Explain What Is “Real” About Reality Tv Through Susan Boyle’s Debut On Britain’s Got Talent.

1810 words - 7 pages

[Type text] [Type text] [Type text]M00 338263PLM2000Explain what is "real" about reality TV through Susan Boyle's debut on Britain's Got Talent.Word count: 2123Tutor Name: Evelyn StubbsStudent Name: Poroma PantMisis: M00338263Explain 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 is subjective when compared to a physical reality (Chandler, 2002); which essentially means that social reality is the connotation of a naturalized ideology by society and physical reality are denotations of what society sees as surface appearance. Bignell supports this statement by arguing that factual programmes or reality shows denote authentic reality through a series of professional and technological codes (2002, p.134-137) using iconic and indexical signs. Stuart Hall (2003, p.18) describes signs as words, images, or sounds that represent notions and ideals that our socially accepted. Signs are further divided into iconic and indexical signs where iconic signs are physical visual interpretations of meanings and indexical signs are represented through words and speech (Hall, 2003,p.20).These techniques are apparent in the Britain's Got Talent Susan Boyle's debut performance videoFurthermore the soundtrack edited into the video that simultaneously plays as the viewer is introduced to Susan shares connotations with music played in comedies or comic scenes. Annabel J. Cohen states that...

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