The Telefile
New Reality Shows are Mix 'N Match Duds: Is Anyone Even Trying Anymore?

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.

Dating in the Dark
What It Is: The Bachelor meets Big Brother meets 13: Fear Is Real
Why We Already Hate It: So the folks over at ABC are going ahead with their newest ludicrous dating show which is apparently based on something that already exists in the Netherlands... where all the craziest reality shows apparently come from. Thank you so much Jon de Mol (I love and hate you for bringing Big Brother into my world). Anyway, some unlucky-in-love contestants (three guys and three girls) are out to find their soulmates or some shit and must do so without ever seeing the person they are dating. The whole show is shot in the pitch black, with the help of night-vision cameras. I know I'm not alone in this, but I've watched too many people making out on Survivor, going to "Dark" restaurants on Rock of Love 2 and night-night sexytimes to actual enjoy watching anything in that eerie green glow of night vision. I absolutely can't think of anything more annoying than watching an entire show that is shot like that, even if each episode is stand-alone instead of serialized. In some ways, it is almost worse. Scary even. Who knows what/who you are making out with in the dark. I'd rather take my chances with the phony "terrors" on 13: Fear Is Real.

Undercover Boss
What It Is: Secret Millionaire meets Howie Do It with a dash of The Office
Why We Already Hate It: It is no secret that I hated the holiday "feel-good" series Secret Millionaire; it bored me to tears. Though I probably hated Howie Do It more because that was just uncomfortably awkward and staged. Anyway, the CBS series Undercover Boss sets a manager up with some secret disguise (hope they are better than the awful and unconvincing ones they used on Black. White a few years back) and sets them loose in their office to see how their employees behave when the boss isn't looking. Sounds riveting. Truly. Unless you are being all super-stealth like Morgan Spurlock and trying to expose something ground-breaking or ethically questionable or at least somewhat culturally important, I don't really give a hell. Can't wait for the reveal, when the cube dwellers find out that their boss has been sneakily monitoring their porn usage and talking to them about their drug habits.

Arranged Marriage
What It Is: Mr. Personality meets Momma's Boys meets Married by America
Why We Already Hate It: Let's consider the success rate on The Bachelor for a minute here. So far, there has not been one run that has ended with happily ever after. (Not counting Trista and Ryan on The Bachelorette). So a series that is all about getting people hooked up and married and then following their post-nuptial lives seems doomed from the start. Divorce lawyers are gonna love this one. Basically the lovelorn have put their future lives in the hands of their friends and family and are trusting them to pick out a good mate for them. They don't get to see their husband or wife until they are tying the knot (at least the girl got to "feel the faces" of her dates on Mr. Personality.) The only difference between this and Married by America is that these morons decided to let people they know pick their partners instead of putting their fate in the hands of spiteful Americans. Who is this desperate? Did they learn nothing from Momma's Boys? Evidently not. It is supposed to extend the Eastern tradition to the West, but it seems like just your average cheesy dating show, with a new and stupid twist.

Now That's What I Call Music
What It Is: TRL meets iTunes top 10 singles list
This one isn't disgusting, per se, just irritating. Those crappy Now That's What I Call Music CDs, which are still inexplicably popular despite the fact that you can just buy the infectious pop songs you hate to love off the internet individually when they come out instead of waiting for a disc filled with songs that you'll regret owning five years from now, are getting their own show. Just what we never needed. Idol producer Simon Fuller is shopping this vague idea around, so it is still in the planning stages, but I bet he's gonna get Ryan Seacrest to host it, too. It would just frickin' figure. It's totally up his alley with his American Top 40 gig. Anyway, Now is going to focus on the songs that are popular in a given week, and maybe have performances by the hot stars and interviews and such. Why? Do we need this? Doesn't he already torture us with this crap on American Idol results nights? Didn't TRL just get canceled because of low ratings? Stop the madness.

Are you looking forward to any of these shows? Dreading them? Hoping they just go away? Sound off below.




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