Next week: SYTYCD turns 150, RuPaul’s Drag Race gets a spin-off, plus animal hoarders

Past/forward took a week off for reality blurred’s 10th anniversary last Friday, but it’s back! Aren’t you excited?

The Past

While we celebrated an outstanding new Bravo competition series, MTV’s marquee pseudo-reality series came to a smart, clever end, but the week’s best television belonged to the televised end of a life: Phil Harris’ final episode of Deadliest Catch aired and it was handled flawlessly (if you missed it, definitely watch the final act).

The Forward

  • Friday, July 16
    The big collision, previewed for weeks, finally happens tonight on Whale Wars [Animal Planet, 9 p.m.], which has never been better. A new show, Man, Woman, Wild [Discover, 9 p.m.] follows a husband and wife who are a survival expert and journalist respectively. Like Man vs. Wild, they will be dropped into a remote location and surive for four days and four nights, presumably without staying in a hotel. Also tonight, DC Cupcakes [TLC, 10 p.m.] debuts and follows two sisters who run a cupcake business.
  • Saturday, July 17
    If you want to scare the shit out of yourself tonight, check out the premiere of My Ghost Story [Bio, 10 p.m.], during which people tell their ghost stories and show images and video they captured of their encounters with ghosts. Also, Pit Boss returns [Animal Planet, 10 p.m.], following little people who rescue pit bulls.
  • Sunday, July 18
    After Next Food Network Star, a new competition, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, gets previewed [Food Network, 10 p.m.]. The title says it all: teams have to open a restaurant for one night in less than a day. Also tonight, Design Star [HGTV, 10 p.m.] teams redesign New York City fire stations. And of course, the Big Brother 12 houseguests will battle to see who gets to eat [CBS, 8 p.m.].
  • Monday, July 19
    Two seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race give way to RuPaul’s Drag U [Logo, 9 p.m.], on which drag queens from the first two seasons help make over women, who of course are competing. Later, True Beauty ends its second season [ABC, 10:02 p.m.], which didn’t manage to improve on its weak first season in any way. Also tonight, Lucky, a documentary that checks in with lottery winners to see how their lives are going after winning, airs as part of HBO’s summer documentary series [HBO, 9 p.m.].
  • Tuesday, July 20
    On MTV, Teen Mom returns for a second season [MTV, 10 p.m.], and is followed by another series that helps the network atone for its other sins: You Really Knew Me [MTV, 11 p.m.] follows five kids at a school who are participating in “Challenge Day,” a program that’s designed “to provide youth and their communities with experiential workshops and programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth and full expression.” Earlier, Losing it with Jillian ends its first season [NBC, 8 p.m.] after proving itself to be a decent spin-off of The Biggest Loser, with slightly less egregious product placement, while Kathy Griffin gets a pap smear in public on My Life on the D-List [Bravo, 9 p.m.].
  • Wednesday, July 21
    Animal Planet borrows from A&E with its new series Confessions: Animal Hoarding [Animal Planet, 9 p.m.] Also tonight, So You Think You Can Dance [Fox, 8 p.m.] airs its 150th episode, while Pros vs. Joes returns for a fifth season [Spike TV, 10 p.m.], and NBA players face off against NFL players.

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.