The Labour of Transformation on ‘Reality’ Television: Synoptical Viewing and Judgment

Skeggs, Bev. 2008. The Labour of Transformation on ‘Reality’ Television: Synoptical Viewing and Judgment. In: Tania Lewis, ed. TV Transformations: Revealing the Makeover Show. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415451482 [Book Section]

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The past decade has seen an explosion of lifestyle makeover TV shows. Audiences around the world are being urged to ‘renovate’ everything from their homes to their pets and children while lifestyle experts on TV now tell us what not to eat and what not to wear. Makeover television and makeover culture is now ubiquitous and yet, compared with reality TV shows like Big Brother and Survivor, there has been relatively little critical attention paid to this format. This exciting collection of essays written by leading media scholars from the UK, US and Australia aims to reveal the reasons for the huge popularity and influence of the makeover show. Written in a lively and accessible manner, the essays brought together here will help readers ‘make sense’ of makeover TV by offering a range of different approaches to understanding the emergence of this popular cultural phenomenon. Looking at a range of shows from The Biggest Loser to Trinny and Susannah Undress, essays include an analysis of how and why makeover TV shows have migrated across such a range of TV cultures, the social significance of the rise of home renovation shows, the different ways in which British versus American audiences identify with makeover shows, and the growing role of lifestyle TV in the context of neo-liberalism in educating us to be ‘good’ citizens.

This book was published as a special issue of Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies.

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Date Deposited:

28 Sep 2015 16:11

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 12:46


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