This book examines queer visibility in reality television, which is arguably the most prolific space of gay, lesbian, transgender and otherwise queer media representation. It explores almost two decades of reality programming, from Big Brother to I Am Cait, American Idol to RuPaul’s Drag Race, arguing that the specific conventions of reality TV—its intimacy and emotion, its investments in celebrity and the ideal of authenticity—have inextricably shaped the ways in which queer people have become visible in reality shows. By challenging popular judgements on reality shows as damaging spaces of queer representation, this book argues that reality TV has pioneered a unique form of queer-inclusive broadcasting, where a desire for authenticity, rather than being heterosexual, is the norm. Across all chapters, this book investigates how reality TV’s celebration of ‘compulsory authenticity’ has circulated ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ ways of being queer, demonstrating how possibilities for queer visibility are shaped by broader anxieties and around selfhood, identity and the real in contemporary cultural life.
Reality television is shown worldwide, features people from all walks of life and covers everything from romance to religion. It has not only changed television, but every other area of the media. So why has reality TV become such a huge phenomenon, and what is its future in an age of streaming and social media?
This book interrogates the hyper-visibility and stubborn endurance of the wedding spectacle across media and culture in the current climate. The wide-ranging chapters consider why the symbolic power of weddings is intensifying at a time when marriage as an institution appears to be in decline – and they offer new insights into the shifting and complex gender politics of contemporary culture. The collection is a feminist project but does not straight-forwardly renounce the wedding spectacle. Rather, the diverse contributions offer close analyses of the myriad forms and practices of the wedding spectacle, from reality television and cinematic film to wedding videography and bridal boutiques. Drawing on feminist and queer theory, the chapters illuminate the paradoxes, contradictions, disappointments, cruelties and pleasures that are intimately bound up with the wedding spectacle. Written by leading and emerging feminist scholars, the chapters range across different national and cultural contexts to explore how the gender politics of weddings are changing and adapting to a new cultural and social landscape. This in-depth analysis of the wedding spectacle will appeal to academics and researchers in the fields of gender and mass media, cultural studies, feminist studies, and intercultural communication.
This book examines queer characters in popular American television, demonstrating how entertainment can educate audiences about LGBT identities and social issues like homophobia and transphobia. Through case studies of musical soap operas (Glee and Empire), reality shows (RuPaul’s Drag Race, The Prancing Elites Project and I Am Cait) and “quality” dramas (Looking, Transparent and Sense8), it argues that entertainment elements such as music, humour, storytelling and melodrama function as pedagogical tools, inviting viewers to empathise with and understand queer characters. Each chapter focuses on a particular programme, looking at what it teaches—its representation of queerness—and how it teaches this—its pedagogy. Situating the programmes in their broader historical context, this study also shows how these televisual texts exemplify a specific moment in American television.
Offering a critical introduction into LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) transnational identity in the media, this book examines performances and representations within documentary and fiction oriented texts. An interdisciplinary approach is put forward, revealing new potentials for non western queer identity.
This book charts an evolution in gay identity within American reality television and documentary film. Through focusing on the performative potential of gay men, it examines the emergence of the independent gay citizen as a bold new voice rejecting subjugation within the media. Through examining productions as diverse as An American Family, Tongues United, Silverlake Life, The Real World, Paternal Instinct, Trembling Before G-D, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and many others, this book explores how gay people as teens, devoted couples, parents, inspiring individuals and influential producers have contributed to the progression of gay identity in domestic arenas. These portrayals are played out while discussing AIDS, race, religion, the development of same-sex family forms, the issues of procreation and gay marriage and the changing views of gay men as both creative producers and responsible social agents. In these forms of entertainment, gay social actors as political agents challenge dominant ideas, and invent new social worlds.
This turn-of-the-century moment - when queer love has become increasingly visible in both popular culture and socio-political realms - provides an ideal occasion for a critical examination of same-sex love stories in the media. Focusing primarily on film and televisual texts from the ten years before and after the millennium, the essays collected in Queer Love in Film and Television ask how recent films and television programs play with, imitate, subvert, mock, critique, and queer the romantic narrative conventions so common in Western culture. The collection follows the trajectory of the conventional romance narrative, from the pursuit of romantic love to the creation of families, and then it pushes further, into marginal regions where conventional narratives fail to venture, and then turns back to consider how that narrative is itself transformed (or queered) through adaptation.
Television is awash with newly embraced gay and lesbian themes that have crossed over into the collective pop culture of America. Dramas like Queer As Folk and The L Word, comedies like Will & Grace,and even reality shows including the popular Queer Eye for the Straight Guy signify a new commercial acceptance of homosexuality that has never been seen before in the United States. However, the increasing exposure has prompted critics to argue that the gay and lesbian representation on television is oversimplified and is rife with one-dimensional characters. Ultimately, the viewers will decide the future of homosexuality and homosexual characters on television. The text offers essays that explore such topics as the politics of representation and the clash of progressive and regressive social agendas in television and the emphasis on the search for a space for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered within the mainstream media. The book contains criticisms of characters in such shows as Six Feet Under, Queer As Folk, Friends and Ellen.
The Handbook of Gender, Sex and Media offers original insights into the complex set of relations which exist between gender, sex, sexualities and the media, and in doing so, showcases new research at the forefront of media and communication practice and theory. Brings together a collection of new, cutting-edge research exploring a number of different facets of the broad relationship between gender and media Moves beyond associating gender with man/woman and instead considers the relationship between the construction of gender norms, biological sex and the mediation of sex and sexuality Offers genuinely new insights into the complicated and complex set of relations which exist between gender, sex, sexualities and the media Essay topics range from the continuing sexism of TV advertising to ways in which the internet is facilitating the (re)invention of our sexual selves.
International in scope and more comprehensive than existingcollections, A Companion to Reality Television presents acomplete guide to the study of reality, factual and nonfictiontelevision entertainment, encompassing a wide range of formats andincorporating cutting-edge work in critical, social and politicaltheory. Original in bringing cutting-edge work in critical, social andpolitical theory into the conversation about reality TV Consolidates the latest, broadest range of scholarship on thepolitics of reality television and its vexed relationship toculture, society, identity, democracy, and “ordinarypeople” in the media Includes primetime reality entertainment as well as precursorssuch as daytime talk shows in the scope of discussion Contributions from a list of international, leading scholars inthis field