So desperate are we for our required dose of reality television after the finales of big name shows like Survivor, The Amazing Race, American Idol, The Apprentice and The Bachelor, we are choosing to fill our time this week watching paltry offerings such as Kept, Dance With The Stars, Hit Me Baby One More Time, Hell’s Kitchen and The Beauty And The Geek.
The month of May was so prolific for reality television that some nights had our TIVOs asking to be paid a little overtime. We watched Tom beat Katie easily on Survivor: Palau and Uchenna and Joyce narrowly beat Rob and Amber after begging for cash outside the finish line in order to pay their cabdriver on The Amazing Race.
Donny and Marie jokes abounded with the American Idol finale pitting “A Little Bit Country” Carrie Underwood against “A Little Bit Rock ‘n Roll” Bo Bice. We watched as Donald Trump hired the first female Apprentice, Kendra Todd. We got teary-eyed as Bachelor Charlie O’Connell pledged his love to Sarah B. live, a first for The Bachelor/Bachelorette series.
This was a party we didn’t want to end. Assumably it won’t, as there is a list of over thirty summer reality shows awaiting us. At first we were excited, until we read the premises of these shows, and ended up hoping for just a few handfuls of worthwhile entertainment.
The worst of this week’s offerings had to be Mic Jagger’s ex, Texas model Jeri Hall, searching for a young man to become her new “Kept” man. The premise was bad enough, but the actual show was even worse. The challenge upon which Jeri made her decision on which young man to vote out this week was each of them buying her a gift. It would be a gift to us if they would take Kept off the air.
Dancing With The Stars brought us what will be the first of two dance competition shows this summer. This show gave us six celebrities – a New Kid On The Block, a soap star, a boxer, a model, a sitcom supporting actor, and the original Bachelorette vying for a ballroom dance title with partners that are well-established in the world of dance competitions. I certainly wouldn’t watch a regular ballroom dance competition, so I’m not sure why I sat, glued to the whole hour of this.
Looking to recapture the glory of their wonder years were the music stars of the past looking to restart their careers and earn a cash prize for their favorite charity. Tiffany, famous for singing in shopping malls was now singing Kelly Clarkson. Unrecognizable was Loverboy singing their old hit, Working For The Weekend. Personally, I would rather remember Mike Reno in the red leather pants than like this. Perhaps I should take Flock of Seagulls advice and “Run So Far Away.”
There were a few shows that left us hopeful for this summer season, though. Hell’s Kitchen brings us a cooking competition show with a judge, Gordon Ramsay, that some have said is even more cruel than Simon Cowell. As he pierces eliminated chef Carolann’s jacket with a coat hook as she walks out, it does seem further than even Simon would be inclined to go. No one can beat those out-of-left-field analogies of Simon’s though.
Ashton Kutcher even checks in with a show to rival his success with Punk’d. He brings us The Beauty and The Geek, reminiscent of last year’s Average Joe series. Yet this show puts up an equal number of beauties and geeks. For the elimination challenge, the beauties and geeks pair up, and while the geeks answer pop culture questions, the beauties answer questions on history or politics. Eric and Cheryl are on the losing end of this, leaving us to wonder if we will be as well if we stick with this series.
I’m not sure how many of these new reality shows I will continue to watch, but just like a bad car accident, I’m drawn to slowing dow to take a look. The question is if I will pull away slowly or speed away.