Yet another edition of Reality Show Roundup!
Yeah, it’s about that time. With a few standout shows going on right now, and one that's just ended, it's worth a look into what's okay, what's crap and what is actually worth watching. Click the link below to read on.
First, a note or two about Project Runway which I foolishly left out of a recent posting about what I was watching on TV. It was a very good season, especially in terms of the talent level – all three finalists were significantly more talented than, I should think, the finalists in Seasons 1 and 2. (Certainly, the first season.) As it turned out, Christian was the favorite and he certainly is talented. But it really put a cap on something – I don’t understand fashion at all. His clothing – and the stuff they show on the runway shows – are all unwearable by maybe 99.999% of the world’s population…and this is somehow a good thing? Sure, Victoria Beckham (a finals judge) could wear it I guess, but I don’t think I even understand the point of showing off something with such a limited audience. In any event, it’s a good show.
I’ve also been watching The Biggest Loser which hasn’t been that great – although watching Jillian swear like a drunken sailor at host Allison Sweeney was particularly entertaining this week. The game is definitely not as interesting as in season’s past, but it’s certainly not all that bad and amazing to see how people transform themselves so quickly. One obvious quibble is…the show is TWO freaking hours long. That’s ridiculous for a show that could conceivable be squashed into thirty minutes.
While I've only caught a bit of America's Next Top Model (I can't take it much anymore), it's not that my standards have somehow gotten better. Exhibit A is that I have something to say about Paradise Hotel 2, which has only improved on the original by getting even more vapid folks than the first go round. There does appear to be a prize to win at the end (I'm not sure the original show got to the finale before being canceled), it's really pretty horrible. But yeah, I end up watching it.
I’ve already written about Big Brother and it’s still not a very interesting show. Usually, it’s gotten quite good at this point in the show – but the problem is, there’s not a single likable person on the show. There are maybe three people who aren’t that objectionable, but that’s really not the same thing.
On the other hand, I’m really enjoying Survivor: Fans vs Favorites, despite the fact that the “fans” are a collective bunch of morons. If they are in fact fans of anything, it’s of players like Ozzy and James, not the actual game. Because they’ve largely played like a bunch of idiots.
And I have to think that Survivor execs are regretting the fact that they ever cast Chet. Chet might be the least competitive person I’ve ever seen, and if there is one thing that unites people who play Survivor, it’s that they are type-A, incredibly competitive people. (Witness Jonathan Penner this week trying to stay in the game with an infected abscess on his thigh.) Chet was …awful. Just weak in every sense of the word. I’m sure he’s a nice person to his friends and family, but he couldn’t have been worse at this game – his only hope was that he’d be dragged into the finals by someone knowing the jury would never give him anything. That can only last so long. At this point, the truly inept players like Joel and Chet are gone, but there’s no reason to think anyone but a ‘Favorite’ will take this home. Ozzy deserves it in one sense – he’s by far the best physical player the game has EVER seen – but I’d put odds on him not making the finals at pretty close to 100%. But, it’s good, good stuff.
And, as noted earlier this week, Top Chef is back! I think that of all the reality shows I watch, it has the most appeal to people. I know several folks who watch none of the shows above but who love Top Chef. This season started really well – the chefs seem very talented. Two of them made Quickfire pizzas that sounded repulsive, but apparently tasted great according to judges Padma Lakshmi and guest judge Rocco diSpirito (who is on a serious PR push these days, fresh off The Biggest Loser as well). Those were the peach and sweet tea pizza and the one using Marmite. (If you didn’t wince at either of those, good on ya.) It’s good to know that Ted Allen will be back, and hopefully Anthony Bourdain will return again quickly after an appearance this episode. (One interesting thing – the show is in Chicago for the first time, and has at least four chefs from San Francisco, more than I can ever remember. I am not sure if there’s anything else to stay about that, but I found it worth mentioning.)