Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s eloquent defense of Real Housewives, reality TV

Retired NBA player and current Splash contestant Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has written an incredibly smart and eloquent defense of Bravo’s trashy reality soap opera franchise The Real Housewives, and a defense of documentary-style reality TV as art that has great value. He also argues that the housewives are undermining feminism and equality for women.

His Huffington Post essay How the Real Housewives Have Made America Better sounds like a joke but he is completely serious, and makes a compelling case:

“Those who refuse to watch, based on some misguided cultural snobbery, aren’t just missing great entertainment, they are overlooking the best social insight into the American psyche since Huck Finn and Jim explored the soul of America on a raft of lost innocence.

…Real Housewives reigns as the Grand Poobah of reality series. It is a glitzy window into mainstream values, if not mainstream lifestyle. It offers more insight into American consciousness than most TV scripted dramas. We just have to be willing to see ourselves in it.”

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.