"Ordinary" means something different for everyone; it has roots in individual experience, socioeconomic background, upbringing, and countless other factors which determine our worldview. The diversity of ordinary makes the world of reality TV complicated because the producers have to find "ordinary" people and create dramatic television out of their lives. How do producers create good dramatic television using ordinary people; according to Grindstaff "reality TV and talk shows create dramatic (good) television through creating surprise conflict situations. Grindstaff says they "rely on the everyday life skills of emotion management to create strong dramatic TV."
Grindstaff hits the nail on the head; reality TV revolves around conflict and the story lines that evolve from that conflict. The conflict of reality TV creates strong dramatic television because of its apparent authenticity; the authenticity of a reality television show stems from the use of "ordinary people." As Grindstaff points out, these people are not ordinary people selected at random; they are chosen because they have a conflict or issue. This conflict gives rise to good "authentic" dramatic TV.
The world of reality TV and its presentation of normal is problematic because of its dramatization of life. These shows say they portray reality when in fact they create an abnormal scenario through emotion management and situational conflict. they use elements of surprise and confrontation to ensure these conflicts arise and come to fruition. I believe the use of conflict and emotion management while it creates dramatic TV skews reality even more than some fictional shows and characters.
1. What qualities do you search for when producing or reviewing a reality TV Show?
2. What is the most difficult thing about working in reality TV?
3. Grindstaff talks about the strategies of making "good reality TV" does Magical Elves have a certain strategy when they attempt to produce "good TV?"