Texas Ranch House debuts tonight on PBS

Texas Ranch House, PBS’ latest historical reality series, debuts tonight at 8 p.m. ET on most PBS stations, and airs two hours a night for four nights. The show follows a group of 15 people as they live in 1867 Texas and work on a ranch, and is narrated by Brokeback Mountain star Randy Quaid.

The New York Times’ Anita Gates doesn’t really review the show, previewing the drama instead, and there seems to be plenty of drama, although some of it is manufactured by the producers and other incidents aren’t caught on camera.

The critics who actually bothered to make an argument about the series don’t really seem to like it. The Boston Herald’s Mark A. Perigard says it has a “lethargic pace” and is “tedious,” while The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Rob Owen says the cast is too unlikable. And The Oregonian’s Peter Ames Carlin says “it’s a bust” because the show is missing “shamelessness,” and because “the camera keeps missing the fun.”

Texas Ranch House [PBS/WNET]

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.