The Artifice of Reality in East Asia

Michael Keane, Anthony Fung and Albert Moran

in New Television, Globalisation, and the East Asian Cultural Imagination

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9789622098206
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207219 | DOI:
The Artifice of Reality in East Asia

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This chapter examines the influence of reality-television formats in East Asia and looks at how they function as alternative models of program investment and production. While reality television is a product of European and North American television systems, it has a different provenance in East Asian society. Reality television provides a fresh alternative to documentary, an expository form that state-owned broadcasters actively exploited for the explicit purpose of state-building. In 2002, the first survival reality show in East Asia, Into Shangrila, was conceived in China. Within a short time, other programs emerged such as Perfect Holiday and Indiana Jones. Most of these shows were promoted as exercises in documentary anthropology rather than just escapist game shows.

Keywords: reality television; documentary; reality show; Into Shangrila; China; Perfect Holiday; Indiana Jones; documentary anthropology

Chapter.  6781 words. 

Subjects: Television

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