They've heard us, which is why The History Channel is bringing us more reality, starting with a spi-off of the aforementioned Truckers. Extreme Trucking will travel the world looking for the most treacherous roadways anywhere, and the brave men and women who drive them.
We can also look forward to traveling the US with Pickers, as people hunt for rare artifacts. And we'll get down and dirty with a 61-year old feud at a North Carolina NASCAR track with Madhouse. Even more unusual is Sliced, a series where objects are cut in half so we can see what they look like. Hey, if they cut a tree in half we can look at the history of it!
On American Idol, we often hear that the more insulting advice from the judges is a form of tough love, and in some cases, they have a point. Some people think they can sing and just can't, and need to be told. And there are similar scenes on So You Think You Can Dance, and similarly, some people stomp off convinced that they are "it" instead of, well, something that rhymes.
But So You Think You Can Dance is much more up front and even aggressive about telling people how they can grow. The system is better - if you show promise but the judges aren't sure, you go to the "choreography" phase and you are shown fairly empirically what your faults are, and most contestants seem happy for the knowledge, and many of them do come back.
Side note: Handler looks different. Not just the clothes that make her look like a waiter, but her hairstyle. She looks like another celebrity and I can't think of which one.
And yet 45 minutes of TV viewing later, I'm not even feeling the need to break the protective glass. On the surface, it appears to be just another reality/game show with typical contestants having their ids scared for life for cash and/or prizes and most of it is just that.
And even though it met those stereotypical expectations, I still didn't hate it. Part of me actually kind of (gulp) enjoyed it. Did I just swallow my brains along with my pride?
The promo isn't online so I'll have to describe it. The narrator talks about how times change (with a montage of how phones have evolved over the years), how tastes change (a montage of different foods that people have eaten over the decades), and how we've changed (a montage of different hairstyles you might have had since you were a kid). The point of all this is that things change, but ... change is good! And that's why it's good that TV Land has a bunch of reality shows instead of classic TV shows, because things change and that's where viewers are now in their lives.
So it's a surprise to me that there are two reality shows I actually do enjoy. There is The Amazing Race on CBS, which is currently in between seasons, and So You Think You Can Dance, which is in the beginning third on Fox. Generally, I don't feel stupid watching these two shows. I don't feel like I'm wasting my time. In fact, every once in a while, I feel like I'm learning something.
I mention this every year, and it has gotten to the point where it would be ridiculous to give the opposing viewpoints yet again (but you can read them here and here). Suffice to say, we think you should leave your TV on this week (and in September - there's a TV Turn-Off Week then, too - when the new fall season starts!). If you don't, you're going to miss some cool stuff.
The network has announced a few new reality shows, including one that they call an "anti-makeover" show. If it's truly anti-makeover, it will be a scripted comedy, but I'm sure it's really just another damn reality program. They have also announced a third season (gah) of High School Reunion. Guess all the people in their 40s and 50s like these things, though as someone in my 40s I'd just like to say HEY, YOU KNOW WHAT, TV LAND? I DON'T WANT TO SEE MORE REALITY SHOWS AND MAKEOVER SHOWS, EVEN IF THEY ARE "ANTI."
Do you remember when Bravo wasn't completely infested with reality shows? Sure, Top Chef is a good show, but the channel is practically all reality shows now, and most of them pretty lame (if not despicable). We've had Hey Paula, which showed Paula Abdul stumbling through her life. We've seen The Real Housewives of Orange County turn into some sort of ever-growing franchise. And let's not forget Tabatha's Salon Makeover, Manhunt, Make Me A Supermodel, Blow Out, Millionaire Matchmaker, Showbiz Moms and Dads, and...well, about 40 others.
It's not a show about nothing, but Jerry Seinfeld is coming back to your TV set. This time, he's exec producing an NBC reality series about marriage problems. Only it's not a drama, it's a comedy.
The Marriage Ref will feature celebrities, comedians and sports stars offering their advice to real-life couples in the midst of marital woes. Oh good grief, there's so much wrong with this concept. Where to begin ...
First of all, I'd like nothing more than to see Jerry Seinfeld on my TV again. But after being so successful in the sit-com arena, why for the love of God would he even think about stooping so low as to helm a reality series.
Second, marriage problems aren't funny. Sure, we laughed at Lucy and Ricky's squabbles and Ralph threatening Alice with "to the moon!" But these were situation comedies, not reality shows.
Mark Burnett has struck a deal that will let people produce their own audition tapes.
Burnett signed a deal with Studio One Media to supply high traffic areas with self-serve kiosks that let people put together their own tapes for a measly twenty bucks. They can also provide a web-based service that lets contestants upload their own videos.
But, here you have it: Bravo has picked up an art competition reality show from Parker's Pretty Matches production company and producers Magical Elves. They're expected to announce the deal today at the Television Critics Association press tour, so Joel might have more info on this later.
The hour-long show is described by Elves' Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz as a Project Runway-style competition, only with art instead of fashion. Aspiring artists compete to produce various styles of artwork, including painting, sculpting, etc., which is then judged by a panel of experts.
Since the early days of TV Squad, we've covered realty programming in some capacity; we published news, episode reviews and commentary on whatever had viewers talking. I think back then we were covering Survivor, American Idol and perhaps The Amazing Race. We had a decent balance of reality and non-reality posts, and everyone seemed happy.
As the years went on, that balance shifted. The reality shows we were covering were only increasing in popularity, and more shows came in to ride the wave. As we sat back and watched some of the newer shows break onto the scene with little posting from us, the readers demanded our take. The monstrosity of Reality TV was something we couldn't ignore, so we provided.
Then we reached the breaking point.
I've noticed that one of the more overused phrases on reality shows is "I'm not here to make friends." It's that moment in the competition where some controversy/confrontation comes up and the player that everyone seems to dislike the most explains to them that they're "there to win the game" and "not here to make friends." Of course, the fact that many of these people probably can't make friends even in real life probably doesn't even cross their minds.
Now someone has taken a bunch of those "I'm not here to make friends" moments and created a YouTube montage. You'll see contestants from shows like Survivor, The Apprentice, The Amazing Race, America's Next Top Model, The White Rapper Show (whatever that is), Project Runway, Forever Eden, Hell's Kitchen, and other shows. One player even says "I ain't here to make no friends," which is at least a twist on the phrase.
It has gotten to the point where they really have to outlaw this phrase from all reality shows, though I think the phrase would make for an awesome t-shirt.
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