Survivor's back! Amazing Race is coming! And fall reality TV is here

Dear newsletter friends,

Happy Friday! There’s finally a hint of cool air here in Florida. Okay, yes, it’s going to 87 degrees today, but at least the humidity has gone from oppressive to merely sweaty. Woo! ☃️

Also a win: The return of fall TV, and Survivor!

My recap and analysis of Survivor 41’s premiere breaks down the two hours and looks at what worked (a lot!), what didn’t (some things), and who is even more satisfied with himself than before (yes, the answer is both Jeff Probst and me).

Speaking of, I had a lot of fun reviewing Fox’s Alter Ego, which is yet another attempt to duplicate The Masked Singer, but this time with animated characters that are so bad their mouths just flap around.

Fall reality TV

With the 2021-2022 season underway:

Today’s premieres include The Great British Baking Show, which is available in the US today, three days after premiering in the UK. And my guide to confusing GBBO season numbering and availability has been updated.

Among documentaries on TV premiering is a new Britney Spears doc, Controlling Britney Spears, premiering tonight

Rihanna’s third Savage X Fenty Show, which is on Amazon today, and is part behind-the-scenes documentary and then performance. I talked to its executive producer, White Label Productions’ Chris Wagner, who told me that Rihanna is central to the production and TV show. "We all see celebrities getting executive producer credit, and we don't know how involved they are,” he said. “Everything comes from her … She does everything. It's unbelievable.”

Big reality TV news

⭐️ I recommend

  • These nine shows—although I suppose this is a “hope to be able to recommend,” as I’m looking forward to seeing them

  • Both of these TCA Award-winning shows, one of which is on Netflix

  • These amazing logo redesigns by Emily Zugay: one, two, three, four. These had my husband and I laughing until we couldn’t breathe. Also amazing: companies now using those logos

That’s everything for this week. A programming note: This newsletter is taking next Friday off, but look for new content on reality blurred next week, including a review of an old Quibi show you can now watch for free that is an absolute delight.

And I will have a Survivor recap, but just on Friday or Saturday instead of Thursday.

See you in your inbox in two weeks, and have a terrific weekend.


🌄 This is Reality in Focus issue 261, first sent Sept. 24, 2021, and fall is its favorite season.

💻 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 leaves on a golf course in Danville, Calif., by Cristina Anne Costello