11 episodes

It was supposed to be a reality show with a twist. In a sun-drenched villa in Ibiza, six hot guys compete for a cash prize and for the love of the beautiful and mysterious Miriam. It’s meant to be her big break: the moment she becomes the superstar she was born to be. But this is the era of “cruel reality TV” and the show producers have a different goal: they want to surprise the men with the fact that Miriam is trans. A new six-episode investigative series from Wondery, the makers of The Shrink Next Door and The Apology Line, and from Novel, HARSH REALITY is the story about love, lies, reality TV and a woman before her time: Miriam Rivera. Written by Agnes Borinsky and hosted by Trace Lysette.
Binge all episodes of Harsh Reality: The Story of Miriam Rivera exclusively and ad-free by joining Wondery+ in Wondery App or on Apple Podcasts. Start your free trial by visiting wondery.com/links/the-story-of-miriam-rivera/ now.

Harsh Reality: The Story of Miriam Rivera Wondery

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.2 • 1.3K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

It was supposed to be a reality show with a twist. In a sun-drenched villa in Ibiza, six hot guys compete for a cash prize and for the love of the beautiful and mysterious Miriam. It’s meant to be her big break: the moment she becomes the superstar she was born to be. But this is the era of “cruel reality TV” and the show producers have a different goal: they want to surprise the men with the fact that Miriam is trans. A new six-episode investigative series from Wondery, the makers of The Shrink Next Door and The Apology Line, and from Novel, HARSH REALITY is the story about love, lies, reality TV and a woman before her time: Miriam Rivera. Written by Agnes Borinsky and hosted by Trace Lysette.
Binge all episodes of Harsh Reality: The Story of Miriam Rivera exclusively and ad-free by joining Wondery+ in Wondery App or on Apple Podcasts. Start your free trial by visiting wondery.com/links/the-story-of-miriam-rivera/ now.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Something About Miriam

    Something About Miriam

    When a TV exec hears a pitch for a dating game show with a twist she’s sold. But from the very beginning Miriam must risk everything for the show to succeed. 

    For this story Wondery has partnered with Translash Media, the trans journalism and personal narrative project that is committed to telling Trans Stories to save Trans lives. Visit www.translash.org to learn more about Translash.




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    • 41 min
    Outlaw Superstar

    Outlaw Superstar

    Before she even arrived on the island Miriam had crossed borders, triumphed in the ball scene and made it as a Speed Angel but what if she wants more?




    For this story Wondery has partnered with Translash Media, the trans journalism and personal narrative project that is committed to telling Trans Stories to save Trans lives. Visit www.translash.org to learn more about Translash.

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    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Champagne, Canapés and Clubbing

    Champagne, Canapés and Clubbing

    With 24 hours until the finale a psychiatrist is rushed to the villa. What he sees disturbs him, but is it too late to change course?




    For this story Wondery has partnered with Translash Media, the trans journalism and personal narrative project that is committed to telling Trans Stories to save Trans lives. Visit www.translash.org to learn more about Translash.




    Support us by supporting our sponsors!

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Sh*t Show

    Sh*t Show

    Miriam and the contestants film their final scene. She picks her man. It’s time for her big reveal.

    For this story Wondery has partnered with Translash Media, the trans journalism and personal narrative project that is committed to telling Trans Stories to save Trans lives. Visit www.translash.org to learn more about Translash.




    Support us by supporting our sponsors!

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Scene of a Crime? 

    Scene of a Crime? 

    Miriam has disappeared, the producers are in hiding and the contestants are out for revenge. Will the show ever see the light of day?

    For this story Wondery has partnered with Translash Media, the trans journalism and personal narrative project that is committed to telling Trans Stories to save Trans lives.

    Visit www.translash.org to learn more about Translash.

    Archive provided by BBC Motion Gallery via Getty Images and ITV Archive.




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    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    Speed Angel

    Speed Angel

    Everyone receives some shocking news. As they pick up the pieces they are left to figure out what it all means. 




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    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
1.3K Ratings

1.3K Ratings

stinkydogbreath ,

Loved it BUT…

Well produced, well told, narrator was really clear and easy to listen to, never boring and for the most part seemed to try to be fair to everyone involved. Where it goes wrong for me was when the sex work and substance abuse were completely glossed over as contributors to Miriam’s suicide. As was her head injury. In fact they spent more time on the possibility of murder (although the family and coroner agree miriam killed herself). I think when honoring someone’s life by telling their story it’s necessary to talk about the ugly stuff too. Miriam was “thrown from a four story balcony” but that story was never told!! Sex work is dangerous, so very risky, and not just to one’s physical safety. Sex work takes a mental toll, as does addiction. When I think of all aspects of this story, from the show itself- to the omissions in telling Miriam’s story, I can’t help but think of the old saying “oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”.

Beukeboo23 ,

Good

Interesting to listen to, except the trigger warning in the last episode basically gives the ending away, if you don’t already know how it ends. Frustrating after listening for so long to have the ending spoiled.

Needham1533 ,

Beautifully written and produced show

I heard about this podcast from the book “We See Each Other” by Tre’vell Anderson. Once I’d finished reading I immediately looked this show up and binged it. Miriam’s story was discussed with so much love and care, while also addressing what her story as a trans woman on a dating competition show signified for trans representation in media at the time. Highly recommend.

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