Start the new year by changing the way you watch reality TV forever

Last spring, I was asked to speak at TEDxStetsonU, and used the opportunity to tell the story of what I’ve learned from reality TV as a viewer and a critic–and talk about Mister Rogers, who’s the best ever and who literally inspired my interest in television.

I also proposed a new way of watching reality TV. More specifically, it’s a new way of thinking about, relating to, and even interacting with the people we’re watching. I’m curious what you think: if it’s realistic, delusional, or somewhere in between. It’s not a technique I’ve perfected, for sure, but is something to strive for.

As a bonus, this TED Talk includes actual proof that wearing a black sweater against a black backdrop isn’t a great idea. I’m amazed it hasn’t yet gone viral for that reason alone.

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.