TUES, Nov 16, noon: Reality Bites Back event with Jennifer L. Pozner and Jennifer Siebel Newsom, First Lady of San Francisco


BAY AREA EVENT REMINDER from WIMN and the International Museum of Women:

Nov. 16: Whose Reality? Exposing Gender, Race and Commercial Biases in Reality TV

11/16/2010: 12pm – 1:30pm

A conversation with Jennifer Siebel Newsom, documentarian, actress and First Lady of San Francisco, and Jennifer L. Pozner, Executive Director of Women In Media & News, media critic, author, Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth about Guilty Pleasure TV, on November 16th.

SeibelNewsomAndPozneer

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The International Museum of Women is thrilled to be hosting a noontime conversation between Jennifer Siebel Newsom, actress, filmmaker and First Lady of San Francisco, and Jennifer L. Pozner, media critic, author and Executive Director of Women in Media & News, on November 16th.

Just how real is reality television? With video clips of popular prime time TV shows and a trailer for the forthcoming film, Miss Representation, Newsom and Pozner will shed light on sexism and racism in entertainment media. Please join us for this important discussion about misrepresentations of women and people of color in reality TV, and ways you can demand media accountability.


RADIO, 11/15 1:00-1:40pmEST: Callie Crossley Show talks gender & race in reality TV


Quick hit: I’m going to be on The Callie Crossley Show today, Monday Nov. 15, from 1:00 – 1:40 EST, talking about the issues raised in my book, Reality Bites Back.

Knowing Callie (which makes this interview a treat, as she’s smart, politically savvy and funny) we’ll likely focus in particular on gender and race in reality TV, and on the economic factors that drive production and are responsible for regressive representations within the genre. Here’s the description on the show’s WGBH page:

Truth may be stranger than fiction, but what if fiction is passing for the truth? From “America’s Next Top Model, to “Flavor of Love”, to “The Bachelor” (and MANY more)- what’s real with hyper-realism? We talk with journalist Jennifer L. Pozner at the top of the hour about her book, Reality Bites Back.

Tune in to The Callie Crossley Show, WGHB, at the top of the hour — and call in at 877-301-8970!


Newsweek reviews Reality Bites Back: “Everything I Learned About Women I Learned From Reality TV” (Plus: my slideshow: “Reality TV’s 9 Worst Stock Characters”)


As a long-time media critic, I can tell you that

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this is not a sentence I’m accustomed to writing: Corporate media gave me a huge gift yesterday.

As I traveled to Denver (to moderate a panel and have a wine and cheese reception for my book at the Women’s Studies Association conference), Newsweek’s Jessica Bennett reviewed Reality Bites Back in a lively feature headlined, “Everything I Learned About Women I Learned From Reality TV.” Her subhead that says it all: “Which means I must think they’re all desperate, competitive, plastic-surgery-obsessed bimbos. The problem? Today’s reality entertainment is a lot more like fiction.”

I couldn’t be happier with Benett’s take on the book and the issue of representation of women in this genre throughout the last decade. She writes:


NYC BOOK LAUNCH PARTY and TWEET-UP TONIGHT!


BOOK LAUNCH PARTY TONIGHT!!! NYC TWEET-UP!!!

OK, I know, all caps and three exclamation points = excessive. Still, New York City, I’m just that excited to invite you to this celebration, which has been a loooong time coming.

WED. NOV. 10: Reality Bites Back Book Launch PARTY & TWEET-Up!

Time: 7:30 – 10:30

Place: The fabulous Kush bar and lounge, 191 Chrystie St., Manhattan (212-667-7328)

Cosponsored by Women In Media & News and Culture Kitchen‘s Liza Sabater (the mighty @blogdiva on Twitter) who is cohosting this party to double as a NYC indy media and feminist progressive tweet-up. Also supported by Paradigm Shift (scan down page).

After transcribing every episode of three

seasons of “Flavor of Love,” after NOT accepting “The Bachelor’s” rose for fourteen seasons, it’s finally here — Publication! Freedom from The Real Housewives of…everywhere! Sleep! (No, wait, none of that yet.) Come help this insomnia celebrate at the official book launch party for Reality Bites Back!


FINAL VIDEO: Reality Rehab Webisode 7: The Gangster Guy (and series conclusion)


Today, at last, I present the thrilling conclusion to the Reality Rehab with Dr. Jenn web series, Webisode 7: The Gangsta Guy!

If you’ve been reading the blog recently (or media outlets from The Vancouver Sun to Jezebel to The Frisky), you know I launched a satirical book trailer and webisode series last week, Reality Rehab with Dr. Jenn, which spoofs — and then liberates — reality TV’s stock characters through media literacy therapy.

In the final webisode of the series, The Gangsta Guy (actor Brian Moreland)–one of seven Reality Rehab cast members–starts out embodying all the racial stereotypes about men of color in reality TV (“I’ll pimp out every ho in this room! Of course I’ve been arrested. I’m from the hood!”). Yet during the course of media literacy therapy, we learn that he is only pretending to be a “G” because, as an urban planner, if he wins MTV’s “From Gs to Gents” he and his architect wife will be able to use the prize money to build community centers for troubled youth.


Like The Gangsta Guy? Blog him, tweet him, post him to Tumblr, share him on your Facebook wall — let’s make him go viral!


VIDEO: Reality Rehab with Dr. Jenn: Webisode 4: The Top Model


If you’ve been reading the blog recently (or media outlets from The Vancouver Sun to The Frisky), you know I launched a satirical book trailer and webisode series this week, Reality Rehab with Dr. Jenn, which spoofs — and then liberates — reality TV’s stock characters through media literacy therapy.

Who’s the latest to check in for some Reality Rehab? Introducing Webisode 4: The Top Model. In this episode, The Top Model (Kendra Leigh Landon) explains just how seductive is when fashion and beauty advertisers build modeling shows around clear instructions about which makeup and clothes to wear in order to be beautiful, valuable, and successful. Through media literacy therapy, she learns how and why most women will never achieve advertisers’ definition of beauty–and how important it is to think for herself:


Like Reality Rehab’s Top Model? Blog her, tweet her, post her to Tumblr, share her on your Facebook wall — let’s make this Top Model go viral, so that all the girls who watch America’s Next Top Model can hear her speak.

What, you say you haven’t seen the previous webisodes? Well, then, as Veronica Arreola says, “you’re missing out on a world of funny.” Check out — and then share/tweet/blog about — the whole series:


VIDEO: “Reality Rehab” Webisode 3: The “Real” Housewife


On Monday, to celebrate the official publication of Reality Bites Back, I blogged the launch of Reality Rehab with Dr. Jenn, a book trailer and satirical web series spoofing — and then liberating — reality TV’s stock characters through media literacy therapy. Monday also saw the debut of Webisode 1: The Desperate Bachelorette (see below), and yesterday we met “The Angry Black Woman” in Reality Rehab Webisode 2, also below.

Today, it’s time to reveal Reality Rehab Webisode 3: The “Real” Housewife. Although she doesn’t know what “homogeneous” means, she explains — while sipping copious martinis, naturally — that her friendships are actually much more supportive than it seems on Bravo, whose producers instructed her to focus her on-air conversations on “More brand names, less deep thought!” Her media literacy therapy includes a case study in Frankenbite editing–a must-see for every reality TV fan!

Four more Reality Rehab videos will roll out over the course of the next week, including The Slutty Bitch, The Top Model, The Douchebag Dude, and The Gangsta Guy.

***


VIDEO: “Reality Rehab” Webisode 2: The Angry Black Woman


On Monday, to celebrate the official publication of Reality Bites Back, I blogged the launch of  Reality Rehab with Dr. Jenn, a book trailer and satirical web series spoofing — and then liberating — reality TV’s stock characters through media literacy therapy.

Today, in Reality Rehab Webisode 2, “The Angry Black Woman” starts out as a screaming, cursing, threatening mess, just as so many women of color have been framed on Flavor of Love, The Apprentice, and America’s Next Top Model. But after intensive media literacy therapy, she explains how producers manipulated her persona–turns out, she’s actually a compassionate hospice nurse who never wanted Flav in the first place!

Watch the brilliant Allison Jones unpack one of reality TV’s most insidious forms of  racial typecasting:

Close to 700 people have watched the trailer in the first day and a half, and it was picked up by the Vancouver Sun and half a dozen other Canadian news outlets. Blog it, tweet it, share it on Facebook, Tumblr… let’s spread the laughs around:


RSVP, New York: Reality Bites Back reading Nov 4, PARTY & Tweet-up Nov 10! (And more.)


Hey New Yorkers: are you looking for something fun and politically relevant to do after the election dust dies down? (Yes, I’m voting today…and so should you. Soapbox moment over.) Well, here are two options for you — I hope to see you at one or both of these exciting events.

Option #1: the intellectually stimulating choice…

THURSDAY, NOV. 4: My first official book reading for Reality Bites Back!

Time: 7pm (through 8:30 or 9-ish)

Place: Bluestockings, 172 Allen St, Manhattan (nearest subway: F to 2nd Ave) (212) 777-6028

Co-hosted by WAM!NYC (the local chapter of Women, Action & Media) and Women In Media & News (the media analysis, education and advocacy org I direct), and supported by Paradigm Shift (scan down page).

Why is reality television built on such blatant gender and race stereotypes? Why are women and people of color represented so harmfully, and with so much bias, in popular culture? What is “Frankenbite” editing, how many hours of tape are shot for every hour of reality TV aired, and how much cheaper is it to produce a reality show than a scripted program? Is it true that networks are simply “giving people what they want,” or is reality TV really the result of media consolidation, media economics, and stealth advertising?


VIDEO LAUNCH: Reality Rehab with Dr. Jenn


Today, in conjunction with the official release of Reality Bites Back, I’m

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excited to debut a satirical book trailer and webisode series, “Reality Rehab with Dr. Jenn“– where all your favorite reality TV stock characters come to get deprogrammed:

In addition to the trailer, I’ll be rolling out seven webisodes, one for each character. The first webisode follows The Desperate Bachelorette (modeled after shows such as The Bachelor, Tough Love, Married By America, Joe Millionaire and more). When we first meet her, she embodies reality TV’s stereotype about single women as weepy, pathetic losers who can never possibly be happy or successful without husbands, mouthing lines pulled directly from actual quotes from some of these shows, such as “I don’t want to die alone!” and “I would be a servant to him!” By the end of the webisode, her media literacy therapy has helped her realize that, in fact, she has a full life, a great career and a lot going for her, and she can wait for a truly fulfilling relationship, rather than grasping for romance with any randy dude who’ll snog her for fifteen minutes on national TV.