Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days debuts tonight.

Super Size Me Morgan Spurlock subjects other people to 30 days of their own personal hell on his new FX series 30 Days, which debuts tonight at 10 p.m. ET. On the series, a Christian will live in a Muslim community, a homophobe will live with gay people, fossil fuel-dependent 30-somethings will live off the grid, and a mother will binge drink to try to identify with her daughter’s life. On tonight’s premiere, Spurlock and his fiancee move from New York to the midwest, where they’ll work minimum-wage jobs for a month.

The Washington Post says “[t]he series is most engaging when it stops hammering points home and indulges in the can’t-help-it pettiness and whimsical unpredictability that help make reality TV so engaging.”

The series doesn’t quite compare to his Oscar-nominated documentary, according to the LA Times’ review, which says that “isn’t as fresh, both because Spurlock’s not in it enough and because the ‘Super Size Me’ premise, superimposed onto other topics, doesn’t hold up as well. And so you can begin to feel trapped in the premise. The actual people used aren’t as camera-savvy as Spurlock, and the outsourcing of the role hurts the series.”

But The New York Times notes that while the show “uses an appealing patchwork of documentary formats … Spurlock proves he has a gift for gimmickry, and his cheerful game-for-anything style makes his borrowings forgivable and even laudable.”

30 Days [FX]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.