Project Runway mentor and co-host Tim Gunn was recently criticized for his treatment of a designer/contestant. That criticism prompted me to think and write about Tim’s reaction, the role of a teacher/mentor, and my role as a critic. It also gave me the opportunity for refer twice to one of my favorite films, Clue.
I’m honored to have my writing on reality blurred recognized by the Society for Professional Journalists’ Florida chapter, with the first-place award for long form blog writing in the 2015 SPJ Sunshine State Awards. I may have been the only one nominated in the category, but I really do appreciate the recognition.
I wrote three pieces about Shark Week, which starts tonight on The Discovery Channel. All three look at what the summer stunt has done the past few years (i.e. airing fake documentaries pretending to be factual) and where it is going this year.
- Vulture: Will Shark Week Get Back to Reality This Year?
- Medium: How Shark Week’s lies damaged truth in our culture
- reality blurred: It’s time for Shark Week, now without lying
I wrote several things about the news related to the Duggar family. These are the kinds of stories I’d rather not write–it’s important to cover, yes, but mostly I’d rather the victims have never experienced any of what led to all of this.
- After the Duggars’ revolting defense, TLC must act
- The Duggars’ appalling defense: blame others, minimize Josh’s behavior
- Duggar response from Funny or Die is way too close to reality
- Developments in the Josh Duggar molestation story
- TLC pulls, doesn’t cancel, 19 Kids and Counting
- Duggars’ insane response to Josh Duggar molesting girls, including his sisters
Ben Affleck’s decision to exclude a slave-owning ancestor from a PBS reality series raised in interesting question: Should subjects of unscripted TV shows be participants in the editing of their stories? In this essay, I argue that yes, the Ben Affleck model should become reality TV’s standard.
Married at First Sight, a fascinating series that is so much more than a gimmick, made the argument that initial attraction isn’t all that important. For HitFix, I ask if season two will prove the same thing, and whether it can convince people of that in an era of Tinder and Grindr.
For HitFix, I talked to Anthony Bourdain about his ABC reality TV competition The Taste, which seems about as un-Bourdain as possible. But as he told me, “I’m a guy with a lot of interests.”
ABC has an absolutely brilliant show in The Quest: it’s creative, thrilling, and well-produced. So why did they do everything they could to bury it? I report for HitFix.
The New York Times asked me to contribute to its Room For Debate feature and answer this question: Are Reality Shows Worse Than Other TV? Here’s my answer.