Mary-Ellis Bunim had breast cancer for eight years, but told few people.

Mary-Ellis Bunim had breast cancer for eight years, but told few people.
The New York Times gave The Real World and The Simple Life creator Mary-Ellis Bunim a proper obituary yesterday, recounting her career and its effects. Her funeral was attended by both TV execs and by “a cadre of Bunim-Murray alumni.” She died Jan. 29, but by then, the Times reports she “had been battling breast cancer for eight years. In contrast to the full disclosure she asked of her TV subjects, she had told few of her colleagues that she was ill.” Emily Nussbaum also manages to artfully elevate the often obnoxious and ludicrous content of her shows, writing, “At their best, the Bunim-Murray productions distilled the poignant lunacy of early adulthood: doofus philosophizing, humiliating flirtations, cutlery flung across the room.Throwing disparate young people into a lush loft (or a Winnebago, or a music studio), they triggered some surprisingly raw discussions of race, sexuality and gender. … At its tawdriest, the series could be a cautionary tale of what happens when you mix hot tubs with alcohol — or magnify narcissism with a zoom lens. But it was also reliably watchable: melodramatic, hilarious, phony, raw and tender.”

Frankie leads Big Brother's parade of delusion

Frankie on Big Brother

Heading into the finale, the delusion continues, with a re-appearance by evicted Frankie.

Related: The unwatchable cast of Fox's Utopia keeps yelling and screaming.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.