Articles tagged with: reality tv

FROM OZZIE NELSON TO OZZY OSBOURNE

on Wednesday, 18 May 2011. Posted in Student Notes

NOTES PREPARED BY RIO SAKuRAI

Summary

Although there has been argument on how to categorize the show, The Obsbournes marked a signifigant milestone in the development of Reality Television. Rather than address The Obsbournes as a new hybrid form of factual entertainment TV, initial news articles characterised the show as a parody of more traditional family sitcom fare. The show emphasized the dysfunction of the Osbournes, “the family that put ‘the fun in dysfunctional’”. The Osbournes were likened to cartoon versions of the traditional American family and contrasted with the representative functional 1950s television family. They are contrasted to any show that represents some kind of idealisation of the family such as The Waltons or The Partridge Family. Even though Reality TV can claim to be less contrived than scripted sitcoms, its producers deliberately cast players who represent a spectrum of different personality types and thereby guarantee certain actions to happen in predictable ways.

FROM OZZIE NELSON TO OZZY OSBOURNE

on Wednesday, 18 May 2011. Posted in Student Notes

NOTES PREPARED by will kreiser

Gillan roots the basis of the reality star sitcom – the genre under which she classifies The Osbournes - to the star sitcom, a sub-genre prevalent in US TV in the 1950s. Some examples of couples in those early star sitcoms include Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Gracie Allen and George Burns, and Ozzie and Harriet Nelson. Specifically she states, “I contend that the 1950s star sitcoms are an embryonic form of Reality Television and that The Osbournes, in turn is a development of that form.”(page 56) She focuses on a comparison between the Nelsons and the Osbournes throughout the article, as Ozzie Nelson and his TV wife were actually married, and as Ozzie claimed they “relive[d] before the camera the everyday events of their own home and neighbourhood”. This is extremely similar to the ‘so-called’ real events depicted on The Osbournes, which we are led to believe are the everyday events of the Osbourne home.

Gillan points out that the Nelsons are indicative of a normal TV family. She contends that though it may not seem so at first, the Osbournes are a similar sort of normal TV family. It is this state of “normal”-ness that makes the show relatable and enjoyable. Gillan goes on to point out the real personalities of the Osbournes are “updates” to character types (listed paragraph 3 page 57) of 50s sitcom characters.  She claims, “the shows that centre on family each offer the same implied message: this family might seem different to yours at first but you will soon see that it is essentially the same.” (Page 56)