MTV’s True Life returns tonight with “I’m Addicted to Crystal Meth”

MTV’s next season of nine-year-old documentary series True Life returns tonight with an episode titled “I’m Addicted to Crystal Meth.” The episode follows “several young people whose lives have been taken over by the drug and will explore the challenges they face trying to rid themselves of their addiction,” according to MTV’s site.

Other episodes this season include “I’m Jealous of My Sibling,” “I’m a Staten Island Girl,” and “Shit I Have Fucking Tourette’s Syndrome Dammit.” (Okay, the real title does not include any profanity.)

MTV’s executive VP of news and documentaries notes that the show’s approach is different than traditional documentaries. “We’re capturing the authentic behavior of our audience in the moment that they are going through it. … the people in our shows are going through things in their lives that they don’t know the outcome of,” Dave Sirulnick tells the New York Times, which profiles the show.

To film the show, MTV doesn’t use large crews, and “will shoot up to 150 hours of video over a period of months to get the 43 minutes of material that makes it into the final program,” the Times reports. MTV’s Marshall Eisen says, “We couldn’t do this if we had to rely on the old equipment. ‘True Life’ works because we’re fly-on-the-wall observers. Intimacy is so important to these shows.”

True Life [MTV]
Unsimple Lives on an MTV Reality Show [The New York Times]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.