The Waves

What Reality TV Says About Us

Are we watching for the right reasons?


Episode Notes

On this week’s episode of The Waves, historian and original Waves host, Marcia Chatelain is joined by sociologist Danielle Lindemann to talk all things reality TV. They discuss Danielle’s new book, True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us and why we don’t take reality television as seriously as we should. Later in the show they talk about why women are more successful at monetizing their reality TV brand and how the genre takes us on a tour of the class system.

In Slate Plus: Is The Bachelorette feminist?


Marcia: The True Crime Obsessed podcast, Let the Women Do the Work

Danielle: The Netflix series Selling Sunset

Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Shannon Palus and Alicia Montgomery.

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About the Show

Each week a pair of writers and guests talk through one news story we can’t stop thinking about, and unpack what gender has to do with it.

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  • Marcia Chatelain is an associate professor of history and African American studies at Georgetown University.