Hugh Hefner’s Girls Next Door debuts tonight

Billed as “the first reality show that takes you inside the Playboy Mansion,” E!’s The Girls Next Door debuts tonight at 9 p.m. ET. Exactly what the eight-episode series is about isn’t clear, but all the show’s audience really needs to know is that it stars “Hef’s three girlfriends–Holly, Bridget and Kendra.” At least we know that it’s impossible to get an STD by just watching TV.

Hugh Hefner himself apparently “makes only cameo appearances” on the show, according to the AP. But it’s infused with his philosophy: “The major message in my life is there isn’t one way to live your life, and we should not be judging if they’re living it a little differently next door — many roads to Mecca. I think, in my own way, I’ve tried to break down the boundaries related to sexuality, related to age, related to gender,” he says.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Ray Richmond says the series is “an oddly unreal collection of sound bites and vignettes” that “is notably shallow and ludicrous” that “even by E! standards … proves a spectacularly brainless excursion.”

The Girls Next Door [E!]

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.