A recap of Big Brother’s recap episode

At first, I thought last night’s Big Brother 14 was going to be good: it started with Ian pacing and Danielle confronting Dan about his avalanche of lies and use of her as his strategic punching bag. In the Diary Room, her makeup and tears were streaked down her face and all over her shirt. Start with this, end with one, maybe two of the final HOH competitions? Bring it on.

And then the producers stuck it to us, like Dan promising Danielle a puppy and instead giving her a dead squirrel head. (Apologies: I found one of those in my yard this morning, so it’s kind of on my mind.) Eating brunch around a new, tiny dining room table, they had forced reflection on this season as if they were The Golden Girls, except just not funny or entertaining or charming or anything. I could not fast-forward fast enough.

At least Survivor has had the good sense to pre-announce these waste-of-time episodes and schedule them when fewer people will be watching, like the day before Thanksgiving. This is the penultimate episode, and now we have to get through everything (most of which has already been taped, incidentally) in a 90-minute quasi-live episode? Ugh.

Anyway, here’s a recap of everything interesting and useful about the recap episode:

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.