The Real Housewives of New Jersey is one of many reality TV series of “The Real Housewives..” based off of the former hit TV soap series Desperate Housewives. This reality series airs on Bravo and follows the lives and series of events that take place in several women’s lives throughout the state of NJ. These women are usually friends or in similar friend groups but live for the drama and problems that are caused between them. The name of the series is deceiving to many because the shows follows divorcees, single mothers, families and wives. Although, their titles may be different all of their lives revolve around luxurious and wealthy ways of living. Their drama, broken relationships, divorces, parties, alcoholism and big drama all add to the “reality” portion of this TV series.
One of the interesting paradoxes about reality TV is that a show is less like reality, so the better the ratings become. By this I mean, less like our reality. Shows like The Real Housewives of New Jersey may be set in real places and show real people but their lifestyle and dramas are likely to be a million miles away from any reality that we’re familiar with. Transmedia can be described as a telling a story across multiple media and with audience participation and interaction. The engagement with each media heightens the audience’ understanding, enjoyment and affection for the story. To do this, the story in each media needs to be satisfying in its own right while enjoyment from all the media should be greater than the whole.
We tell stories and watch TV series like this because across mass media because no single media satisfies our curiosity and describes ones’ lifestyle. We surround ourselves in everyday life by unexpected opportunities and different ways of life. The people we wish to tell our stories to can choose not to care or to stop and listen. Technology and social media advances have allowed levels of customization, personalization and responsiveness so that common lifestyle is no longer expected or acceptable. Transmedia like such allows content that’s right-sized, right-timed and right-placed to form a larger, more profitable, cohesive an rewarding experience.
After reading units about Transmedia, it can be best described bye Henry Jenkins, “transmedia storytelling practices may expand the potential market for a property by creating different points of entry for different audience segments. Similarly, the strategy may work to draw viewers who are comfortable in a particular medium to experiment with alternative media platforms (as in the development of a Desperate Housewives game designed to attract older female consumers into gaming).” With this being said Jenkins information can be better said that the media can alter the information to fit its audience and can build whatever story and world it chooses. The two transmedia story telling elements are additive comprehension and world building.
World building develops in The Real Housewives of New Jersey as a fake materialistic overview of their world that they all claim to live in and be part of. Being an outsider who watches the show this TV series, and lives in NJ, this gives New Jersey and these “housewives” a fake persona and life that they think they live. Most people in the world know that this isn’t how they live and the drama they are involved in is created but many people still continue to watch the TV series and what goes on cause their world they live in. Everyone always wants to watch to know what is going to happen next.
Additive comprehension is a way to adapt and change our original views of a story. After watching a TV show, you may think that is how people act and how most people live their lives in The Real Housewives of New Jersey but that is not the case. This allows the viewers to change their perception and view as a whole. As Henry Jenkins said the development of a game that allows you to select who you want to be gives you the opportunity to become apart and play a role you didn’t have the chance to before.
Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. Genesis Framework, 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.