Joe Schmo is “riveting” because of Matt’s “goodness”; is Matt an actor?

Joe Schmo is “riveting” because of Matt’s “goodness”; is Matt an actor?
Spike TV’s The Joe Schmo Show, which features a cast of actors, producers, and writers faking out a guy Truman Show-style who thinks he’s on a reality TV show but really is not, “is riveting precisely because Matt talks so honestly to the camera and to his fellow contestants,” Slate’s Meghan O’Rourke writes. She says that because of Matt’s “essential goodness” and “moral backbone,” viewers “begin to root for him to overcome the temptations of everyday compromise.” She also says that he “is so close to perfect … that you begin to wonder if the show might be faking us out in another way. Maybe Matt is an actor too, and we’re the Joes who ‘don’t know,’ as the show’s motto puts it.”

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.