Know Your Neighbour is a proposal for a half hour reality television show in which residents of an apartment building get to know their neighbours in a light-hearted way that breaks down barriers and reveals compelling stories. The residents uncover each of their neighbour’s backstories through challenges: tricky trivia questions and a special snooping test. If they earn enough points as a group they win a break on their rent. Even if the neighbours fall short of their goal, the show helps create the beginnings of a community inside their previously disconnected building. The show’s bible demonstrates the structure of the new format.
Research supports the idea that people are motivated to appear on reality television in order for a chance to define or try-out their identities within a media-obsessed culture. This is accomplished by encouraging people to share their personal stories and by assigning them a type or role that they feel comfortable performing. My format explores and applies this idea to apartment buildings in order to help people define the roles they can play within their communities.