stock up on reality TV-related gifts; play designer with Trading Spaces doll houses.

stock up on reality TV-related gifts; play designer with Trading Spaces doll houses.
Retailers have been grabbing our heads and ramming Christmas down our throats since, like, August, so I suppose it’s time to look at some reality TV-related gifts that you can buy and give to people who will undoubtedly regift them next year. For thoughtless gifts, there are the seven million new American Idol-related CDs, and a number of reality TV-related books. Or you could buy an organic cotton reality blurred t-shirt or other product branded with the striking reality blurred TV logo, all of which I forgot I was selling.

But few gifts let you actually pretend you’re on a show–or better yet, let you actually be its star. Sure, there’s the Trump board game, but that’s a board game, and the new Trump talking bobblehead doll that was advertised excessively on last night’s episode of The Apprentice 2, but that’s just scary. Enter the Trading Spaces-themed doll house rooms. The entire line includes a nursery, bathroom, and kitchen–or if one room isn’t enough, a single-story bungalow, or an entire three-story house. There’s even an outdoor version if you want to crawl under your bed and play Ground Force. Paint everything puce! Smear cat poo on the walls! It’s entirely yours. The only thing that it doesn’t come with are homeowners who will actually cry and complain after you’ve destroyed their room. But this can easily be accomplished if you buy the kit for, say, your child, and then redecorate the house while they’re away. See if you can make kids burst into tears over their missing fireplace or new hamster throw rug.

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.