Pretty much all the shows that have been part of the VH1 lineup over the last few years -- shows like 'Flavor of Love,' 'Rock of Love,' 'Tool Academy' and other high art -- are going to fade away in favor of more documentary-style shows. And, shocker of all shocks, music is coming back, with more music-video-centric shows and the revival of 'Behind The Music.'
Even the network's president, Tom Calderone, seems to think that its high time for the network to ditch its recent tawdry past. "(O)ur audience was getting a little fatigued by all those manufactured reality shows," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "They want more authenticity in their reality, which isn't to say that it can't be comedic and light."
But is fatigue the real reason why VH1 is classing it up? And are they really classing things up at all? A closer examination makes both answers a little less obvious.
More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about a very aught-like phenomenon: the cult of celebrity.
There is no clearer metaphor for the concept of being a celebrity than the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You work hard to chase your dream and achieve a career for yourself by making your name known to the masses of the universe.
Then when you've grabbed that star and become a regular fixture in the flash bulb of the press' cameras, how does the public honor your tireless toil and efforts? They throw you down on a sidewalk and walk all over you.
In the Aughts, however, a new celebrity oozed out of the primordial muck. A celebrity that still suffered the slings and arrows of the tabloid press and a complete loss of the right to privacy, but achieved their stardom by simply cutting out all that pesky hard work and tireless effort nonsense. These are the celebrities who became famous by simply because they were famous.
Whether we like it or not, the '00s introduced us to a new form of celebrity: the reality star. In previous decades, the closest we got to this were especially entrancing personalities from MTV's Real World. These people gained fame for acting like well-crafted exaggerations of their real selves.
Faster than you can say, "I didn't come here to make friends," networks picked up on the public's fascination with reality TV like Survivor and they pushed it to the popularity that it has reached today. Now, reality shows barely reflect what happens in normal people's lives but are generally more like high-concept game shows or extremely scripted improvs. But people keep watching, because the personalities are big and captivating.
Yup. Strategic footage editing does wonders. Here are some of our personal favorites from the genre, but feel free to comment with your own worthy additions!
The idea of the punch (and the sight of it, for those of us who've watched it) is alarming for a few reasons. First and foremost, the image of a man hitting a woman squarely in the face is shocking; most reality show fights that escalate to physical violence are between two men or two women. Furthermore, these reality show fights rarely involve actual punches; normally it's a bunch of hugging disguised as grappling, rolling around on the ground and hair-pulling until the producers move in. This is the real deal.
But if you've ever been to Seaside, NJ, you aren't surprised by this use of unnecessary violence over what was probably an argument about a slice of boardwalk pizza or a discussion of Yankees vs. Mets. Also, if you've seen a reality show in the past five years, you aren't surprised that someone caught a bad one. We've compiled the best punches/slaps/etc. of the last few years in the wonderful world of reality television.
The spinoff, aptly titled 'Tough Love: Couples,' will feature 'Tough Love' star Steve Ward and his mother JoAnn. The two will assess the relationships of the couples just before they are set to marry, determining if they are fit to tie the knot together.
This is certainly not the first time VH1 has spun off off their popular shows, sometimes unnecessarily. In fact, there are so many spinoffs of their reality shows, we have compiled a list of just the worst ones.
There was no shortage of truly great TV shows this decade -- but there was no dearth of really bad TV, either.
From talking babies and singing-and-dancing casino moguls to ill-conceived celebrity ventures into reality programming and scripted fare ... and whatever category you want to put the inexplicably enduring 'According to Jim' in, here are our picks for the worst TV the networks offered up to us in the last 10 years.
If Flavor Flav really wanted to get his high school diploma, why does he need cameras on him to do it? Can't he just study and take the G.E.D.? What type of high school will he attend, public or private?
If he went to a public school, he'd be mobbed between every class due to his celebrity. Having him go to a private school might be better and would admittedly be funnier, but somehow I question if he could handle the coursework (of course, he has enough money to pay other people to go to class for him).
Somehow I see Flav being more like one of those students that smokes out back and tries to make it with one of the cheerleaders. After Flavor of Love, would you want your daughter to go to the same high school as Flav?
Which is exactly what they're known for. Before this Megan Wants a Millionaire/I Love Money debacle, they had no problem with it. Ratings were up, proving that there are people out there who will tune into all those atrocities to the senses.
I completely agree with the top six, but they lose me with Jackass at number seven. I have never understood the appeal of filming morons doing stupid things on purpose just to be stupid. But there were some shows missing from the list completely, like Little People Big World, So You Think You Can Dance and Beauty and the Geek. Surely those shows are better than The Hills and The Real Housewives of Sesame Street, or whatever franchise they're spinning now.
For reality television, love is always in the air. Some shows set out to find it ('The Bachelor,' 'Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire'); it happens spontaneously on others ('The Real World'; 'Survivor').
Think you know floozy flirtations, "scripted-drama" passion? We've got your reality check right here -- take our reality-TV romances quiz.
How can I possibly live with myself? Sure, I also brought the genuinely entertaining Best Week Ever to fruition, and I keep sub-par comedians in regular work with all my stupid list shows, but haven't I done enough to the world? Isn't it enough that I took a channel named "Video Hits One" and turned it into a circus side show of money-grubbing whores and E-List celebrities trying to recapture what little glory they never really had? Apparently not, because VH1 is going to air a show in which they follow Antonio Sabato Jr. around while he tries to find true love.
So no I Love Money on Sunday night? Wha-what? Pshaw! How can I do my awesome picture books without a new episode?
Okay enough complaining. After the jump, I'm going to discuss a show that doesn't exist (yet) in the VH1 skanktastic line-up: Charm School: The Men of I Love New York. I've got a list of my fantasy cast.
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