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Truth and ConsequencesGame Shows in Fiction and Film$
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Mike Miley

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496825384

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496825384.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 28 November 2020

What’s My Line?

What’s My Line?

Game Shows and the Quest for an Authentic Self

Chapter:
(p.34) Round One What’s My Line?
Source:
Truth and Consequences
Author(s):

Mike Miley

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496825384.003.0002

Round One explores works that use (and abuse) trivia to reveal how the hypermediated consumer culture of late capitalism traps individuals in a metaphorical isolation booth, unable to establish a stable sense of self. Just as the quiz-show scandals of the 1950s nearly killed the quiz show, works such as Quiz Show, Melvin and Howard,Slumdog Millionaire, and Chuck Barris’s “unauthorized autobiography” Confessions of a Dangerous Mind suggest that a rigged game presents an existential threat to the self. Amidst the pressure to conform to the norms of the community of television, individuals betray themselves to get ahead in America, often finding themselves trapped in the isolation booth of their social class. Further, Philip Roth’s novel Zuckerman Unbound,Kiese Laymon’s novel Long Division,and Robert Olen Butler’s story “The American Couple,” show how these questions of selfhood in the age of the game show can be exacerbated when the protagonist is an outsider to game-show culture.

Keywords:   Quiz Show, Chuck Barris, Slumdog Millionaire, Philip Roth, Postmodern identity

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