We had thought that we were going to spend our summer delighting in seeing Cat Deeley on a fresh program and watching Kelly Clarkson be her adorable self, but their respective new reality shows turned out to be duds. So instead we've turned our attention to some other series that may not generate quite as much buzz, but still fill our mindless summer reality needs (kinda like these shows from the dog days of winter). They all have a charm that Snooki and JWOWW's stale act severely lacks, and are a nice companion to keep us and our DVRs busy now that So You Think You Can Dance is only on one night a week.
It seems that nearly every day there's a new reality show popping up to vie for our attention, and while most of them are instantly forgettable or boring clones of existing hits, some of them are actually pretty great. While we mostly talk about competitive reality shows or docu-soaps that feature reprehensible rich people, toddlers, tiaras and chefs, we enjoy plenty of other unscripted programs that don't get that much attention. Until we're blessed with another season of My Strange Addiction (because we can't get enough of people munching on cremated remains or drywall), here are the shows more reality fans should be watching:
Yes, I realize how ridiculous that headline sounds. Yes, I am too old to be watching Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Yes, I stopped watching The Real World years ago and only have the vaguest idea who half of the contestants are. Yes, the Challenge has its flaws -- way too many off-challenge physical altercations, too many drunken hook-ups and a really boring host. But still, I think other (aging) reality shows could actually learn a lot from this series.
I realize that regularly I watch (and love) some of the most deplorable reality programming in existence (Big Brother, Rock of Love Bus, Double Shot of Love, Bad Girls Club). However, there comes a point where even I can't handle all the new crap that is coming out. Plus, it seems like so many people have just given up on creating clever new ideas for shows, and instead are playing Frankenstein, with some varied results. Here's some of the latest announcements that make me feel like reality-show producers desperately need to find a new well to pull from.
The current trend on reality television seems to be to take existing genres of shows and add plus-size people to them to make it more interesting. This is how we ended up with shows like More to Love and Dance Your Ass Off. We like to try and stay ahead of the curve and since vampires are so hot right now, most especially True Blood and the forthcoming Vampire Diaries, we predict that it isn't long before vampire contestants start making their ways into the world of reality TV. Most of these shows have fallen into a rut, so some bloodsucking contestants could actually breathe some much needed eternal life into them... you know... if they could breathe.
Why is ABC planning Ice Dancing With the Stars when Skating with the Celebrities was already a flop that few other than myself suffered through? (Okay, maybe the former Mrs. Lloyd Eisler and her divorce attorney watched as well.) Plus, Dancing With the Stars is already a weekly chore, so why add another show about has-beens trying to be figure skaters? But most importantly, ice dancing is boring as hell (in my humble opinion). Watching its three nights during the Vancouver Olympics was the best insomnia cure I could find -- and that's saying a lot considering the many hours of curling I watched. So if networks insist on putting celebrities on these types of shows, here are some other Olympic sports they should tackle instead:
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