Reality TV Show The Bachelor

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In this essay, I will be focusing on the analysis of the long-running reality television show The Bachelor, a show produced by American Broadcasting Company (ABC), a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company (Free Press). The set format of the show has been reiterated throughout its 22 seasons, and has proven highly successful (France, Lowry), documenting a uniquely chosen unmarried bachelor as he eventually eliminates a selected cast of 30 women their based on compatibility with him, in pursuit being engaged to one of them by the end of the season (IMDb). In this essay, I will specifically be analyzing the use of self-reference to media in the penultimate episode of Season 22, Episode 11, used in order to affirm the show’s position of being…show more content…
The scene is indeed unedited in length and cut, however, is edited lightly by being presented through the use of split screen showing the angles of both cameras filming at the time, as shown in Figure 1. The mere use of disruptive terminology such as ‘unedited’ initially appears as a stark contrast in genre of reality television, where scholar Brophy-Barmann observes “the champagne is ever-flowing and the candles ever-burning. Perfection is the norm in Reality TV Land.” (42), an example of which is illustrated in Figure 2. Host Chris Harrison, by using the word unedited to describe the ‘break-up’ scene in particular, directly refers to a below-the-line media industry practice. In the genre of reality television, “networks believe that the high-production values in most TV dramas today are what are drawing viewers to television” (Mann, 100), although my use Mann’s analysis is not fully applicable in this context as it mainly pertains to fictional drama, this point is highly relevant to hyperawareness the audience may feel towards the episode’s otherwise high production value and editing when the unedited scene plays out, the use of split screen. I believe…show more content…
Returning to the analysis of Figure 1, during the unedited scene discussed previously, in the second panel of the image a camera man can be clearly seen in the mirror in front of Bachelor lead Luyendyk. The effect of audience plainly seeing the camera can be explained using a course concept falling under the study of conglomerations, which notes that those who own the cords and below-the-line technologies own the media industry, not those above-the-line. By clearly showing media equipment in the unedited scene, ABC takes advantage of the fact that “technologies function as fully loaded cultural artifacts” (Caldwell, 204) and re-establishes its ownership over The Bachelor narrative as owners of the technology the audiences are viewing. Caldwell explains “staged intra-group trade rituals and performances mirror the fact that film/video productions themselves unfold as staged forms of social performance on set” (205). The social performance in this case being industrial-reflexivity by showing media equipment in a highly-viewed and leading reality show, as proven in the previous paragraph, which again subverts the normalcy of a media genre which does not generally break

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