Autoethnography is the approach research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse a personal experience. The independent autoethnographic experience I chose to narrate and analyse was the Chinese TV show ‘If You are the One’. When creating my narrative for the TV show I chose to produce it in a layered account with hints of personal narrative. When producing my narrative in these forms it allows for there to be an autoethnographic experience as well as a relevant amount of research. I think that by allowing some kind of research on the topic is definitely does provide an emphasis on the nature of research and facts which I am definitely more comfortable with. Personal narratives were helpful in this case as it included both my stories and views as well as considering my academic past and personal experiences.
I believe that I learned quite a bit through using the autoethnographic narrative approach to write about the TV show ‘If you are the One’. I think that by writing my ideas and thoughts down in a narrative autoethnographic form I was able to sort through my thoughts and feeling of the show while watching. By doing this my narrative placed emphasis on what I was feeling/thinking/remembering while watching the show which was quite interesting when looking back. As previously stated I am a fan of TV dating shows and do watch them when I can in a way to relax. I found the TV show to be very different to what I would usually watch or what we are typically exposed to.
Most of my key thoughts about the show were discussed previously but the main ones that I would like to talk through where the translations of drama and comedy across cultures, the prominent game show theme as well as the brutal honestly the show held.
I found that my (little) cultural understanding of the origins of the show didn’t impact my viewing experience very much during my time watching. I found the show hard to watch while trying to also do something else but that could just be because of the translations of what they were saying were through subtitles. The process of reading the subtitles while watching the show was quite fun and I constantly found myself trying to turn up the sound so I could hear it better only to realise that it isn’t going to help to do that at all (just a bad habit).
I found that because this TV show was talked about in another BCM class I had the conversations that we had in that class run through my head which was quite good because it helped recap the whole idea of the show. I found that my whole understanding of the show and the cultural background of it was mostly formed by previous conversations from other tutors. However, with some light research on the show, I was also able to add to the information that I had already acquired beforehand. I found these kinds of interactions within the BCM class plus the research that was put in allowed me to explore my personal experiences and interactions as a way to achieve a better understanding of the culture and wider social understanding of the culture and wider social understanding of the context of the show.
I think that the whole show was an experience because of its unique style, both in the way that the game show like the room was presented but also in the way that the show’s narrative unfolded. Both the style and the way that the show was narrated gave it such a different feel which totally changed my encounter with dating TV shows.
The best way that I could describe or even compare the encounter would be the type of TV shows that we would be watching or be typically exposed to. The show felt out of this world and quite dramatic, which is something that I would say I was prepared for. It felt like a mash-up of all the good parts of Deal or No Deal, Family Feud and even the Bachelorette put together in a bright light, funny but quite serious way. The contestants were all in in unscripted situations and were improvising their way through the show in a way to make it as authentic and possible. I think that this brought out a lot of natural relationships between the contestant, the women, the presenter and even the audience. This type of interactivity between the people involved is something that I think we normally wouldn’t see in most of our own programs.