Foreground Noise

Here be a compilation of clips focussed on the unreality of reality television.

I grew familiar with the format of reality television since it was always on at home. This was before I matriculated, studying film and learning more about the processes in action, the tricks of the trade. This was all occurring during the surge of reality TV. So when I returned home three years later, I could no longer watch this predominant kind of programming in the same way – the seams were beginning to show.

It was as though it had become it’s own type of media, a disposable form of television that wasn’t made to be watched again, that didn’t require your full attention. The televisual equivalent of fast food. An excused guilty pleasure that isn’t intent on filling you up, so it could blamelessly leave you empty and craving more. Chewing gum for the eyes that tricks you into thinking you’ve seen something when really you have done fuck all. A type of show that acts as a sedative, that you switch it on in order to switch off.

It’s just something to put on in the background, I was assured. But how something so vulgar could be overlooked was beyond me. What was a box in the corner before I left home, had been rolled flat, now a light-emitting window that all the furniture was angled towards, screaming for attention. A tad overpowering for a visual-soundbed. A high-definition realer-than-reality image that seemed to spurt out this hyper-real imagining of celebrities performing amateur sports, ordinary people in talent-shows, and then constructed personalities in ordinary situations. Baffling and bizarre, and none of it real.

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