E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians debuts tonight

Having cancelled The Simple Life, E! finds another vapid socialite to follow around for Keeping Up With the Kardashians. The show debuts at 10:30 p.m. ET, and follows Kim Kardashian and seven members of her family. The show is produced by Bunim-Murray Productions, which also produced Paris and Nicole’s show, and reports called it a “comedic reality series.”

Alas, critics find nothing amusing in the new series. The New York Daily News’ Richard Huff calls it “contrived drama,” and says that while “Kim’s little sister — we’re talking 12 years old — works a stripper pole that Kim got her parents for their 16th anniversary,” “the show just isn’t very interesting, or entertaining. There’s no drama or anything like a real family scenario that would make a viewer feel like coming back. The family breaks no stereotypes of overhyped Hollywood life. They reveal nothing (other than Kim) and the family just isn’t endearing.”

The New York Times’ Ginia Bellafante says “it is purely about some desperate women climbing to the margins of fame, and that feels a lot creepier.” And Variety’s Brian Lowry says “there’s not much of a show here, and no discernible premise,” and adds that “[e]xec producer Ryan Seacrest is tethered to E! in a big way, so it’s understandable the channel would indulge his shallow whims. Fortunately, while they do, the rest of us don’t have to, making it pretty easy to say ‘Seacrest — and Kardashians — out!'”

Keeping Up With the Kardashians [E!]

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.