SciFi’s Mad Mad House debuts tonight.

SciFi’s Mad Mad House debuts tonight.
SciFi’s Mad Mad House, which follows 10 guests competing against each other in a house with five “alts,” debuts tonight at 9 p.m. ET, opposite The Apprentice. The alts are a Wiccan, a naturist, a modern primitive, a voodoo priestess and a vampire, and they “will challenge [the guests], judge them and eliminate them one by one.” The last remaining guest–the most open-minded one–gets $100,000. Critical reaction to the show is mostly negative: The Miami Herald’s critic says the show is “such garbage that you should be severely punished if you’re even thinking about watching it,” while the New York Daily News describes it as a “mean, wretched series.” The Toronto Star is less harsh, saying it “swallows so many old gimmicks it often chokes on self-parody.” But Newsday writes that Mad Mad House “turns out to be more humane than most of its predecessors, not to mention funnier,” and the New York Times says it “is a ghoulish reality show that may inadvertently work to sound the depths of casual American religious belief.”

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.