Even though the show has been on forever, I still enjoy my weekly dose of the new South Parks. But lately, they seem to be running out of targets or have narrowed their focus too much on one particular evil: reality television.
The season opener featured a rather nasty swipe at Disney's Jonas Brothers. The recent "Dead Celebrities" chortle-fest took a much needed pot shot at Ghost Hunters, aka, "the gayest f#*$ing show on television." And last week launched an all out attack on Discovery's Whale Wars and Deadliest Catch, particularly against Whale Wars star Paul Watson.
The show has always been a bitch to write and making every episode a satirical masterpiece is impossible without suffering a full-on breakdown. But should the show lay off reality TV and take some bolder shots at reality, which as we all know are two completely different things?
(S15E01) In this single two-hour season premiere, we were reminded why The Amazing Race keeps snapping up those Emmy Awards for the best reality show on television. We're talking quality teams -- no Jerry Springer fans here! We're talking the adrenalin rush that viewers get just sitting on couches watching the show. We're talking a glimpse into other lands, cultures, and people we might never get the chance to experience in our own lives. We're talking simply amazing.
(S14E10) Oh, boo-hoo. I don't understand why anyone with such a fear of water would even consider going on a show like The Amazing Race. Almost every season there's some sort of swimming which has to be done. Perhaps I'm biased because I learned to swim at a young age. My own personal theory of dealing with life is that everyone should learn how to swim, drive a stick shift, and change a flat tire. Hey ... those talents could win the race!
(S14E09) Promos for tonight's The Amazing Race made it look like there might be a knock-down drag-out fight between Jen (of Kisha and Jen) and Luke (Margie and Luke, naturally). Now, there's nothing that can make an interesting show even more interesting than an old-fashioned brouhaha. At least, not in my book, there isn't.
So, I'm thinking ... Luke versus Jen. Which one would I put my money on for the win? I'd have to go with Jen. While Luke throws a good hissy-fit, I think she's not one he should take on. Maybe if it were a hissy-fit brouhaha, Luke would have the edge.
If roughing it isn't your style, consider being in a house without entertainment. Big Brother 11 is casting for the summer season. Sure the prize is only $500,000, but you won't come home with any stomach viruses.
Casting on both shows have been hit or miss. In Survivor: Tocantins, 12 of the 16 contestants were recruited. This includes the latest castoff, Sydney who was recruited from a bar.
Since I can't really go globe-trotting physically, I roam the internet for the best and most likely to be true spoilers. Then I come back and report them to you. No, I don't have winning team kind of spoilers here. But if you want some information on possible teams and the route taken, read on.
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.
From the 1950s through the 1980s, reality television programming was a rarity on the schedules of the Big Three networks. It was more of a novelty that piqued the interest of the viewers for a few months or a few seasons, then was relegated back into the shadows while scripted shows dominated the airwaves. It wasn't until the very end of the 1980s, when FOX premiered COPS, that reality-based programming became a prime-time staple.
It stayed that way for several years. Then, just like that, it all changed, thanks to one show that premiered in 1992. With a simple program on a fairly new cable channel, reality programming went from television rarity to huge success. So much so that, in a few short years, it spawned various direct copies and variations of its concept on both the over-the-air and cable networks. By the early 21st century the airwaves were filled with more reality programming than scripted works, garnering the ire and the joy of many a long-time television viewer.
And, it all began on a network primarily known for its music videos and Pauly Shore.
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.
Like Arthur C. Clarke's predictions of geostationary satellites and floating man-god fetuses, Oswalt's vision of a reality-free future is eerily accurate. While our physical space hasn't quite been eaten by a giant white wave yet, the signs of reality's destruction are as obvious as the motivations behind Tila Tequila's bisexuality. Most glaring? The very words "reality television" connote an unreal experience.
After careful consideration, we at TV Squad, along with your input, have winnowed down the hundreds of possible candidates for "most unreal reality show" to these five...
The show is based on a British show called Ladette to Lady, which sounds a lot like Charm School from VH1. I guess Donald wants his hard-partying girls to have class.
The show has not heard back from Dupré. Perhaps she's holding off for more cash. Maybe she's putting this in the same category as her offers from Larry Flynt and Joe Francis.
(S16E03) We're three episodes into Survivor Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites and I still have trouble remembering who the one timid-looking fan is in this image. Oh, yeah. I know Krazy Kathy. And who could forget Joel?
I'm up to snuff on my faves tribe, though. But as I watched tonight's show, I happened to walk away from the set for a minute and it all came back to me. Jonathan Penner has totally stolen Alan Alda's voice. I remember it now from his season, but it's still evident. How did he do that? And, what does Alan Alda think about Jonathan Penner stealing his voice?
According to several sources, the theme this season isn't really "dirty little secrets" -- it's "soulmates." It will be interesting who the possible soulmate would be for the one 45-year-old woman amongst all the 20-somethings.
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