The Simple Life 2 debuts tonight.

The Simple Life 2 debuts tonight.
Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie begin their trek across our TV screens tonight as The Simple Life 2 debuts on FOX at 8 p.m. ET, followed by a second episode in its regular 9 p.m. timeslot. They travel from Florida to California without credit cards or cell phones, staying with and working for various families along the way. The series isn’t generating a lot of positive reaction this time around: The Seattle P-I says FOX “simply had to see if there was anything left. There isn’t.” The Hollywood Reporter says “the odds are fairly stacked against a single moment of genuineness–much less humility–emerging,” and “whatever goofball charm they may have had the first time around is lost this time in a sea of vainglory.” The New York Daily News says that only “if you realize – though they don’t–that the joke’s on them, then ‘The Simple Life” remains a rewarding reality-show experience.'” The New York Times’ Virginia Heffernan, not surprisingly, manages to use 469 words to say basically nothing about the show at all.

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.