Can you see yourself living here? Structures of desire in recent British lifestyle television
Author(s): Zborowski, James
As part of her ‘attempt to establish the specificity of contemporary [lifestyle] programmes’ on British television, Charlotte Brunsdon identifies ‘a changing grammar of the close-up’ as an important element of what she argues is a tendency for these programmes to offer melodrama rather than realism. Brunsdon argues that in the preceding ‘hobby’ genre, close-ups are ‘governed by the logic of exposition’ and instruction. However, in more recent programmes, ‘[i]nstead of focusing on operations, the camera focuses on reactions: the climax of GROUND FORCE [BBC, 1998-2005] is the close-up on the face of the garden owner, not the garden’. These close-up ‘reveals’ are a key part of the ‘after’ phase of the ‘before and after’ identified by Rachel Moseley as a constitutive trope of makeover television – a prominent subspecies of contemporary lifestyle programming.
Zborowski, James: Can you see yourself living here? Structures of desire in recent British lifestyle television. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 1 (2012), Nr. 2, S. 55–76. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25969/mediarep/15049.
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