The Daily Show satirizes, mocks Laguna Beach

Last night, The Daily Show aired part two of their brilliant satirical Laguna Beach report. Jason Jones, who seems to be the correspondent most willing to humiliate himself to make a point, goes to Orange County to investigate residents who are upset with the show, and his visit is edited like an episode of the MTV series. At a few points, it’s so similar that the segment barely constitutes satire.

But mostly, it’s brilliant, from the editing (one is labeled “Gratuitous Scene Change”) to Jones’ narration (“We decided to do a montage.” “But to fill time, I needed a peripheral character absolutely no one would care about.” “As I walked along the beach, a song made me appear thoughtful, emotionally available… And to drive the point home, a series of dissolves.”).

He has a conversation with his assistant that stunningly mirrors the empty, incomprehensible conversations between the cast members. And best of all, he talks to one of the show’s critics, identified as Dave V., who at one point non-ironically says, “These supposed reality shows are scripted and coached. they’re not reality.–Is that what you wanted?” He may just be playing along, but he lets the Daily Show’s producers essentially script his lines as they ask him to repeat and rephrase what he just said over and over again.

Here are the two segments, starting with part one, which aired last week, and then last night’s conclusion:

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.