Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Year in Reality TV

Let the recaps begin!

As you all know, I'm completely addicted to television. As for reality TV shows, I always have the best intentions to avoid them but end up getting sucked in to way too many of them. I don't know what the future of reality TV is. In five years, it will either replace every scripted show (although many reality shows are more scripted than scripted shows) or it will finally fizzle out.

Since I've watched my fair share, I thought I'd do a brief recap of the best and worst of reality TV this year. Hopefully I have enough brain cells left.

Best Reality Show: American Idol - There's no beating or stopping the reality juggernaut that is AI. It's really created the template for every talent show to come after it and, unlike a lot of reality shows now, there really does seem to be a point to it. If the only two true mega-stars that it creates are Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, that would probably be more than any other talent show has done. Even the runners-up from AI seem to do better than the winners on most other shows. Does anyone know what the girls from America's Top Model are doing now? Has anyone seen a Broadway show starring a So You Think You Can Dance contestant? Probably not. Like it or not, American Idol is here to stay and it's only threatening to become more powerful as the years go by. It doesn't even matter that last year's winner, Jordin Sparks, was a total dud. Everyone in the world is still looking forward to the new season, which starts in January. I know you're all looking forward to a new season of my recaps, right? Right??

Worst Reality Show: A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila - Ok, so I admit that I didn't actually watch this garbage. I did try for about 10 minutes sheerly out of morbid curiosity, but it wasn't even train-wreck funny enough to keep my attention. It just made my stomach turn. It's yet another dating show starring a supposedly bisexual bimbo who is famous for whoring herself out on MySpace and making horrible music. I say "supposedly bisexual" because her final two contestants were a dude and a chick who may as well have been a dude. Then she picked the dude. I would've given MTV points for being progressive under other circumstances, but I think the whole bisexual slant was just a gimmick to get more viewers. I don't doubt that Tila would've made out with a donkey if the MTV execs had asked her.

Best New Reality Show: America's Most Smartest Model - I know I haven't blogged about this show at all, but I was totally hooked. It boasted some truly hot guys, some pathetically stupid girls, and Ben Stein. I'm not sure why any serious models wanted this awful title, but I'm sure that being on TV didn't hurt them any.

Old Reality Show That Needs to Hang it Up: The Real World - It's the show that started the reality TV craze, back when it was much more "real." The first season had a raw feel to it because no one really knew what they were doing or what to expect, and even Seasons 2 and 3 were pretty true to the original concept. But, as it's become more popular and reality TV has become more "shocking," this pioneering show has morphed into something that's anything but real. The only bad thing about this show ending would be that the Real World/Road Rules Challenges might also come to an end, and I love those.

Most Disappointing Reality Show: The Two Coreys - As an '80s kid, I was really looking forward to this show. I found it mildly amusing when it started, but then I completely lost interest after the 2nd week. Feldman was annoying, his wife was even more so, and Haim was just tragic. Then I heard that a lot of the show was scripted and I really gave up on it. I don't know why the "scripted" thing surprised me, but it did. I guess I expected more from '80s icons!

Best Reality Star: Andre Birleanu, America's Most Smartest Model - At the beginning of the season, I didn't really like this guy. He just seemed like a conceited, rude jerk from Russia who thought all Americans were pigs. As the show progressed though, Andre turned into the true star. The things he said were absolutely hilarious and he was obviously having a good time messing with everyone. He also taught me that the word "Soviet" can be a noun, verb, adjective or adverb. The only thing I wish he would've said? "I must break you." That would've been beautiful. Like his body. Soviet!!

Hottest Male Reality Star: Brett Novek, America's Most Smartest Model - If I could create my perfect man in a lab (someone please let me know when that service is available) he would look pretty damn close to Brett. And, oddly enough, Brett is my favorite male name. So, perfect name, perfect face, perfect teeth, perfect hair, perfect body, sweet personality...this guy is just a glorious piece of ass meat art. I was pretty bummed when he got voted off. He definitely should've won, instead of that jerk, VJ, who looks like something that fell out of Tom Cruise's ass.

Hottest Female Reality Star: Sarah Hartshorne, America's Next Top Model - This picture is actually before Sarah's ANTM makeover, and even though I liked the short, messy crop they gave her, she looked much better as a brunette. As you're looking at the photo, keep in mind that Sarah was brought on the show as the plus-size model. And the camera adds ten pounds. Oh, and then she got kicked off because she wasn't "plus-size" enough. The judges were upset that Sarah looked like she had lost weight and had become - horror of horrors - a normal-size girl! Whatever size she was, she was gorgeous and seemed to be the nicest girl of the bunch.

Scariest Reality Star: Sister Patterson, I Love New York - I don't watch this show either, but I'm quite familiar with New York's mom from watching Flavor of Love. This "woman" scares the beejeezuz out of me. I'm still waiting for Mike Meyers to show up and pull her wig off while yelling, "It's a man, baby!" Now, that's an episode that would pull in millions more viewers.

Best Illustration of Reality TV's Hold on America - When looking for a picture of New York's mom, I typed "I Love New York" in the Yahoo! search engine. The first two results on the search page were related to the TV show. The New York Board of Tourism came in third. Sigh.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Nice recap, and I haven't even heard of some of these shows.

If allowed to throw in my two cents, I would have to say the most annoying reality show would be that Little People, Big World. I appreciate the sentiment that this family is trying to say hey we're just regular people, but do regular people have a camera crew living with them? Okay well by now maybe they do.

Now let's get that man-making lab built for you.

Writeprocrastinator said...

What, no "Top Chef?" Watch out or you'll have both Hung and Padma after you.

Did they even show more than four episodes of "The Coreys?"

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm bluez, I'm a reality show addict too.

Where I agree AI is top dog, there are several shows you left out. Amazing Race, Top Chef, Design Star, Big Brother, Survivor, Project Runway, and The Hills.

I know, I need help! Thanks to Flava Flav; show I never missed an episode of I love NY 1 or 2 nor have I miss a Survivor episode.

I only started watching BB and AR last year though, if that makes me look any less sick :-)

Malcolm: said...

If "reality" TV ends up replacing scripted shows, we are in a lot of trouble. Because of the increased quality of scripted shows over the past few years, I don't think "reality" TV will ever completely take over.

Although AI is w/o a doubt a juggernaut, I would say that "Star Search" has it beat right now regarding the number of stars it's created/introduced. Girl's Tyme (later Destiny's Child), Dennis Miller, Sawyer Brown, and Aaliyah are just a few of the stars who got their big breaks on the show.

LoraLoo said...

America's Most Smartest Model? Hmmm... now there's probably a pretty good show. Especially with Ben Stein. That Brett Novak is hotttttt!!

I agree that Real World needs to retire already.

Dale said...

The reality is, you're better than the shows my dear Beckeye. I'm okay with that though. Happy Holidays! For real.

Bubs said...

What a wonderful year-end wrap-up. Thank you for being our gateway to fabulous reality television.

Enjoy the holidays!

pistols at dawn said...

Thank you for watching so I don't have to. At some point, I may have to watch an episode of this American Idol thing the kids are always talking about, though I still say, why the hell should I care how a bunch of 19-year-olds sing Stevie Wonder songs?

Scott said...

Nice recap.

Do you ever watch The Amazing Race?

I never have, but I'm always perplexed as to why it wins the Emmy every year for Best Reality Show. Am I missing something great?

My personal favorites this year were Survivor and Kid Nation.

I agree that it's time for The Real World to go.

Anonymous said...

I love America's Most Smartest Model also, especially for its bringing Brett Novek to our attention. I just hope with season 2 that they don't veer off in some bad direction that would take away from the show's charm.

American Idol is pretty required viewing. Otherwise you will be left out of the conversation at work.

mellowlee said...

She's a man baby! Hahahha!
You rock Beckeye! And I love your recaps!

Distributorcap said...

great recap....... the real world jumped the shark years ago, as did survivor - tho this year is wasnt nearly as bad as other years.......

i love Top Chef (and also like The NExt Iron Chef)
but i am one who just cannot stomach Amer Idol

Mme.G said...

I agree with you on Sister P - the commentary about her on VH1's blog is priceless! You need to see the episode from the second season where Sister P meets the parents. One contestant's mother calls her a transvestite and tells her she has too much testosterone. Classic.

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