Sharknado 2: watch it for the (reality TV) cameos

Last summer’s social media phenomenon returns tonight when Syfy debuts Sharknado 2: The Second One at 9. The viewer-chosen subtitle tells you everything you need to know about its approach and seriousness.

There is not a single thing in the movie that makes any sense, and any attempt to think about it critically will likely fail. That makes it fun, though: everything is of such low quality—the special effects, the acting, the plotting, the continuity—that it’s easy to just give yourself over to the absurdity. When Syfy screened the movie for critics recently, it took me a while but I gave in and finally just enjoyed it.

The smartest part is its cameos. The sequel is packed full of them, and they’re clever and witty. Several reality TV stars show up in both brief and extended cameos, and their appearances are all fantastic. Since the surprise is part of the fun, I won’t mention any names today; don’t even watch the trailer below if you really want to get maximum enjoyment from the movie.

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.