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A Documentary that follows a group of people in a certain profession around, through their professional and sometimes personal lives. It is a form of Reality Show that shows real people, unscripted, doing day-to-day things.
In the past, the docudrama was either social commentary or a sociological experiment; the Michael Apted Up film documentaries or PBS's An American Family, which concentrated on the life of the Loud family. In 1992, MTV debuted The Real World, originally intended as a sociological experiment of sorts -- place disparate individuals in a single residence, and film them. Gradually MTV began contriving scenarios and The Real World became less documentary and more Reality Show.
Docu Soaps come in all flavors. Some focus on the typical day-to-day business dealings of the subjects; others are more about the interpersonal relationships and the potential for drama among the members of the ensemble.
Notable British examples:
- Ace of Cakes
- American Chopper
- American Guns
- American Hot Rod
- Ax Men
- Swamp Loggers
- American Loggers
- Big Rich Texas
- Deadliest Catch
- Dallas Divas and Daughters
- Ice Road Truckers All about truckers on Canada's northern ice roads. Later seasons moved to Alaska.
- Miami Ink
- Sons of Guns
- Storm Chasers
- Truth, Duty, Valour (Canadian Forces recruits)
- The Bravo network seems to have made something of a cottage industry of these shows: Work Out, Shear Genius, Million Dollar Listing, Millionaire Matchmaker, The Real Housewives Of Orange County (and its spinoffs in Atlanta, New York City, and New Jersey), Welcome To The Parker...