Here are reality show stars’ public endorsements of presidential candidates, including Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders.
Matt Weiner, the Sopranos writer turned Mad Men creator and showrunner, admits that he “would find it a tremendous challenge” to produce an unscripted show, and analyzes the scripted world’s perception of reality TV.
All of that is in part one of his appearance on The Jay and Tony Show Show podcast, which Weiner taped last Monday. The conversation about reality television starts about 37 minutes in, though the rest is interesting, too, especially for fans of AMC’s Mad Men.
In Google’s Year in Search 2015, its lists of the most frequently searched and trending terms last year, there are many interesting things to explore, and the lists of searched reality TV shows offers several surprises.
When those who work in scripted television offer thoughts about reality television, the appropriate reaction is often an eye roll. Those kinds of critiques tend to come from people who don’t really watch or work in the genre, but who still feel qualified to make gross generalizations that unfairly malign all shows because of sins of a few (or many!). But the executive… continue reading
Someone claiming to be an anonymous New York-based “reality show producer looking for an assistant” has posted an ad for the position that mostly focuses on the producer’s pitch for a new reality TV series: the “Real Superman Show.” I’m honestly not sure if these 5,488 words are satire, epic performance art, or something that should… continue reading
New research suggests that our embarrassment for and/or judgement of people we’re watching on reality TV starts with compassion and empathy. Research published in NeuroImage studied vicarious embarrassment or VE, which it defines as “an emotion triggered by the observation of others’ pratfalls or social norm violations.” By showing reality TV show clips to participants… continue reading
Several April Fool’s Day jokes today have found humor in reality TV, but the truly funny thing is that these stories are all about things that should happen. Consider this: starting with tonight’s American Idol, viewers can vote via Twitter to save one of the bottom two finalists. On this very day in 2009, I joked that Idol would start accepting Twitter votes because… continue reading
Monica Lewinsky, the one-time host of reality dating competition, delivered a TED Talk recently about shame that indicts reality TV as contributing to a dangerous and damaging culture online. It’s a must-watch. In part, she says: “For nearly two decades now, we have slowly been sowing the seeds of shame and public humiliation in our cultural soil, both on-… continue reading
DIY network star and 1990s icon Vanilla Ice, aka Robert Van Winkle, was arrested yesterday for “burglary residence and grand theft” of patio furniture, a pool heater, and other things from a foreclosed house. After he was released from jail, he initially expressed sadness that the media paid attention, but then used that attention to promote his series, The Vanilla… continue reading
ABC’s sit-com Fresh Off the Boat debuted last night, and became the latest scripted series to find its source material in real life. The series is based on Eddie Huang’s bestselling memoir of the same name, and Huang is also the narrator of the TV show. The show’s opening credits say it was “inspired by the book”… continue reading
After eight episodes, the podcast Serial has become a phenomenon. The podcast and its latest episode are both at the top of the iTunes podcast charts, and it has inspired everything from a podcast that discusses the podcast to some inevitable backlash. Produced by This American Life, it is absolutely absorbing and addictive (and, yes, problematic in different ways), and not… continue reading
In an interview with GQ, George Zimmerman’s brother reveals that Keeping Up with the Kardashians was a model for the reality series the family wanted to rehabilitate George’s image after he was acquitted of killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. GQ’s Amanda Robb’s must-read story–which says George’s family members, who “pass the time caring for Gladys’s… continue reading
I’m not sure this video qualifies as a pawn shop reality show parody, but that doesn’t really matter because it’s so awesome: It stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul as the owners of Barely Legal Pawn and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a customer trying to sell some of her property. Produced by the Television Academy, it’s essentially a viral… continue reading
An exponentially increasing number of people, from Oprah to Mark Zuckerberg to Ronald McDonald, have posted videos of themselves being doused in ice water and then challenging up to three other people to do the same. The reason: to raise money and awareness for ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, because those who reject the challenge are supposed to… continue reading
United Airlines has produced a new safety video, following the trend of airlines making their safety demonstrations entertaining instead of ignorable. The video is a lot of fun, but it made me think of Virgin America’s video, which is truly awesome. It debuted on the airline’s planes late last year, and is produced by and stars lots of reality TV alumni. American… continue reading