SeaWorld Macy’s float; Elton John on reality stars; Breaking Bad doc; Trista and Ryan’s 10th

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the states, and it’s a time for us to gorge on food and avoid our families by going to stores in the afternoon, where we can bond with fellow shoppers injuring each other in order to make sure we can get our hands on cheap shit. Oh, the holidays!

Seriously, on this gratitude-themed holiday, I’m very grateful for each and every one of you reading these words and reality blurred–both this year and the past 13.5 years–so thanks. Have an amazing holiday weekend.

  • SeaWorld has a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade featuring orcas, like the one who killed a trainer and is the subject of the must-watch documentary Blackfish. That hasn’t gone over well with people who’ve seen the documentary. Buzzfeed notes that SeaWorld “certainly wasn’t looking for trouble when it announced on Sept. 24 that SeaWorld would be debuting its first float in the parade,” but since the documentary aired on CNN in October, “Macy’s, now attracting petitions, protests, and customer complaints to ban the float, joins many in being caught off guard by the runaway success of Blackfish.”
  • OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder will become The Voice‘s first “in-house producer and songwriter,” according to NBC, and “will work alongside the final three artists as they prepare for their respective performances for the finale. He will write an original song — stylized for each artist — that will be performed at the conclusion of the season.”
  • On BBC World, Elton John said of reality TV stars, “With reality television, you get all these nightmare people who want to be successful, when you really want them to be assassinated.” Killed? No. Locked away and not being allowed to operate heavy machinery or reproduce? Yes. His new album is about fame, which hopefully is more nuanced than that line.
  • All five seasons of Breaking Bad were released on DVD yesterday, and the special collector’s set comes in a barell and includes a two-hour documentary called No Half Measures: Creating the Final Season. That includes a day-in-the-life of the series’ creator, Vince Gilligan (watch a preview), and footage such as cast members’ last day on set (watch a different preview).
  • In a rare move, a network has responded to criticism–and rather low ratings–by re-editing a reality series and shifting its timeslot. MTV responded to complaints about Scrubbing In by moving the show to midnight, where far fewer people will see it, and editing the show to include more scenes of the nurses actually being nurses. The American Nurses Association said in a letter to MTV’s preisdent about the show’s “depiction of nurses,” saying that “negative nurse portrayals seriously damage nurse-recruitment efforts and may well exacerbate a shortage that is fast reaching crisis proportions in our nations” and also “reinforce sexist and inaccurate nurse stereotypes.”
  • On Dec. 6, Trista and Ryan Sutter will have been married for 10 years, which is most remarkable because they met on ABC’s The Bachelorette, a franchise that has a very poor track record in creating successful relationships. Trista told Parade that their two kids, ages 4 and 6, don’t yet know how their parents met even though their parents’ fame is “kind of confusing to them. … I think they are just kind of getting the sense that people who have never met us personally know us somehow. They will know eventually! We can’t keep that from them.” Yesterday, Trista published Happily Ever After: The Life-Changing Power of a Grateful Heart, an inspirational and quote-filled book.
  • Catfish‘s Nev Schulman is writing a book about online relationships.
  • Former Fox executive Mike Darnell’s first reality TV project since leaving the network is a haunted house show for ABC. The network has ordered a pilot executive produced by Jason Blum, who has worked on horror franchises such as Paranormal Activity and ABC’s The River. No word on what the show will be.
  • Shaun White bought Bachelor producer Mike Fleiss’ Malibu mansion for $8.9 million.
  • If you’re ready to skip over the family drama and jump right into the orgy of consumerism, start shopping for reality TV gifts now. As part of its Black Friday TV deals, Amazon has several full seasons of Survivor for under $18: Survivor Amazon, Survivor Thailand, and Survivor Guatemala. Other deep discounts include full seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Mob Wives, Duck Dynasty, and early seasons of The Amazing Race, when the show was very, very different.
  • The sixth annual Punkin Chunkin special airs on Science on Thanksgiving at 8 p.m.; teams compete to fling pumpkins the farthest. Here’s its fun trailer:
  • 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.