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Thanks for the many insights in response to my post. I do think all of these
things are somehow related. I was expecting the Real World series to be more
"verite" in style, but of course it's MTV, so even though it's premised on that
"fly-on-the-wall" philosophy, it's about as far from the handheld camera and
long, uninterrupted takes of CV as you can get. Flashy, fast-cutting, and about
as "real" as any self-conscious performance of self in front of a camera will
allow (which isn't much). That is--it depends upon our definitions of "real." I
think the element of "real" (ie nonprofessional actors) people playing
"themselves" takes on a mythic performative quality of its own.
 
I appreciate the leads about other TV series or films which are based on the
same interest in voyeurism into the "private" lives of "real" people. Why are
they more interesting than fictional characters? For whatever reason (and I
would love to hear some speculations), this trend to
documentary-as-entertainment (eg _Cops_ and that whole genre) is a fascinating
twist in the positioning of documentary approaches in today's popular culture.
 
Pam
 
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