UPN’s The Player debuts tonight.

UPN’s The Player debuts tonight.
UPN debuts its first reality TV dating series tonight with The Player, which debuts at 9 p.m. ET and “follows a stunning Miami model named Dawn and her two girlfriends for eight weeks as they pit 13 self-described ‘players’ against each other in a quest to be the last one standing.” The big twist in the Miami-set series: Most of the suitors are not white. As part of its interview with Dawn, TV Guide says the series “promises just as much two-faced trashiness as other prime-time dating games … [but with] equal-opportunity degradation!” Dawn describes her attitude toward love, which also differs slightly from the typical reality dating show: “My career is the important thing in life right now. Guys are just a game to me. And I have been played. Once you’re defeated like that, you don’t want to be played anymore. You want to take that role yourself, so now you’re playing guys.” Reviews aren’t pretty: David Bianculli gives the series just a half of a star, arguing that it is “extremely good-looking” but says “when it comes to this baker’s dozen of posturing twentysomethings, even Adonis and Narcissus would have trouble projecting more smugness.” Linda Stasi says it “is so cheesy that all you need is macaroni for a complete dinner.” One more glowing review comes from Phil Rosenthal, who says, “Hate nearly everything about this ridiculous waste of time.”

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.