Austin officials happy with MTV portrayal, which is worth $20 million

One of The Real World Austin‘s seven strangers was welcomed to the city with a punch to the face in the middle of a street. Despite that, and despite the cast’s drunken, sexual antics, the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau is happy with the show so far. The organization’s marketing and communications director, Cynthia Maddox, says she was a “little shocked,” but says, “For the crowd that watches it, quite frankly, it looks like they’re having fun. It plays right to the crowd that this is intended for.”

That upbeat attitude might also have to do with the fact that “[t]he Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, using economic formulas beloved by tourism associations, calculated the show is worth $20 million in publicity for the city, based on the idea that every half-hour episode is a free ad.”

The Real Austin? [The Austin Chronicle]

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.