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.
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. In workshops and coaching sessions, I focus on helping people improve their writing and work. In my own writing, I learn by discussing or debating, so I offer criticism and analysis to start a conversation with you.
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.
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.
My work has taken me to Gabon, Brazil, and Samoa, where I reported on Survivor, and the Faroe Islands, where I reported on the collision of activism, culture, and documentary filmmaking. (That story won a Society for Professional Journalists award and gave me an accidental cameo on Whale Wars.) I often report from my couch.
I’m a member of the Television Critics Association, and was elected to its board of directors in 2018, and now serve as secretary. As a TV critic and journalist, I’ve written about everything from startups to sitcoms, and my work has been broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition, and published in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Vulture, Playboy, Pacific Standard, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, The Daily Beast, Salon, Wired, and other publications.
I taught creative writing and journalism at Stetson University for 20 years, and love sharing my knowledge and exchanging ideas, whether that’s with students in my classes, talking to attendees at a conference, or being interviewed on a podcast. As an improviser hosting and performing in shows, I get to play on stage with my friends and—like I do with reality TV—connect with other people through a joyful art form.
While I was born in Wisconsin, lived in Chicago for a few years after college, and earned my MFA in nonfiction writing and literature at Bennington College in Vermont, I basically grew up in Florida. Now I live in this amazingly weird state with my husband and our cat.
I wish I could start or end every day on a roller coaster or thrill ride. I re-read Calvin and Hobbes and re-watch The Golden Girls whenever I can. I can easily get lost browsing the Internet or the aisles of Target, and do my best to try new things, travel to places I’ve never been, and become a better person.
I spend a considerable amount of time staring at my laptop, which is why I like adventures and, most importantly, spending time with people I care about.
A formal bio, should you prefer writing in the third person
Andy Dehnart is a writer and teacher who writes about reality TV, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. His writing has appeared on NPR and in The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Vulture, Primetimer, Pacific Standard, Playboy, The Daily Beast, and other publications.
His memoir-in-progress, I’m Here to Make Friends, was longlisted for the 2022 First Pages Prize.
Andy publishes and writes reality blurred, which has, since 2000, offered his analysis and reporting on reality television. It won an L.A. Press Club National A&E Journalism Award (2021), and twice won Florida Society for Professional Journalists awards (2015, 2021) for its writing.
He serves as secretary of the Television Critics Association, which represents about 250 U.S. and Canadian journalists and critics who write about television, and was elected to its board of directors in 2018.
Andy, 45, has taught nonfiction writing and journalism for 20 years, including as an assistant professor of practice at Stetson University in Florida (where he’s taught nonfiction writing and journalism, and directed the journalism program), and a writing instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s CTY.
Andy works with people to help them become better writers and creators, including speaking at conferences and to the media.
He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College, and is also a trained improviser who hosted and performed in improvisational comedy shows at SAK Comedy Lab in Orlando, Fla.
Andy lives in Florida with his husband, his tuxedo cat, and his anxiety.