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Home » Culture and Criticism

Tomato Nation Read-Along #9: Reality Bites Back

Submitted by on May 1, 2011 – 2:30 PM17 Comments

So sorry for the delay in announcing our next book, but we'll be reading Jennifer L. Pozner's Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth about Guilty Pleasure TV. It's available in paperback, as well as for the Kindle.

And I hope this makes up for my tardiness: Ms. Pozner herself is joining us for a live author chat! I'm pretty excited about it, so please join us on Wednesday, May 4 at 9 PM ET and come with questions, comments, and spirited defenses of that Mr. T show nobody watched but you! …Oh, wait, that was me. Standing by it!

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  • I'm excited about it too, Sarah. So, you want to know how CBS/Viacom/Infinity Broadcasting manufactured the illusion of popular demand for Survivor for months before it ever aired? Think you know how many dating show dudes have had domestic violence or sexual assault in their pasts before being cst as Prince Charming on network &cable? Agree or disagree that VH1 has revived the minstrel show for the modern media era? Feel like calling bullshit on Fox's Mike Darnell & VHI's former mucketymuck, Michael Hirschorn, who blame us fortheir cynical programming decisions (or, you want to defends those wonks)? You want tocome up with additonal reality tv drinking games to supplement the ones that are already in my "Fun with Media Literacy" chapter? Bring it, T-Nation. This'll be fun.

  • Michelle says:

    I started this book last night. I've only completed the intoduction and I'm already pissed off at these jackholes. This one is gonna be a doozy…

  • Jenn says:

    That photo makes me want to throw something at my computer screen.

  • Rachel says:

    Oh, next paycheck, please get here faster.

    And thanks for putting Russell at the top of the article. I don't hate any other reality-tv person quite so much. You couldn't give us some love and throw some Boston Rob up there? Or Evil Dr. Will from Big Brother 2?

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Tomorrow, This and the new Kate Atkinson will be MINE.

  • Grace says:

    Yay! I am on a redeye tonight, so I downloaded this to my kindle for some "fun" reading while I'm traveling.

  • Natalie says:

    I'm so excited! I have a flight tomorrow and I plan to make a dent!

  • Cate says:

    I have requested that my local library order this title (I only buy books after I've read them and decide that I can't live without them on my bookshelf, otherwise I'd be on Hoarders).

  • ferretrick says:

    Even worse, it looks like the Troll is naked in that picture. That will haunt my dreams.

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Look at that douchbag. I didn't even watch Survivor and I hate him passionately. He looks like he's striking Smug Bhudda Pose after he killed the actual Bhudda and perched on his corpse.

  • KTB says:

    Awesome! I voted for this book after making certain that the library had it. And I am now also really glad that I have no idea who the mostly-naked guy in the picture is, since he's clearly a creep.

  • PS: please forgive the typos. Perils of commenting with a cell phone. Tiny keys = large errors.

    Glad to hear you folks are so jazzed about the book.
    (And Michelle, that's how I felt while researching it…)

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    I'm already halfway through and the rage is steadily building. Cannot wait for the discussion!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Just found myself in the endnotes. Hilarious. (Not sure the citation is correct, actually, but there it is: "Sars.")

  • Sarah, which end note citation isn't correct? There was some moving around of grafs in the final copyediting process just before the book went to the printer; I hope that an error wasn't made in the last moments… I'm a stickler for accuracy. And, yes, TVwithoutPity was a real resource for me, esp. after I suffered a major computer crash that killed a decade of research about eight months before the book was due.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I don't have the book in front of me, but whichever quotation about the editing is credited to "Sars" actually isn't me, although I conducted the interview; it's Daniel J. Blau. I get the feeling there was an original citation that got moved/accidentally cut that contained the title of the piece and my full name. Not a big deal, just one of those "much as I'd love to take credit for that…" moments.

  • 50 is the new 35 says:

    Just placed my Kindle order :-) (And thank you for writing one of the dwindling number of current titles that still sells on Kindle for $9.99!)

    Earlier on Wednesday evening, I'm going to attend a talk given by a Holocaust survivor. DANG: From that to a discussion on Guilty Pleasures TV … what a paradigm shift! (And yes, I purposely didn't make any "Survivor" parallels. Even in a place where few things are held sacred, there are limits.)

    Looking forward to diving into your book, Jennifer, and to what promises to be a great discussion!

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