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.

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.