DiscoverSpectacle: An Unscripted History of Reality TV
Spectacle: An Unscripted History of Reality TV

Spectacle: An Unscripted History of Reality TV

Author: Neon Hum Media

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Reality TV is dismissed as guilty pleasure, low brow... even trash. But whether you want to admit it or not, you probably have heard of Snooki, Lisa Vanderpump or Kim Kardashian. Over the past 30 years, reality TV has become a place to see the social and political moment play out in real time -- from racial tensions on The Real World New York to gender dynamics on The Bachelor. On this season, join host Mariah Smith as she dissects the history of the genre one show at a time, revealing how it's shaped our culture and how our culture shaped it.

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Reality TV is dismissed as guilty pleasure, low brow... even trash. But whether you want to admit it or not, you probably have heard of Snooki, Lisa Vanderpump or Kim Kardashian. Over the past 30 years, reality TV has become a place to see the social and political moment play out in real time -- from racial tensions on The Real World New York to gender dynamics on The Bachelor.  On this season, join host Mariah Smith as she dissects the history of the genre one show at a time, revealing how it's shaped our culture and how our culture shaped it.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
E1: An American Family

E1: An American Family

2021-02-1043:323

In the first episode of season 1 of Spectacle, we'll go back to the show that started it all -- An American Family. Most probably haven't heard of the 1973 PBS docuseries but many argue it inspired reality TV. The series that followed the Loud family of Santa Barbara became part of the cultural moment -- spoofed on SNL and by Albert Brooks. Host Mariah Smith gets behind-the-scenes details from filmmakers and finds out why the show can't be streamed, anywhere, anymore. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
More than 25 years ago, MTV debuted The Real World. The cast of 7 artists had no idea what they were getting into when they moved into a Soho loft together. They had been told the show was a documentary following their lives. But they weren't prepared for how producers stirred up drama and cast for conflict. Looking back, the first season is surprisingly timely. A lot of it hinges on whether or not Julie - a young white woman - is racist. In this episode, we talk to cast and critics about how The Real World created a formula for quick, cheap, insatiable television. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When Survivor premiered in 2000, there was nothing like it. It was like Lord of Flies meets Castaway. That first season enthralled audiences as contestants backstabbed all for a chance to win $1 million dollars. Ultimately, the show also became a microcosm of greater society. With some seasons segregating by race or class, it emulated the divisions we see on the mainland. What does Survivor tell us about ourselves? In this episode, we talk to Survivor cast member Max Dawson and aficionados Andy Dehnart, Mike Bloom and Racquel Gates. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Bachelor and the Bachelorette have been on the air for nearly 20 years. Millions of people watch every episode. But have you ever wondered why it's still must-see TV -- given its problematic gender dynamics, its heteronormativity and its lack of diversity? In this episode, we dive into this problematic fave with people who know it well -- S2 Bachelor Aaron Buerge, S3 Bachelorette Jen Schefft Waterman and Bachelor Nation experts Claire Fallon and Emma Gray. You won't want to miss it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It's easy to get distracted by the glamorous trappings of the Real Housewives. The fancy cars, the McMansions, the Botox. But the franchise remains compelling because the women share what they are going through from evictions, postpartum depression and run-ins with the law. They’re real women with real problems -- that they allow the whole world to see. No two iterations are alike, but there’s something for everyone in the 10 Housewives shows from Orange County and Atlanta to New York and Potomac. In this episode, Mariah Smith talks to Housewives Historian Brian Moylan, reality TV scholar Racquel Gates and former RHOC cast member Peggy Tanous. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
From Kim’s sex tape scandal to Kourtney pulling her baby out during labor, to the scary Paris robbery -- the Kardashian sisters have shared it all over the past 20 seasons. That’s what this episode is all about. How Keeping Up with the Kardashians created TMI television. Nothing is off limits. This week, host Mariah Smith talks to New York Times writer-at-large Amy Chozick and KUWTK expert Professor Laurie Ouellette. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Queer Eye for The Straight Guy was an instant hit in 2003. Oprah, Jay Leno, even President George W. Bush were talking about the Fab Five. They were promoted as gay superheroes, who came in and made over a straight man’s life – but we never really got to know them. The Netflix reboot, out in 2018, changed all that. Today's Fab Five shares their struggles and opt for “make better” over “makeover.” In his episode, host Mariah Smith talks to OG culture guy Jai Rodriguez, interior design guy Bobby Berk and superfan Tobin Low. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
90 Day Fiancé is the trainwreck TV show we can’t stop watching. The secret sauce could be the romance. The tricky tropes. The desperation. I think it's desperation, actually. In this episode, we’re going to get into why 90 Days is so compelling as a social experiment. What do these chaotic relationships teach us? And what does the backdrop of the K1 visa process say about the immigrant stories we tell? Join host Mariah Smith as she dissects the franchise with comedians Marcy Jarreau and Nicole Byer and journalists Alexis Soloski and Shamira Ibrahim. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
All the winner of the Great British Baking Show gets is a cake stand. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a nail biter. In fact, we argue it’s one of the most anxiety-producing shows on TV and that it subverts the competition show paradigm. The Great British Baking Show doesn't need villains, a cash prize or crazy stakes. It's ...nice? Host Mariah Smith talks to 2019 winner David Atherton, journalist Scott Bryan and scholar Elizabeth Nathanson about how kinder, more earnest television can be just as captivating as its cutthroat counterparts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In 2021, it’s not enough to just become famous. To really capitalize on your 15 minutes, you need to tell a story and be authentic. The Circle perfectly captures this shift. It’s like the Real World but ...dystopian? Host Mariah Smith talks to S1 US cast member Chris Sapphire and journalist Etan Smallman about how the show demonstrates we can form real connections -- even through a screen. She also brings back scholar Racquel Gates and her producer Joanna Clay to discuss where reality TV is headed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Olivia Caridi, star of season 20 of “The Bachelor” and an avid watcher of all sorts of television, is known for her smart, quick-witted mouth in more ways than one. On her new weekly podcast "Mouthing Off with Olivia," she'll interview reality stars, actors and actresses, influencers and YouTube stars to get the latest in entertainment. Expect some major gossip, as Olivia will give each of her guests their own time to "Mouth Off" and deliver rants of epic proportions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Comments (11)

Celise LaGrange

Would love an episode on Love Island!

Mar 24th
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Mar 23rd
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Mar 23rd
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Feb 27th
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Kristi Neal

The Real World and Survivor episodes were great! keep up the good work.

Feb 25th
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Annette Loynaz

I love how informative and thoughtful this podcast is. Keep up the great work!

Feb 25th
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Neutral Spice

Came across this advertised on another podcast I listen to, and now I'm (Im)patiently waiting for the next episode to come out! It's so interesting, and a must listen for anyone that's grown up watching reality tv

Feb 17th
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Danny Pena

this started playing after a podcast I was listening started play... no. NO. NO. NO.

Feb 14th
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