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Reality TV

Misha Kavka

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Is reality TV a coherent genre? This book addresses this question by examining the characteristics, contexts and breadth of reality TV through a history of its programming trends. Paying attention to stylistic connections as well as key concepts, this study breaks reality television down into three main 'generations': the camcorder generation, the competition generation and the celebrity generation. Beginning with a consideration of the applicability of the term 'genre' for this televisual hybrid, the book takes a transnational approach to investigating the forms and formats of reality TV framed by relevant popular and critical discourses.

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Introduction: What Is Reality Television?
1. Before Reality TV: From Candid Camera to Family Docs
2. First-Generation Reality TV (1989-1999): The Camcorder Era
3. Second-Generation Reality TV (1999-2000): Surveillance and Competition in Big Brother and Survivor
4. The Second Generation Comes of Age (2001-2005): Challenge and Transformation
5. Third-Generation Reality TV (2002- ): Economies of Celebrity
6. Legacies: The New MTV Generation

About the Author

Misha Kavka teaches film, television and media studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. In addition to having published numerous articles on reality TV, she is the author of Reality Television, Affect and Intimacy: Reality Matters (Palgrave Macmillan 2008) and the co-editor of Feminist Consequences: Theory for the New Century (Columbia UP 2001) and Gothic NZ: The Darker Side of Kiwi Culture (Otago UP 2006).

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