critic: contestants should “go back to their lives when their reality TV shows are over.”

critic: contestants should “go back to their lives when their reality TV shows are over.”
Apparently unaware of the archetypal “media whore,” Chicago Sun-Times critic Phil Rosenthal makes an impassioned argument today for reality TV stars to go the hell away once their show is over. After recapping some contestants’ multiple show and media appearances, he writes, “As viewers, we thought we had an understanding: These people would get brief TV exposure, entertain us for a bit as producers made them eat bugs or pretend to fall in love or whatever. Then they would be discreetly returned to their lives, and we would get a new crop of camera-ready marks to dance like monkeys on a string for us.” Possibly realizing the futility of this argument, he concedes that “maybe it’s too much to ask these reality TV participants to go back to their lives when their reality TV shows are over. But that presumes they have lives to which to return. A lot of them probably don’t.”

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.