A bunch of reality TV reviews and recommendations for you before I melt in this heat

Surreal Life's return, a Masked Singer change, Holey Moley & Celebrity Mole questions, Netflix reviews, and more!

Dear newsletter friends,

Happy Friday! It’s time for the summer Olympics, and clearly summer is here: The heat index is going to get to 110 today here in Central Florida, so I’m writing this early and then going out for a walk before the temperatures rise enough to melt me. dic

This week:

Reality TV reviews

This week, I reviewed:


  • The Surreal Life is returning to VH1 with these cast members. (I also looked at the wild legacy of its spin-offs.)

  • Dee Bradley Baker is returning to voice Olmec on The CW’s Legends of the Hidden Temple. (Here’s a short documentary on his voiceover work.)

  • Mike White, creator of The White Lotus, had Angelina Jolie and Diane Keaton over to watch the penultimate episode of Survivor: David vs. Goliath (!!). He talks about it in this Q&A, which also reveals what Jennifer Aniston though of him going on The Amazing Race.

In other news:

  • Katie Thurston said Bachelorette producers did not previously know about the sexual assault she disclosed during filming: “I do think it surprised producers, because they did not know and those are the things they want to know going into this.”

  • Frankie Lons, Keyshia Cole’s mother and co-star four BET series, died from an overdose on her birthday. She was on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew’s fourth season.

  • A Round with Tiger: Celebrity Playing Lessons, the reality show Tiger Woods was filming the day before he crashed his car, is now streaming on Golf Digest’s website

⭐️ I recommend

  • This Netflix show, which in many ways is a real-life Ted Lasso

  • This podcast about the comic strip Cathy, which I read daily in the 1980s and 1990s, but am now thinking about in new ways, thanks to the episodes that have aired so far

  • This piece about the faking of Anthony Bourdain’s voice in the new documentary Roadrunner

  • The second sketch in this episode, “Mystery at Sea,” which starts just at the 2-minute mark, which I learned of thanks to the great true-crime newsletter Best Evidence, which I also recommend

Coming next week

Next week: My rewatch of The Mole season 2 begins! If you haven’t yet watched, season one would be a great weekend watch.

Finally, we’re just over halfway through the year, so I’m planning for late summer, fall, and winter.

If you have 30 seconds, could you either comment—or just reply to this message!—and let me know what the #1 thing you need from this newsletter and my writing about reality TV? What’s most important to you? What helps you the most?

Leave a comment

Thanks! And have a great weekend.


🌄 This is Reality in Focus issue 252, first sent July 23, 2021, and despite being nostalgic for every early 2000s show, it’s oddly not nostalgic celebrity reality TV.

💻 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. If you have a healthy expense account, consider becoming a patron or upgrading your newsletter subscription!

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📷 Photo of a mandarin duck by Henrique S. Ruzzon