Reality television is the ultimate guilty pleasure -- a nonstop parade of cast members and scenarios that make fictional ones seem downright dull. Increasingly absurd challenges, hair-yanking catfights, and hot tub makeouts dripping with yet-to-be-acknowledged regret are only part of its appeal.
In this collection of wry and moving essays, bestselling authors explore the programs we obsess over, cringe at, and occasionally feel inspired by. From a Real World casting call and American Idol tattoo to a look at the appeal of Big Brother, Survivor, The Real Housewives, and more, a vibrant mix of literary luminaries examine the form of entertainment that's dominated our TV screens for more than a decade.
Entertaining and insightful, Reality Matters is a must-read for anyone who adores reality TV, wants to know what kind of an impact it's having on our society, or simply wonders just how real any of it actually is.
About the Author
Anna David is the author of the novels Party Girl and Bought, and the editor of the anthology Reality Matters. She has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Redbook, Details, and many other publications. She has appeared on national television programs including Today, Hannity, and CNN s Showbiz Tonight.
James Frey is originally from Cleveland. All four of his books, A Million Little Pieces, My Friend Leonard, Bright Shiny Morning, and The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, were international bestsellers.
“Durable writing about reality television, is such a thing possible?...[Reality Matters] may answer that question. It contains considered essays on “Project Runway,” “Dog Whisperer,” “Survivor,” and “Jersey Shore”....[and] useful analysis of the fakery/reality issues inherent in television that purports to be, though rarely is, entirely true. ”
-The New Yorker
-USA Today, Idol Chatter
“Fun, funny, and surprising.”
“Shockingly amusing and periodically poignant, Reality Matters gives college-educated reality show fans permission to smile about their devotion to America’s guiltiest lowbrow pleasure.”
“If there’s anything more entertaining than experiencing the guilty pleasure of reality TV firsthand, it’s reading a bunch of brilliant people trying to rationalize their obsession with the genre.”
“A brilliant compilation.”