Next week: The Amazing Race returns (yay) and so do Jeff and Jordan (ugh)

A look back at what happened last week in the world of reality TV, and what to look forward to next week:

The Past

The Forward

  • Friday, Feb. 12
    Tonight, CBS will re-air Undercover Boss‘s first episode [9 p.m.], desperately hoping that the post-Super Bowl ratings weren’t just a fluke and people will keep tuning in. Before that, the network will also re-broadcast Surviving Survivor [9 p.m.].
  • Sunday, Feb. 14
    It’s Valentine’s Day, but who the hell cares: The Amazing Race is back [CBS, 8 p.m.], starring cast members I don’t love and someone else who probably doesn’t even know how to spell “love.” Afterwords, the CEO of Hooters goes undercover on Undercover Boss [CBS, 9 p.m.]. On cable, Ruby Gettinger returns for a third season of chronicling her weight-loss journey on Ruby [Style, 8 p.m.], and Tool Academy returns for a third season [VH1, 9 p.m.], perhaps providing the world with more men who are willing to do porn after their reality show stints are complete. Also, MTV Canada docudrama Peak Season: Vancouver comes to the US [VH1, 11:30 p.m.] and follows young adults living in Canada’s southwest, and it will air a new episode every night, conveniently scheduled against the Olympics.
  • Monday, Feb. 15
    Muhammad Ali is the subject of Facing Ali [Spike, 9 p.m.], a documentary in which 10 fighters, including George Foreman and Joe Frazier, talk about what it was like to face him in the ring (it’s also on DVD). Speaking of fighting, Kell on Earth [Bravo, 10 p.m.] started slowly for me, but she won me over last week by bitching out the incompetent interns. And it helps that some of her staff sucks, too, so there’s always lots of drama. Tonight, the episode description says “Kelly must make a difficult decision.” Time for a firing?
  • Tuesday, Feb. 16
    There’s a two-hour Hollywood round on American Idol 9 tonight [Fox, 8 p.m.] as Fox faces off against the Olympics.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 17
    American Idol 9 finally reveals its top 24 finalists [Fox, 9 p.m.], and viewers take over as the judges’ power is reduced to commenting on each performance during the live shows.
  • Thursday, Feb. 11
    New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof is followed by a film crew during a visit to war-ravaged Congo in a new documentary, Reporter [HBO, 9:30 p.m.].

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.