Functionality of narrative cinematographic components in the new television formats: Dating shows

Belén Puebla-Martínez, Silvia Magro Vela, Javier Fernández Valera

Abstract

For little more than a decade, a new format has been present in Spanish television programming: dating shows. These entertainment programs are a combination of different formats and content such as game shows and reality shows where emotional rewards prevail over the monetary component of traditional contests. The aim of this research is to examine how these programs construct a narrative based on elements previously established by the film industry. A content analysis is performed of the elements taking into account narrative structures, scripts, the revision of time and space, the viewpoint of the narrator and contestants, and the postproduction of these formats. The sample comprises programs defined as dating shows that have been broadcast in the last decade on generalist television and have a high audience, such as Granjero busca esposa (Cuatro, 2008–), ¿Quién quiere casarse con mi hijo? (Cuatro, 2012–), Un príncipe para… (Cuatro, 2013– 2016), Casados a primera vista (Antena 3, 2015–) and First Dates (2016–), among others. It is concluded that those “new” formats are nothing but a reformulation of classic mechanisms characteristic of narrative architecture, which is accommodated to sociocultural trends that currently dominate communication media.

Keywords

dating show; narrative; screenplay; television; reality show

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