FOX’s Unan1mous debuts tonight

Following American Idol 5 tonight, FOX debuts a new reality series that has the potential to be completely awesome or totally horrible. The premise of Unan1mous is simple: Nine people are locked in a “bunker” and must make a unanimous decision to give the $1.5 million prize to one of themselves. Adding to that stress, “the longer it takes to make a unanimous decision, the less money there will be to win. If they take too long, they will be left with nothing,” FOX’s web site for the show says.

The cast is, preditably, composed of people who are opposites, like a “gay activist” and a “conservative Republican” who’s a minister. There’s also a “conservative Christian” trucker and a “self-described womanizer.”

Reviews for the new show are mostly bad. While The New York Post’s Linda Stasi says the series “is a fabulously torturous one … and is exactly what I don’t need: another wildly addictive show,” The Orlando Sentinel’s Hal Boedeker calls it “appalling” and says it “wallows in repulsive behavior.” And The Washington Post’s John Maynard says it “crams in several of the worst reality show gimmicks and crosses the border of tastelessness . . . all while remaining flat-out dull,” while The Boston Globe’s Matthew Gilbert calls it “grotesque,” “contrived,” “numbing slop.”

Unan1mous [FOX]

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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.