J K Rowling just published a new short story on her website Pottermore.com about a 30-something Harry Potter and his friends watching the Quidditch World Cup 2014. Rowling wrote the 1500-word piece from the perspective of the fictional, bitchy Rita Skeeter, who records observations and opinions of the group for her gossip column in the Daily Prophet.
The FIFA World Cup in Brazil is clearly an inspiration, or writing prompt, for Rowling but we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the author is a fan of the hit UK show Googlebox—a sort of reality TV version of what Rita Skeeter does, or a room full of Rita Skeeters. Viewers tune in to watch other viewers watch reality TV shows and hurl comments at the TV as if a camera wasn’t right in front of them. It’s people watching people watch TV–an unlikely but oddly compelling formula. The American version of the show, The People’s Couch on Bravo TV is making a big splash, too.