Browse by publication to explore what I’ve written. Or, start with these highlights:
- Forget the pounds. The Biggest Loser tries to shed critics of its weight-loss plan, Los Angeles Times. The disgraced weight-loss reality competition disappeared in 2016, but now it’s back. I interviewed experts and the show’s producers to find out what changed. I also reviewed the new Biggest Loser.
- How Could Survivor Have Screwed Up This Badly?, Vulture. An essay about the terrible decisions made by the producers of one of the best reality series on television.
- Saving Critical Thinking, One Joke at a Time, Pacific Standard. When is humor effective in changing people’s minds, and when does it fail? I looked at that through a deep dive into Adam Ruins Everything, a truTV series that debunks common misconceptions.
- Can Food Network Survive in the Age of Netflix Cooking Shows?, New York Magazine‘s GrubStreet. I looked at the differences between Netflix and Food Network reality TV, and my reporting included interviews with both a Food Network executive and a critic of its programming—and learned a lot about why Food Network does what it does.
- Reality on the High Seas, Playboy. I traveled to the Faroe Islands to report on the intersection of environmental activism, local tradition, and documentary reality television. This story won the Society for Professional Journalists’ Sunshine State Award for magazine feature reporting.
- Why there is less reality TV on television this fall, The Los Angeles Times. A diagnosis of what’s ailing the nonfiction entertainment industry. In one word: fear.
- How Survivor challenges are constructed, NPR. On location in Samoa, I explored what it takes to create a reality TV challenge.
- How Animal Planet Was Forced to Step Down, The Atlantic. An investigation into why Animal Planet changed the way it produced its break-out reality series.
- Will Shark Week Get Back to Reality This Year?, Vulture. Discovery Channel’s new leadership explains how they intend to shift Shark Week away from two years of ratings-generating fake documentaries.
Highlights from my 20 years of reviews, essays, TV criticism, and commentary.
My long-form nonfiction, magazine writing, and literary nonfiction.
My reporting, interviews, and journalism about reality television, media, and popular culture.
My work, organized by the outlets and publications I’ve written for during my 20+ years as a freelance writer.