12 days of reality: regifting 11 years of reality blurred end-of-year recaps

We’re winding down this 12 Days of Reality TV feature, and that means I’m out of ideas, so it’s time to recycle some. For the past 10 years, I’ve looked back at the year in reality TV with a summary of trends and highlights and a separate list of the top reality whores of the year, people who literally or metaphorically sold themselves for fame. As you can imagine, there are a lot of candidates for both.

Because reflecting on highlights from the past decade of reality television has been more fun than thinking about who sold out, I think that, for now, I’m retiring that feature, replacing it with a 12 Days of Reality TV from the past year: clips and highlights of the gifts reality TV gave us. It’s more fun to celebrate than criticize, or at least how I feel right now.

Tomorrow, your suggestions for the 12 Days of Reality TV. And next week, I’ll run down the year’s most-popular stories, and examine the trends from this year in reality. But for today’s reality TV gift, it’s a regift: a list of the lists from 2000 to 2009. I reviewed them before thinking about what I wanted to highlight in this feature, and there’s a lot of stuff I’ve forgotten about, and a lot of stuff that’s permanently etched into my brain. Have fun exploring that history:

The 12 Days of Reality TV (introduction)

  1. Richard Hatch it a tree
  2. Two dog bites in the vagina
  3. Three people fighting on Real World, and “it wasn’t not funny”
  4. Four seasons of The Mole
  5. Five golden vetoes
  6. Six Deadliest Catch seasons
  7. Charla and Mirna race around the world
  8. Joe Millionaire’s slurps, Joe Schmo’s schmo
  9. Bands running on VH1’s Bands on the Run give birth to Magical Elves
  10. Osbournes ham-throwing
  11. Regifting 11 years of reality blurred end-of-year recaps
  12. 12 reader suggestions, from Erik giving up immunity to The Real World’s Pedro

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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.