New words – 19 September 2011

4-D film noun a style of film presentation that combines 3-D with physical effects in the cinema itself, such as smells

So that’s the future of cinema, then – 4-D film.
[BBC Radio 5 Live 17 June 2011]

celebreality adjective of or relating to reality TV shows that feature celebrities rather than ordinary people

These ‘celebreality’ shows are never as interesting as they first sound.
[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 2 April 2001]

structured reality noun reality TV in which the location and scenario is contrived by the producer but the interaction between the participants is unscripted

Daran Little, one of the show’s series producers said: ‘I actually think structured reality is here to stay and it doesn’t have to be highbrow.’
[ 23 May 2011]

vote up phrasal verb to vote for something that you like on a website or TV programme

We’re flipping traditional TV on its head and letting the kids decide what’s popular by voting things up and making them more discoverable.
[The Guardian (UK broadsheet) 2 April 2011]

About new words

3 thoughts on “New words – 19 September 2011

  1. Harry

    I am amazed that you distinguish between “reality TV” and “structured reality.” Surely this is a distinction without a difference. THE NEW YORK TIMES and other US media prefer the term “unscripted programming,” reflecting the fact that participants’ remarks are spontaneous but carefully edited, while the situations in which they appear are designed to produce provocative remarks. In other words, “reality TV” is simply a cheaper version of “TV drama” replacing the high cost of good writing with the (not that much) cheaper cost of producers’ contrivance and clever editing.

  2. Hi Harry, I’m certainly not an expert, but there does seem to be a difference between ‘classic’ reality TV, in which people are placed in quite unnatural situations, and the new breed of programs led in the UK by ‘The Only Way Is Essex’ (I believe Jersey Shore is the equivalent in the US), in which real-life situations are filmed in a very dramatic way, blurring the borders between reality and drama – this is the broadcasting phenomenon which is referred to over here as ‘structured reality’.

  3. Harry

    I’ll concede that the term “reality TV” is inexact. Shows like “Big Brother” and “Survivor” (which, I believe, have appeared in both European and American editions) or “Top Chef” (locally grown, I believe) put people in totally artificial situations and film their reactions. This is a rigidly structured “reality.” But I’d call these productions “game shows,” since the participants appear primarily in hopes of wining a very substantial prize.

    When it comes to pointing cameras at obviously atypical people in potentially dramatic situations, the concept goes back to at least 1973, when America’s PBS-TV broadcast a 12-hour documentary called “An American Family.” It created a sensation. The casts of “Jersey Shore” or “The Real Housewives” know that a sensation will get them on TV, so they take care to give the cameras everything they are looking for. This is less “structured reality” than “nurtured reality” or “provoked reality.”

    I still like “unscripted” as the most descriptive adjective.

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