Contender “ignores … that boxing’s appeal rests with its resistance to cleanliness.”

Contender “ignores … that boxing’s appeal rests with its resistance to cleanliness.”
Examining NBC’s The Contender and its lack of overwhelming success so far, The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir argues that producer Mark “Burnett’s intended pasteurization of boxing … ignores the historic truth that boxing’s appeal rests with its resistance to cleanliness.” The show, he writes, “plays up the fairness of who fights whom; there are no predatory promoters roaming the ring before and after bouts; one boxer doesn’t make the other one wait interminably before leaving his locker room, and venal villains whom viewers would want to see knocked out have not emerged.” As such, the series is “disappointing” and “distorts what real boxing is.”

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.