What’s the best reality TV season ever?

Last year, New York Magazine’s Vulture determined the best sitcom of the past 30 years (The Simpsons) and the year before, determined the best TV drama of the past 25 years (The Wire). Vulture does this March Madness bracket-style, and this year, has 16 reality shows facing off–though the competition has been narrowed to focus on specific seasons.

There are match-ups between similar series, such as Flavor of Love 1 versus The Bachelor 13, but mostly disparate match-ups such as Survivor Borneo versus RuPaul’s Drag Race 4. That’s fun and occasionally frustrating; the writers who judge each round have to weigh strengths and weaknesses of two very different shows to find a winner.

I’m judging the semi-final round, which will be published later. In the meantime, read about Reality Rumble or check out the full bracket; click the name of a winning show to read the essay that explains why it defeated its opponent.

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.