PBS’ POV documentary series turns 25: watch its films online

Tonight, PBS’ documentary series POV debuts its 25th season with the debut of a documentary called My Reincarnation about a father and his son, who rejects the idea that he’s a reincarnation of a Buddhist master.

A preview of this season is below; it includes films about an activist New Orleans resident post-Katrina (I’m Caroline Parker), lovers of romance novels (Guilty Pleasures), journalists who risk their lives (Reportero), an innocent 19-year-old student convicted and given the death penalty for rape and murder (Give Up Tomorrow), and the “complex supply chain of young models” (Girl Model).

PBS says POV’s films “provide unparalleled access to half-hidden worlds of timely interest,” and has become “American television’s longest-running series dedicated to contemporary nonfiction programming,” and notes that “POV films have won virtually every major film and broadcasting honor, including Academy Awards, Emmys and Peabodys.” Many of its films, such as American Gypsy, are online for free, and demonstrate the best kind of short-form reality programming.

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.