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Reality Check by Michael Essany

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Chapter | eleven

Reality Baggage

What comes with success in reality television? What comes with failure? No matter how you slice it, reality television comes with substantial baggage, whether you ultimately succeed or fail. Merely toiling in the genre itself will result in others perceiving you in a different way. But how that “different way” is interpreted, of course, depends on the beholder’s opinion of reality television—a format that in many ways divides as much as it unites.

To be honest, a lot of folks, including numerous heads of studios and major production companies, berate the reality genre as a malicious, trivial, and altogether worthless entity that taints its producers and participants by association alone. Others, conversely, view ...

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