Paradise Hotel’s editing helped us judge the cast members

How can we justify making fun of the sluts, morons, and jerks who populate our reality television shows? In a new essay for reality blurred‘s exposed journal, Amanda Ann Klein argues that it’s because they “aren’t people, they’re characters.” She fleshes out that idea and explores how and why we relate to cast members.

As her primary evidence, Amanda deconstructs FOX’s Paradise Hotel, offering detailed analysis of the program. She examines the dynamics between the Originals and the Barbies, describing how what we saw helped us “to determine the reliability of an individual contestant’s testimony in the present, a power we cannot access in real life.” Klein says the show “mimics the perspective of an omniscient, omnipresent, and therefore godlike, witness to the events taking place onscreen.”

Who knew that such a fun summer trash-fest could be so complex?

Judges of characters [reality blurred: exposed]

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.