Author and reality TV producer Anne Swan (The Real World, Real Housewives of Atlanta) talks about how reality TV is changing the way we write our narratives.
MTV’s The Real World is now in its 22nd season and reality TV is no longer just one thing. We have competitive reality, soap docs, reality dating and everything inbetween. At this point you can’t say reality is one part of television. It is television and its influence can be felt in every other art form, especially in fiction, in books by Tao Lin or Sheila Heti.
We first met Anne Swan when Joyland published one of her stories. It was after that we learned she had worked for years in documentary and reality TV production, including early seasons of The Real World and most recently Real Housewives of Atlanta. We asked if she could talk about her career and her take on how reality is changing the way we write our narratives. We ended up talking about that and more including what effort goes into shaping a production, the influence of early works like Michael Apted’s Up series and Swan’s own novel set in— where else—reality TV production.
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