Reality Bites Blog: Because there’s no such thing as “mindless entertainment”

Welcome to Reality Bites Blog, which picks up where Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV leaves off.

I’ll be posting regularly with news and analysis of current reality shows, stars, and producers, with my usual recipe of 2-parts-critique, 1-part-snark. Want to dish about your love/hate relationship with Jersey Shore’s Snooki, the latest American Idol judge or contestant, or that reality scandal Joel McHale snarked about on The Soup? Come back soon — this’s all on tap.

Upcoming topics include the despicable planned reality show (and potential snuff-film-of-the-week) about US troops working to diffuse bombs in Afghanistan, the danger and exploitation inherent in this misguided domestic violence reality show pitch, and, on a lighter note… which NBC, FOX and MTV series did ABC cannibalize to make their new low-rent Bachelor knockoff show, Bachelor Pad?

Reality Bites Blog will also take on whatever ridiculous controversy is in the headlines at the moment. If any network is inane enough to buy Levi Johnston’s made-for-reality-TV Wasilla mayoral campaign show, trust me, I’m on it. (On the critique, I mean. Not the show. Can you imagine?) The next time some misogynist dad pretends his kid floated away in a balloon when he was really hidden in an attic (yet nearly every news outlet in the country rushes to report the hoax as fact), this blog will be firmly tethered to sanity. You’re welcome.

While I’ll focus special attention on representations of women and people of color in reality TV here, I’ll also expose how your reality TV sausage gets made: I’ll dig into behind the scenes manipulations, embedded sponsors’ agendas, and share the occasional interview with people who have starred on unscripted programs or who work in the industry.

I’m also thinking of starting a semi-regular Awkward Product Placement Count, where we take note of blatantly obnoxious ad plugs masquerading as content. (Example: Eight women in bikinis in an Australian hot spring decided to simultaneously shave their legs

with Skintimate

Gel because… shaving cream is just a natural Aussie resource?)

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, answering your questions, and biting back against problematic pop culture with you. Reality Bites Blog isn’t just my space — it’s yours. Share your thoughts in the comments – or pitch a guest post if you have a key bit of media analysis to share.

More soon!

5 Responses to “Reality Bites Blog: Because there’s no such thing as “mindless entertainment””

  1.  kim coles says: |

    PREACH girl!!
    so proud of you… ordering my book NOW!!


  2.  jess says: |

    I LOVE your new blog and hope to guest post for you.
    Thanks for tackling this and bring us back to ahem…reality.
    Sorry, couldn’t help it. xo


  3.  admin says: |

    Thanks, Kim. Of all people, you certainly know the difference between quality scripted entertainment, like your still-funny-in-reruns 90s sitcom “Living Single” (woo woo woo!) and never-what-they-seem reality shows. I bet you could tell me some stories about what it was like to shoot “Celebrity Fit Club” and “The Mole”… And thanks for ordering the book! Hope you enjoy it.

    If I can figure out a way to get to L.A. for a book event in November or December, would you be interested in doing some sort of pubic event (panel, or roundtable, or multimedia fun fest, etc.) with me on the subject of representation of women and people of color in reality TV?


  4.  admin says: |

    Thanks, Jess. (No apologies, variations on that line are just sitting there, pretty much always.) I’ll look forward to guest post pitches from you.


  5.  Cara says: |

    You’re the best! Jordan and I are getting ours! We’re so glad to have such a talented, brilliant friend.


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