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7 must-watch reality TV shows in February

7 must-watch reality TV shows in February
The amazing King of the Nerds hosts, Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong. (Photo by Trae Patton/TBS)

From a man repeatedly accused of murder to the unknown people behind popular sports mascots, these six reality shows airing now or debuting soon are all worth your time. See the full guide to reality show debuts for everything that’s airing now or soon, but definitely give these series a shot.


The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, HBO, Feb. 8, Sundays at 10 p.m. I’ve seen the first episode of this new series, and from the photos of dismembered body parts to the absolutely bizarre story behind the murder, I was hooked. What’s particularly intriguing is that the man accused of that murder, Robert Durst, participated in the making of the series, and his interaction with its director becomes part of it.

Andrew Jarecki also directed the extraordinary Capturing the Friedmans and produced the thrilling film version of Catfish. Most significantly, he directed All Good Things, a fictional film starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst that is also about Robert Durst; research for that film led to this six-part documentary series.


King of the Nerds, TBS, Fridays at 9. This competition between nerds keeps getting better and better, thanks to its strong challenges and exceptional casting. The season three cast has a really fascinating cross-team alliance, plus some frustrating/entertaining characters.


Street Art Throwdown, Oxygen, Tuesdays at 9. While this graffiti artist competition is following a very familiar reality TV template, it also feels entirely new, probably because the art form is unfamiliar to me. Perhaps the biggest difference is that the challenges have an interesting physical component that seems to try to mimic street artists’ lives and process. There’s something particularly great about watching the art come to life, and the artists have a range of styles. Host/judge/mentor Justin Bua really doesn’t work for me, nor does the judging, but the series is still worth watching.


The Amazing Race 26, CBS, Feb. 25 at 9:30, Fridays at 8. I admit that, as ridiculous as The Bachelor reward sounds, I am intrigued by what will happen now that TAR has abandoned its central conceit. I’ll be watching, in part to see promised “surprises” and storytelling changes.


Survivor Worlds Apart, CBS, Feb. 25, Wednesdays at 8. Even though it’s season 30, it is just a normal season–though one that starts with three tribes, which usually works well. Probst is talking it up, which he didn’t really do for last fall’s hit-and-miss season. Also, it’s Survivor and even when it’s not that great, it’s still far above the rest.


Breaking Greenville, truTV, Thursdays at 10:30. The cast plays to the cameras a lot, but somehow that works and makes sense because they are TV personalities–and they are doing real jobs, running two competing news stations in a small town. Despite all the mugging for the cameras and the stilted interviews, during which some people try too hard to be funny, the cameras capture real moments. For example, in this episode, one news director called the other to confront him about lying on his newscast, which he sheepishly admits and dismisses.


Behind the Mask, Hulu, Feb. 26. I loved the first season so much I called it fall’s best new show. (It’s still on Hulu if you haven’t watched.) The new season will follow a different group of pro, college, and high school mascots in their lives in and out of their costumes.

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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