reality blurred looks back at 2000.

reality blurred looks back at 2000.
If you were an early adopter of reality TV, this was definitely your year. And if you were just introduced to the genre, it was the best year ever to be introduced. What PBS started with An American Family was developed into an art form by Bunim-Murray with The Real World (and Road Rules), gave way to the awe-inspiring Survivor, the dreck of Big Brother, and all the rest. Next year promises to be even more full of reality TV, although we’ll see if the format climbs even higher or crashes and burns under the weight of poor copycats.

As the year winds to a close, reality blurred obligatorily looks back on the year by presenting some of the highlights from the archives. Also, I want the weekend off.

  • week one: this site is born, and the winner is discovered on CBS’ Web site. not.
  • speculation week: did CBS’ Web staff reveal Greg’s banishment? (yes.) is Josh gay? (?) is Kelly a criminal? (sort of.) does CBS suck for giving us Big Brother? (you bet.)
  • Survivor finale week: Rich wins Survivor and 51 million jaws drop in shock.
  • revolution week: the Big Brother revolution ends! Burnett plans Destination Mir! Cassandra is banished! the house guests run out of toilet paper!
  • celebrity week: Rudy goes to the Supreme Court, Media Jammers sneak into the compound, Danny kisses a girl, Bob Barker rescues chickens, and reality blurred’s Survivor finale party gets four seconds of air time on MSNBC.
  • decision week: Rich finally releases his book, Russia decides to junk Mir, and Making the Band (and O-Town) gets a second season.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.