The Simple Life debuts tonight.

The Simple Life debuts tonight.
Months of anticipation climaxes tonight, although not in night vision, as FOX debuts The Simple Life tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET. The second episode airs tomorrow night at 8:30. Produced by Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray, the team behind The Real World, the show follows Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie as they terrorize a small town in Arkansas (one woman says “the girls ran around town, the way they were dressed and the way they acted” was “not a good influence on” local boys). The show even wrapped early because the locals “loathed” the girls. Loathing from locals equals love from critics, whose orgy of love for the show led FOX to delay the premiere. As of right now, FOX doesn’t have much love for Paris, who’s apparently hiding (and flying coach); her “New York-based publicist, Dan Klores, has angered Fox officials by abruptly canceling all of her scheduled appearances,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Still, her sex tape is likely help the show, although Nicole’s heroin bust might not generate as much buzz. Here’s a round-up of reviews from critics and others:

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.