The apparent suicide of Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong, has once again called in question the negative impact of reality television.
The Daily Beast's Kate Aurthur investigates the Armstrong death just a few weeks after she had explored the decline of former Hills stars Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag in "When Reality-TV Fame Runs Dry."
It's a familiar lament. In 2009, Vanity Fair's James Wolcott begged for mercy in "I'm a Culture Critic...Get Me Out of Here!" And in "Hitting Bottom," Chris Norris questioned America's addiction to the genre in a profile of Celebrity Rehab's Dr. Drew Pinsky.
But not everyone is down on reality TV.
Jonathan Van Meter gave a spray-tanned smoosh to Snooki and The Situation in "The Lure of the Jersey Shore," and in "The Case for Reality TV," Atlantic columnist Michael Hirschorn explained the appeal of the genre to the culture snobs who just don't get it. Then again, he's also one of the most successful reality television producers.