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.
The turn of the millennium was the point when television networks were watching the rise of Survivor, The Amazing Race, and American Idol and thought, "I can do that!" What they didn't realize was that to maintain a high quality level, they still needed a big budget.
Instead of monetary prizes, networks turned to things like love, the experience, and the belief of fifteen minutes of fame to entice people to participate. Slowly with the help of networks like Fox, E!, and VH1, reality shows got more classless and turned trashy. Like a car accident, viewers can't stop watching. The decade has provided a countless number of trashy reality shows and here is TV Squad's favorites of the decade.
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.
Fans of the British sitcom The IT Crowd may remember that an American pilot was shot and the show was announced for NBC's midseason schedule a couple of years back, with McHale playing Roy and Richard Ayoade bringing his breakout role of Moss over from the original. Only, the pilot never saw the light of day, and a series was never picked up.
I asked McHale about what caused the show to be dropped and if he has any regrets over the show's flame-out. Then, as a person standing in front of the host of The Soup would tend to do, I asked him about what in the reality TV landscape gets him charged up. Interview is after the jump.
You can watch the video here, or just watch after the jump. If you're not a fan of Michaels, his band (Poison) or his "looking for romance" reality show, you should resist the urge to watch it about 10 times while giggling. It's wrong to laugh at another person's misfortune. This reporter would certainly never dream of enjoying something like this.
MIchaels' injuries include a broken nose and three stitches in his lip. He had a CAT scan today as a precaution s he has an old neck injury. No word what effect the impact had on his permanent make-up.
(Sun., 9PM, VH1) 3rd season finale
The bus stops here. After weeks of tooling around the country with his latest gathering of potential mates following him in tour buses, Poison front man Bret Michaels once again tries to find love in all the scantily clad places.
Penthouse Pet Taya and whatever-she-does Mindy are the last two women standing, and Bret takes the two on a triple date to the Dominican Republic before deciding which one he'll hook up with and – if those previews aren't fooling us – maybe give a ring to.
And speaking of weddings ... isn't the Dominican Republic home to the quickie divorce? As Randy Jackson would say, good lookin' out, Bret.
(Sun., 8PM, CBS)
It could be a great night for rapper Lil Wayne – who leads all Grammy nominees with eight nods (including Album of the Year).
As for viewers, the Grammys have been, in recent years, a hodgepodge of performances by great artists and some who, were maybe great, but were also largely unknown to much of the audience.
The Grammy folk apparently took criticism of those shows to heart for tonight's show, which will include tunes by superstars U2, Kid Rock (who's up for two Grammys), Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Carrie Underwood, Coldplay, Paul McCartney (with Foo Fighter Dave Grohl on drums) and teen dreams (and Best New Artist nominees) the Jonas Brothers.
(Sun., 9PM, VH1) 2nd season premiere
We're loath to use the term "all stars" for these reality rejects, but they are the most memorable contestants who tried to win their way into Bret Michaels' bed. Er, heart.
Lacey, Angelique (the one who required subtitles), Rodeo, Megan (and her "mentally challenged" dog Lily), Kristy Jo, Destiney, the two Brandis and Heather (she of the ill-conceived neck tattoo) have turned their 'Rock of Love' exploits into a spot in Sharon Osbourne's 'Charm School.'
Tthe heavy metal mama and 'America's Got Talent' judge will try to make them leave their hoochie ways behind and become, in her words, "women of importance.'" Good luck with that.
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.
A day hasn't gone by where we haven't received some sort of tip or email asking us, the TV Squad, how to get on [insert reality show here]. Unfortunately no, Simon Cowell does not work for us, and Donald Trump isn't my BFF, so we really can't help all that much.
The folks at RealityWanted.com often send us a list of new and existing reality shows that are looking for new, er, talent, and they've given us permission to make mention of them here. We'll try to make this a regular feature as often as we get a new list.
This time we have Rock of Love, Family Court and a lot of new shows.
A history of reality television (part five): I take this millionaire bachelor to be my geeky newlywed date - VIDEOS
For some, watching relationship-based reality programming is not their idea of a pleasant night in. Why should they watch shows about finding and keeping love when it takes so long to find that right person in real life? Yet, since the mid-'60s, viewers have turned-in to watch others search for their soul mate. Or, at least their soul mate of the hour.
Of course, in the time of the Reality Revolution, the way love was found on television changed a bit. Rather than asking a simple set of questions to a set of bachelors or bachelorettes sitting behind a wall, men and women would compete for the love of a well-to-do bachelor or bachelorette, or a rapper/model, or a washed up 80s hair band star. They would even compete to see if their love could withstand an onslaught of temptation.
Sometimes they would find their one true love on these reality show. Other times they would be tossed away, their hearts broken, like a piece of paper. Along the way they would be love, sex, fights, sex, heartfelt moments, and sex. With reality programming being what it is, the viewers ate it all up.
Americans are utterly obsessed with celebrities ... particularly their lives away from the limelight. Numerous television "news" programs and magazines highlight stars doing normal things that many of us would do on a daily basis. So, it was only logical that reality series have been built around some of these personalities to highlight their time away from the camera.
Yet it didn't work out as was intended. Rather than showing that these personalities were normal people, they showed the viewers how messed up they, and their families, really were. In some of the earlier Celebreality programs, they even showed unknown weaknesses that fans never knew existed. Despite all of this, viewers have been tuning into these shows each and every week to watch ... just like they would if video of different train wrecks were aired each week.
This fan base has given many of these stars a second, third, or fourth chance at success -- even if their boat sailed a long time ago. Such is the case during the Reality Revolution, where even the most famous can receive fifteen more minutes of fame.
Welcome to Super Skank Wednesday. This is where I celebrate the awesomely skanky people on the following shows: I Love Money, Charm School, New York Goes to Hollywood, and The Surreal Life. Basically, I'll discuss the skankalicious shows that make VH1 the network it is today.
There's been a lull in trashtastic programming lately. I'm stuck watching So You Think You Can Dance (some of the those Latin ballroom costumes are a little slutty) and Secret Diary of a Call Girl (scripted skankiness). I long for VH1 to start their summer of skanktacity. We got a little taste last night with the I Love Money casting special. Check out my review after the jump.
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