10 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.

Harsh Reality: The Story of Miriam Rivera Wondery

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 1.2K 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.

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.




    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.

    • 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.

    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.

    • 41 min
    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.

    • 41 min
    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.

    • 32 min
    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.




    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.

    • 46 min
    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. 




    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.

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
1.2K Ratings

1.2K Ratings

MamaBearof3cubs05 ,

Decent story

Good story that’s well produced but the narrative about Miriam is way off. She was not the victim of the show, she was a participant. The men were the victims of the show. Everyone has trauma in their lives, it doesn’t matter what your sexuality is so 4/5 stars because of the biased opinion of the narrator.

br4nlgf ,

Detailed, Interesting, Biased

This podcast is excellently produced and wonderfully detailed. The interviews add an extra layer to the story that completes the pictures.

However, the narration is very biased - understandably so, but biased nonetheless. Miriam chose to keeps secrets and lie while spouting her desire for honesty and to be accepted for who she is. The producers were cold and in it for the money, playing everyone. The men were cruel and ignorant, but they’d been lied to on a world stage and had their own sexual preferences disregarded. Everyone is entitled to their sexuality and preferences. That includes the male contestants, not just Miriam. This podcast portrays a very fair depiction of the events, but the host’s opinion and tone when speaking on the events betray her negative opinion and disdain for the men. 4/5 stars only because of the host’s clear condemnation and bias toward everyone except Miriam - who holds some of the blame too.

Lajollachemist ,

Romanticizes Deception from Trans People

The podcast never calls Miriam to task for agreeing to deceive the men on the show. It justifies it by saying she was using the show to out herself to the world 🙄.

The Dr Garret Smith is the best thing about this podcast. He calls out the production crew when the guilt of the deception gets to them. However, even he fails to call Miriam out on playing the Crying Game.

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

C13Originals | Team Downey
Wondery
iHeartPodcasts
This American Life
Glennon Doyle & Cadence13
Emma Chamberlain and Ramble

You Might Also Like

Wondery
Tortoise Media
Wondery
Wondery
Trooper Entertainment
iHeartPodcasts and AYR Media