, Bachelor'sB+, January 2014

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M00 338263


Explain what is "real" about reality TV through Susan Boyle's debut on Britain's Got Talent.

Word count: 2123

Tutor Name: Evelyn Stubbs

Student Name: Poroma Pant

Misis: M00338263

Explain what is "real" about reality TV through Susan Boyle's debut on Britain's Got Talent.

Last year BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television Arts) announced a new award category for its 2012 ceremony calling it the award for the best "reality and constructed factual" television show (BBC, 2011) recognizing those shows that involve non-actors placed in producer driven scenarios. Bignell (2002, p.131) describes these shows as docusoap programmes that "claim to represent an authentic reality" using a set of television codes that an audience perceives to be 'real'. Realism or reality in terms of media is subjective in nature as people have their own perception of codes embedded in media texts. It is represented through a series of 'socially accepted' codes communicated in the forms of signs in television programmes (Bignell, 2002, p.132),

which refers to the construction of the "real" found on reality TV shows. Thus this essay will illustrate the conventions used to structure a reality TV show questioning the authenticity of reality shows such as Britain's Got Talent, which then lose their credibility of "realness". These conventions include shot composition, camera angles, camera shots and background music which will be further discussed in a semiotic analysis of a YouTube video of Britain's Got Talent featuring the debut performance of the famed Susan Boyle. The semiotic analysis will include theories put forth by Stuart Hall, Roland Barthes and Ferdinand de Saussure as well a critique on reality television by Jonathan Bignell.

The concept of realism focuses on the outlook of "actual reality" where realists believe that social reality...