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February 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Potter Palmer <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 20 Feb 1994 13:29:00 PST
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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> Does anyone know of any work that has been done about the MTV-produced serial
> _The Real World_? Any good critical articles would be helpful.
> I've been trying to think of related precedents to this phenomenon of a produc
> constructing a series of relationships and then filming/taping them as if they
> were "naturally" occurring
Clearly "The Real World" is not a real world at all but rather a highly
constructed one. MTV takes about 6 or 7 carefully chosen teenagers, sets
them up in desirable, hip and well decorated lofts, films them for an
extended period, edits out all of the non-dramatic and non-confrontational
moments and then presents the remaining material in a very stylized way,
complete with hip music, and calls it "when people get real".
The question that "The Real World" raises is located in the realm of documen-
tary. In my mind, simply because "The Real World" represents supposedly "real"
events acted out by "real" people (do the people we see on the screen conform
in any way to the real people who portray them?) mean that it represents a or
any reality. I think not. Furthermore, I think another MTV program may be a
more real social document (a better and more accurate reflection of its social
reality) than is "The Real World". I am speaking of "Beavis & Butthead".
Note: there was an article in Rolling Stone about a month and a half ago about
"The Real World". As I remember, it was a fairly good article.
Potter Palmer, UCLA  ([log in to unmask])