Survivor 42's end - Real World's 30th - Celebrity Mole available soon - prison for Josh Duggar - and more!
Dear newsletter friends,
Before writing about real-life entertainment, I have to acknowledge that it just feels weird to do that during weeks like this, when there was yet again more real-life horror, this time inside an elementary school classroom, where so much damage was done to small bodies that DNA was needed to identify them.
In our beloved reality TV, it can be uncomfortable when real issues pop up. We’re watching to decompress or disconnect, and suddenly that bubble is popped by reality.
But that’s also been a key feature of this genre, from 1973’s An American Family dealing with divorce or conversations about race in The Real World’s first season.
I love reality TV because it’s fun, yes, but also because it allows me to share in other people’s lives, connect to them and learn from them, whether it’s uncomfortable or just purely entertaining.
The Real World turns 30
This past weekend, The Real World celebrated its 30th anniversary. In other news, I am old!
Because I wasn’t watching or even reading about reality TV back then, and certainly not writing about it, I decided to see what other people did write.
The results were surprising! Here are 19 wild things people said about it in 1992.
Three decades later, the genre is going strong, with all these new and old shows premiering this week alone.
Survivor 42 ended its season this week, and I wrote about both the finale and the season:
Alas, we still don’t know when Netflix’s new season—filmed last summer—will air. 🙁
Reality TV news
Lots of news and updates—plus a few must-read stories—in my news round-up. Among new stories are:
TLC star Josh Duggar is going to prison for 12+ years
A Worst Cooks in America winner is going to prison for life
Todd Chrisley is on trial and his lawyer talked about the show
American Idol’s winner was born the year the show premiered
Love Island UK’s cast will receive “extensive welfare measures”
🤩 I recommend
This look back at the birth of modern reality TV
This profile of Guy Fieri
A programming note: since next week is a shorter week, I’m going to take Friday off from this newsletter—though I will keep publishing, including my summer reality TV guide.
I’ll see you back in your inboxes in two weeks!
🌄 This is Reality in Focus issue 292, first sent 27 May 2022, and it’s going to try to do something.
💻 This newsletter is hand-crafted in Florida by me, Andy Dehnart, and is supported in part by reality blurred patrons and paid subscribers to this newsletter. I’m grateful for them. If you can—or have a healthy expense account!—consider becoming a patron or upgrading your newsletter subscription.
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📷 Photo of a forest path by Kristin Snippe