U.S. Senate now has a former reality TV cast member: Cory Booker

Newark mayor Cory Booker was elected to the United States Senate yesterday, which The Star-Ledger reports “makes history” because he’s “the first African-American to represent New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.” He is also the first former reality TV show cast member to become a senator.

Booker’s rise from mayor to senator is somewhat different than former Real World cast member Sean Duffy’s rise to Tea Party congressman. Both were followed by cameras for documentary-style series, but Booker was followed while he was mayor by filmmakers who produced the great 2009 Sundance reality series Brick City, which won a Peabody Award.

The series is now on DVD, and three of its cast members are now being followed for a new series, Pivot’s Jersey Strong. It follows Jessica “Jayda” Jacques and her fiance Darel “Creep” Evans, members of the Bloods and Crip gangs, and also Brooke Barnett, an attorney who once defended Jayda, and her partner Maggie. The first episode is online.

Here’s an excerpt from Brick City that introduces Cory Booker and Jayda:

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.