Padma Lakshmi mocks herself, Top Chef, and the Glad family of products on 30 Rock

When I saw a preview of Padma Lakshmi’s guest appearance on 30 Rock, I thought she was, well, terrible, and this didn’t bode well for her future in sit-coms.

But the one line highlighted in the previews turned out to be out of context, and she was quite funny. The writing gets most of the credit for the humor, from the joke about Padma creating her own line of sandwich bags to her complaints about Top Chef‘s demands on her, but she gets credit for making fun of herself and pulling it off convincingly. As a bonus, she seems far less annoyed as she has all season on the Bravo show.

Watch the full episode to see her appearance in context, but here’s the part where she appears (her scene alternates with one featuring Tina Fey, so stay with it):

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.