Wednesday, January 21, 2015

REPOST: The Reality of TV with Max Dawson

In light of recent events, we're reposting a podcast originally published in March 2013 with Survivor 30's Max Dawson. Check it out if you'd like to familiarize yourself with Max, or if you'd simply like to relive the eternally glorious Shamar Thomas era. A written transcript of this podcast is also available here.

It's impossible to fully appreciate shows like Survivor unless we understand the wider context that underlies them, so we asked Max Dawson, media consultant and professor at Northwestern University, to tell us what we need to know. He paints a vivid picture of the state of the American television industry at the turn of the century and explains how the show we all love revolutionized its genre and television as a whole, before looking at how reality TV has grown and changed over the past decade. We then return to the show that started it all, talking about the evolution of Survivor over the years in everything from casting to editing to gameplay, and try to find words to express our - and seemingly everyone's - collective disappointment with the current season [Caramoan]. Finally, Max tells us about his TV course at NU (#rtvf330 for those of you in the Twitterverse), and the rewards and challenges of teaching an interactive class.

You can listen here or on iTunes here.

You can read more about #rtfv330 here and find Max on Twitter here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Survivor 29: Season in Review

Another season of Survivor has, if nothing else, become part of the historical record. But is San Juan del Sur worthy of a higher general opinion? Just how strong was Natalie's game and where does she fit in on the all-time winner rankings? Who might we see return for a future season (besides Olivia Feldman)? And what can we expect from Survivor: Collar Island? Find out on the player below, here, or on iTunes here.