12 days of reality TV: what gifts has it given you?

It’s December, it’s chilly even here in Florida, there’s good music playing in stores, and I actually have a reason to listen to Delilah. Yes, it’s the holiday season, and though I am a heathen, I love these weeks before Christmas. It’s my favorite time of year.

That mood of celebration, plus reflecting on 10 years of reality TV and this site, got me thinking about the gifts reality TV has given me, besides more than a decade of writing reality blurred and getting to know all of you.

And thus the 12 Days of Reality TV was born. Yes, I’m ripping off the 12 days of Christmas, but since Christmas borrowed heavily from other celebrations, we’ll call it even. (Also, I understand that technically the 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas day, but I needed an arbitrary number. Scrooge.)

Starting next Wednesday, all the way until Christmas Eve, I’ll post another of the gifts reality TV has given me: a funny moment; a fantastic, underrated show; a popular but awesome show; a brief profile of a cast member who taught me something unexpected; or something else that I haven’t thought of yet.

I need your help to brainstorm, though–10 years, 18 with The Real World!–and there’s something in it for you. On the 12th day, I’ll compile a list of the best ones you submit, and pick a person at random from those who submit to receive a box of swag, perfect for re-gifting at your holiday celebrations. (I’ll draw that name Dec. 15.)

So: e.mail me your suggestions, and let the celebrating begin!

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

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.