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about reality blurred

about reality blurred
Me, at my wedding, as my in-laws voted me into their family with a hand-crafted Survivor buff recreations of an actual voting parchment that Jeff Probst once wrote my name on. (Photo by Live Happy Studio)

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 20 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 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 5, 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 was recognized by the Society for Professional Journalists’ Sunshine State Awards as having the best long-form blog writing in Florida.

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.

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 independent journalism and television criticism.

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 not paid placements.

Thanks for your support!

other disclosures

reality blurred is produced, 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. 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 a few 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 a tiny, tiny piece of a massive conglomerate that owns everything from the Magic Kingdom to National Geographic, Baby Yoda to Captain Marvel. My other investments, aka retirement, are managed for me.
  • I teach, perform in and host improv shows, and do other kinds of presentations. Find out more.

As part of my coverage of the television industry, public relations representatives sometimes send complimentary review and press materials, including promotional items; facilitate interviews; or provide other access, such as to set locations.

As I hope the writing and reporting on reality blurred demonstrates, none of that affects decisions about what to cover or what to say about these subjects. However, I welcome feedback and criticism designed to keep me and my coverage accountable.

copyright and reprints

Individual articles are copyright their date of publication by their individual author.

The design of reality blurred is copyright Andy Dehnart.

For permission to reprint content, send an e-mail message.

commenting

Comments on stories are welcome, whether you agree or disagree. Comments on reality blurred are hosted by Spot.IM, and may be moderated. They may require you to log in via a third-party service. Read the commenting rules below.

Comments are owned by and are the sole responsibility of the commenter, although by posting you give reality blurred one of those fun worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive licenses to show your comment and use it on the site—but you knew that, or you wouldn’t be commenting. Moderating comments implies no endorsement or anything else, since again, you are responsible for what you write. And don’t post anything illegal or stupid, because you’re responsible for that.

Here’s the legal version: All comments within this blog are the responsibility of the commenter, not the blog owner, administrator, contributor, editor, or author. By submitting a comment on our blog, you agree that the comment content is your own, and to hold realityblurred.com 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.

comment rules

I value our community at reality blurred, which connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories around it.

I want readers to ab able to share their views and exchange ideas in a safe space. In order to do so, I’ve created these rules to strive for a positive experience for everyone:

  1. Comments on reality blurred are a place for reasonable discussion, argument, debate, and dissent, all of which are welcome and encouraged.
  2. Personal attacks against other commenters are not permitted. You may question or argue about content, but not attack individuals or groups of people. Comments that devolve into ad hominem attacks, intentionally bait others, or are deliberately disruptive are not allowed.
  3. Profanity is fine. Racist, sexist, or homophobic language or comments is never permitted.
  4. False, misleading, or unsubstantiated information—especially that has the potential to cause harm—is not permitted.
  5. Links are welcome, but spam and/or self-promotion unrelated to the topic will be removed.
  6. Please do not post spoilers about results that have not yet been broadcast (see my definition of a spoiler). You may link to such information and discuss it in broad terms, but spoilers—especially about outcomes of competition reality shows—will be removed.
  7. Comments that violate these rules may be deleted at the discretion of the moderators, and failure to follow these guidelines or respect fellow participants may result in deletion or removal of comments, and/or blocked access for the commenter.
  8. 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.
  9. While reality blurred always welcome comments and criticism about its stories’ accuracy, do not report minor corrections or typos in comments, which are for discussion. Please send an e-mail message instead.

How to be a great member of the community

  • Stay on topic, and share your passions, ideas, and perspectives.
  • Use the upvote or downvote buttons when you have a strong reaction to a comment.
  • Protect our community: Use the report tool to alert us when someone breaks these rules.

Enjoy the conversation, and thanks for commenting!

privacy policy and terms of service

reality blurred has a privacy policy and terms of service that you should review, especially if you’re really bored.

et cetera

For those who care about such things, reality blurred is produced using WordPress, using the Trellis framework, and it is hosted by Agathon. It began its life on Blogger, and then spent 11 years on Movable Type.

The logo is set in Bosun, a typeface by Michel Bütepage.

Thanks for reading all of this. Slow day at work?

All of reality blurred’s content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

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