The following is a story by Reuters about Bravo's show, "The Reality of Reality." There is a reference to body doubles used in Survivor. Anyone know what they are talking about?
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - How much did Fox and its producers know about the child of "Temptation Island (news - Y! TV)" contestants Ytossie Patterson and Taheed Watson, and when did they know it?
Did they, as the couple claimed, simply ignore the information for four months in order to hype the series? The question is raised but not answered in a five-part examination of the reality series genre.
That's all right, though. With or without a smoking gun to show that producers played fast and loose with the truth on "Temptation Island," there's still a lot here to demonstrate beyond anyone's reasonable doubt that reality shows are as close to reality as jungle gyms are to jungles.
That's pretty much the point of the first part, "How Real Is Real?" The answer, in a nutshell, is "not very." For example, there's the "High School Reunion" show on the WB Network that tapped alumni from three different graduating classes but never told viewers about its mix-and-match strategy. Or the UPN "Manhunt" series that did retakes of its Hawaiian contest, only substituting Los Angeles' scenic Griffith Park the second time around.
Then there were the body doubles used by CBS' "Survivor," the houses that didn't really belong to the families on NBC's "Meet My Folks," the phony information fed to Fox's "Joe Millionaire" contestants and on and on.
One producer explains it all very neatly: Reality is just too boring, he says. It has to be "assisted," which is done by clever casting, controlling the environment and oh-so-selective editing. Maybe it's a sign of pervasive public cynicism with the media, but one survey cited in the show says most of the public suspects that it is being fed stuff not fit for "Fear Factor" candidates but quite willingly swallows it with nary a burp of protest. Scary, huh?
Another episode takes a look at the "stars" of reality and how many of them try to stretch their 15 minutes of fame into something remotely resembling a career -- with only a few succeeding. There are also a few helpful hints for being selected, including being as obnoxious as you can.
Other episodes go behind the scenes, overseas and into the archives to trace reality's roots from the earliest days of television.
Writer-producer Anthony Storm gets a little breathless at times, especially during precommercial teases, but generally does a fine job or organizing the material and finding appropriate video. The narration is smoothly handled by Kyle MacLachlan (news).