Curating Paper

One of the interesting things I’ve come across in my research for my paper is the writing and creating processes for Reality T.V. In an article titled “How Reality TV Works” by Reality T.V. show writer, David Rupel, he discusses how writing for Reality T.V. is not so unlike writing for scripted shows. The main difference is the editing process. The main thing I took away from the article is that the basic “rules of storytelling do not change.” Whether people are critical or not against the “cut and paste” process employed by the editors of these shows, when they turn on the T.V. to watch one of these shows Rupel argues that everyone is seeking the basic narrative arch in whatever they are watching. In other words, without a distinct beginning, middle and end to any particular episode, the show will not be nearly as well received. Rupel suggests that the idea of curating reality is largely a result of this expectation. People will not watch a show without a conflict or a climax. People, as much as they like to argue otherwise, would not be satisfied with a show that literally expresses all the mundane moments of everyday life. In order to preserve the show then, writers and editors must actively create or follow a storyline, consider hundreds of hours of footage, and take what stands out as “most interesting” for the purposes of media popularity. I thought this article was very compelling and highly supportive of my thesis that producers of these shows do not aim to emulate reality as much as they aim to curate a certain version of reality. The various intricacies associated with the final productions of Reality T.V. shows suggest that what we are watching is not so much a representation of reality as it is a collection of interesting occurrences in the given lives of selected cast members.


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