Depth of Field: The Otherworldliness of the Democratic Presidential Debates

Reality TV is meant to trick the eyes. The high drama of housewives bickering about who said what over a bottle of wine. Cast members secretly scheming to avoid elimination off the island. Contestants blatantly lying to rig the game in their favor. What unfolds before us, to quote Susan Murray and Laura Ouelette in 2008's Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture, "is an unstable text that encourages viewers to test out their own notions of the real, the ordinary, and the intimate against the representation before them." This week, inside Detroit's Fox Theatre, Democratic presidential hopefuls participated in the second round of debates. Last night found two of the top candidates—Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Joe Biden, along with …