They defuse discontent or even anger which comes from various types of social inequality, be it along the line of gender, class, and place Sun These programs are useful to viewers on two levels. They purport to provide practical information and everyday advice to individuals who need to learn new skills and knowledge to survive in the new socio-economic climate, especially those who cannot afford a middle-class consumer lifestyle and mainly watch free-to-air television for recreation.

And they give moral and ethical guidance to individuals caught in various kinds of personal dilemmas.


Intended to convince young, single and educated women to get married when they can instead of being ambitious about career and other pursuits, this discourse puts enormous pressure on young women to get married by mids, and reflects a palpable anxiety about marriage and romance on the part of young urban educated women Fincher What qualities are essential and desirable in looking for the significant other, and how does one ascertain if these qualities are present in the candidate? Dating shows such as If You Are the One may not come with ready-made answers, but they sure are an entertaining way of passing time when waiting for Mr or Mrs Right.

The middle-class people are an anxious lot indeed. Married individuals also live with their own fear and uncertainty.

While partners want to check that their marriages are secure, parents are equally keen to make sure that they are doing the right thing as parents. The logic of producing entertainment shows is easy to see.

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The television industry in China, still owned and run by the state, has to face the mandate of delivering politically safe yet highly entertaining and lucrative content. In this context, reality shows on relationships are the perfect genre to experiment with format, style and points of view, since compared to genres such as television dramas, reality shows are often relatively cheap to make.

Meanwhile, news is notoriously prone to censorship and control due to its perceived likeliness to trigger social instability, and to provoke widespread discontent and unrest, therefore posing a threat to the political legitimacy of the ruling Communist Party. Entertainment, by contrast, is often seen by China scholars in the field of political sciences to be politically innocuous and uncontroversial. But this is clearly a simplistic view.


Interestingly, in spite of, or perhaps because of, its growing popularity, If You Are the One was the prime target of this crackdown. Having captured the imagination of the national audience with the many blunt social commentaries made by its contestants on the stage, it also incurred the ire of the Chinese government. Initially criticising it for blatantly promoting materialistic and selfish values, the government required the show either to lift its moral standard or to risk being suspended. Succumbing to pressure, the show went through a few cosmetic changes in As a token gesture of submission, a few episodes immediately following the crackdown added rural migrant workers, Communist party-school academics and economically disadvantaged or marginalised social identities to the lists of participants, in order to defuse the accusation of wealth fetish and commodifying human relationship.

It is a response to the fact—which dawns on the government with increasing clarity—that instead of an ideologically safer zone which can avoid or gloss over the conflict between the rich and the poor, such programs can actually accentuate class tensions.

ARPA: If You Are the One: Dating shows, reality TV, and the politics of the personal in urban china

In this genre, camera crews follow the daily interactions of people in ordinary places, such as airports or restaurants, or follow people in a specific profession. This genre takes modern-day contestants and puts them in the lifestyle of historical people or places. This increasingly popular genre features ordinary people having home or lifestyle makeovers with the assistance of professionals. This genre, launched most successfully by music channel MTV , follows a camera crew into the lives of celebrities. This is perhaps the oldest reality show genre, popular as far back as the early days of television.

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This, the biggest and most successful reality genre, features contestants who compete for prizes, while often living together in close quarters. They usually feature the elimination of contestants until a winner is chosen. While not a direct spin-off, the show was a result of Brigitte Nielsen and It was narrated by Scott Mills for series 1 and 2, then Sarah Harding took over as presenter The show is created and produced by Endemol USA.

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The first season was hosted by Darren McMullen; season It stars Bret Michaels, the lead singer from the band Poison. The show closely resembles its sister show Each episode featured a group of 50 men and a group of 50 women competing for a date with one main contestant of the opposite sex. Take Me Out Single women searching for love hope to find a match in this fast-paced and unpredictable dating series hosted by entertainer George Lopez.

List of reality television programs

Each week, in front of a studio audience, brave Love Island Love Island is a daily British reality television programme. In the show, twelve single celebrities spent five weeks on an island in Fiji. Viewers would vote for the couple they would like to It features Tiffany Pollard, who is on a quest to find her true love. This series is a spin off of another relationship In the show, a group of single people live in a luxurious hotel The series premiered on November 15, and ended in An to year-old A young reality television producer Shiri Appleby is pushed by her Developed as a spin-off of Laguna Beach: The show premiered on April 26, , at There were a total of four seasons, the first two following the original show premise, and the last two Four seasons of the program were shown in linked pairs, and all Dismissed Dismissed is a reality television show on MTV that premiered in One person simultaneously takes two others on a date.