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.”

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.