I’m Andy Dehnart, a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.
I’ve been fascinated by the intersection of entertainment and real life ever since Mister Rogers broke the fourth wall and explained how his show was created. When I discovered The Real World in high school, I realized that unscripted entertainment could connect me to other people and help me learn more about the world.
On reality blurred, which I created 22 years ago as a place to collect interesting links I found, I now review and recommend reality shows, documentaries, and nonfiction entertainment; analyze news and report from behind the scenes; and interview people who create and star in reality TV shows.
My goal, as both a writer and teacher, is to gather as much information as I can and share that with other curious and passionate people. I learn by discussing or debating, so I offer criticism and analysis to start a conversation—and welcome feedback, comments, corrections, criticism, recommendations, and tips. Just e-mail me!
I believe pop culture can both entertain and affect us, and so I try to amplify the best and hold the worst accountable. In other words, I’m here to call it out when it sucks and celebrate it when it’s amazing. Let’s talk about it together.
What reality blurred covers
reality blurred was the first publication dedicated to covering reality TV news (read the story of its birth), and since it debuted on July 8, 2000, it has been babysitting television’s delightful yet frequently embarrassing child.
reality blurred’s journalism and writing has been frequently cited by other media, and has been recgnized by the Los Angeles Press Club’s National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards (first place, entertainment blog by an individual not tied to an organization, 2021) and the Society for Professional Journalists’ Sunshine State Awards (best long-form blog writing, 2015; second place for blog writing, 2021).
This site covers reality TV. But what exactly is reality television? Definitions vary widely, among viewers and producers and everyone in between.
While Survivor broke new ground in the summer of 2000, it wasn’t the first reality show. Actually, real people and their unscripted reactions have been part of television since its earliest days. For one example, there was NBC’s Queen for a Day.
Starting with PBS’s early 1970s An American Family and later Fox’s COPS in the 1980s, there have been lots of shows that have advanced the genre. But it was Jon Murray and Mary Ellis Bunim’s The Real World that established the template that most shows have followed since, and they also introduced a competitive format with Road Rules.
On reality blurred, I cast a wide net across all unscripted entertainment, though I focus primarily on shows available in the United States, where I live. I’m often engrossed and entertained by any dramatic, narrative TV show that follows real people in a real or artificial context, which ranges from fun shows to documentaries that inspire social change.
Reality TV can have a game element, and in some cases, it can even have different casts from week to week. But all reality television focuses on the lives of real people that have been crafted into entertainment. That’s when reality becomes blurred. See what I did there?!
Corrections and updates
reality blurred publishes criticism, commentary, and news reporting—and sometimes analysis, which is a combination of those.
In all cases, it’s incredibly important to me that facts be accurate. I always cite, link to, and/or identify sources of information, and fact-check information.
As a fallible human being, I do occasionally make mistakes and produce typos, and I welcome corrections. Just use this form to send me the URL of the page and the error you noticed, and I’ll review it as soon as I can.
Any corrections, clarifications, or updates will be made to the original article, while the reasons for those changes will be noted in the text and/or in an editor’s note. Minor updates that do not affect meaning or facts—such as a typo or the formatting of a photo—will generally not be noted.
Advertising and your support
reality blurred is supported by display advertising and by people like you: the site’s members and patrons, who contribute to help sustain an independent writer and TV critic.
reality blurred has partnered with Mediavine to handle its display advertising. If you’d like to reach passionate reality TV fans, industry insiders, and literate consumers of popular culture, you can advertise on reality blurred.
Advertisers on this site may coincidentally advertise programs or other content that reality blurred covers, although articles are never written in exchange for advertising or anything else. (Sponsored contests are always marked as such.)
Some links in stories are affiliate links: If you click through and buy something, I may receive a small commission. For example, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
In my writing, I include links to provide helpful information. All links—whether they’re affiliate links or not—are selected independently and are never paid placements.
Thanks for your support!
Disclosures and information
reality blurred is produced by the creatively-named Reality Blurred LLC, which is is owned and operated by me, Andy Dehnart. You should know that:
- I’m a member of the Television Critics Association, and was elected to its board of directors in 2018, and as secretary in 2021. The TCA represents 250+ critics in North America, and organizes twice-annual press tours to facilitate access between critics and TV networks, producers, publicists, and cast.
- I write essays, features, journalism, and criticism as a freelancer for various publications, such as Primetimer, Vulture, The Los Angeles Times and NPR.
- I own 12 shares of stock in Disney, a gift from my grandmother when I was a Disney-obsessed kid. I never knew that I’d once have an infinitesimally tiny, tiny piece of a massive corporation that owns everything from the Magic Kingdom to National Geographic, Baby Yoda to Captain Marvel. My other investments—e.g. retirement—are in funds that are automated and/or managed for me, because I don’t know what I’m doing.
- In my free time, I’m a teacher who leads workshops, coaches writers and creators, and works with groups and teams. Find out more.
As part of my coverage of the television industry, public relations representatives sometimes facilitate interviews; send complimentary review and press materials, including advance screeners and promotional items; or provide other access, such as to set locations.
As I hope the writing and reporting on reality blurred demonstrates, that access will not affect the decisions about what I cover or what I say about these subjects. However, I welcome feedback and criticism designed to hold me and my coverage accountable.
Copyright and reprints
Individual articles are copyright their date of original publication by their individual author.
Everything else, including original elements of reality blurred’s design and code, is copyright Reality Blurred LLC.
You are always welcome to link to reality blurred content, and to quote from its articles. But for permission to reprint content in part or in full, send an e-mail message.
How I make this
I’ve created reality blurred by myself, but none of this would be possible without other people and services. Here are some of those:
- Buttondown powers my newsletter
- Agathon manages the servers
- The Trellis framework on WordPress, which together manage the database and templates that create these pages. reality blurred began its life on Blogger, and then spent 11 years on Movable Type.
- PublishPress offers WordPress plugins that help me behind the scenes
- reality blurred’s wordmark is set in Bosun, a typeface by Michel Bütepage
I value our community at reality blurred, which connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it. Discussion is welcome, whether you agree or disagree with my opinions or the opinions of other commenters.
My goal is for us to be able to share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space.
That’s why I’ve created these rules for commenting here, and by commenting, you agree that you’ve read and agree to these rules:
- Comments on reality blurred are a place for reasonable discussion, argument, debate, and dissent, all of which are welcome and encouraged.
- Personal attacks against other people—whether those are commenters or reality TV cast members—are not permitted. You may discuss behavior, including questioning or arguing about content, but may not attack individuals or groups of people. Comments that devolve into ad hominem attacks, intentionally bait others, or are deliberately disruptive are not allowed.
- Explicit language and profanity is fine. Racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or otherwise bigoted language is never permitted.
- False, misleading, or unsubstantiated information—especially that has the potential to cause harm—is not permitted.
- Links are welcome, but spam and/or self-promotion unrelated to the topic will be removed.
- Please do not post spoilers about competition show results that have not yet been broadcast. You may link to such information and discuss it in broad terms, but spoilers—especially about outcomes of competition reality shows—will be removed.
- Comments that violate these rules may be deleted at the discretion of the moderator(s), and failure to follow these guidelines or respect fellow participants may result in deletion or removal of comments, and/or permanent blocked access for the commenter.
- User accounts may be blocked if we notice continuous attempts to re-post comments that have been previously moderated/rejected, or attempts or tactics that put the site security at risk.
- All comments on reality blurred are the responsibility of the commenter, not the site’s owner or staff, administrator(s), contributor(s), editor(s), and/or author(s). By submitting a comment on this web site, you agree that the comment content is your own, and to hold Reality Blurred LLC and all subsidiaries, partners, and representatives harmless from any and all repercussions, damages, or liability.
- reality blurred and its agents reserve the right to edit, delete, move, or mark as spam any and all comments, and to block access to any one or group from commenting or from the entire site, for any reason and at any time.
- While reality blurred always welcome comments and criticism about its stories, the comment area is not for reporting minor corrections or typos. Please send me an e-mail message about my minor screw-ups, so I can fix them ASAP.
How to be a great member of the community
- Share your ideas and thoughts about what you’ve watched or read
- Help us understand your perspectives
- Stay on topic
Enjoy the conversation, and thanks for commenting!
Thanks for reading all of this. Slow day at work?