40 Hours of Television

The class is over, but the discussion continues. Does the media shape reality, or does reality shape the media? Art can imitate life...and life can imitate art. "40 Hours of TV" will explore the media and its impact on us all.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Dramatic Effect

Sound and editing are powerful tools in the hands of the right people, which can turn the most insignificant thing into a stop-everything moment. In Robert Greenwald's excellent documentary Outfoxed, we learn of the "Fox News Alert" and how it was designed (and intended) to introduce important "breaking news" to Fox viewers. Over time the alert evolved into something very different, where a news alert item might concern itself over the Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez "Bennifer" relationship.

As part of my Philosophy 197 assignment to watch 40 hours of television, I'm finding myself watching Judge Judy every night. I know, I know. But this is a show that critical viewing skills can be used. Watch the opening of the show and observe how the teaser for the show is put together. Quick edits, dramatic music, and dramatic voice-overs from the announcer ("A daughter, at odds with her mother, for watching the grandchildren while drunk!") with quick shots of Judge Judy responding to something (usually yelling at someone) with cuts back to the litigants and their responses/reactions. The show attempts to build up a lot of dramatic tension, but come on, it's a court show! But that's how the media works: get viewers by any means available. And, in my case, it's working.


Blogger Chicka said...

Judge Judy's a pip!

8:35 PM  

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