For some karaoke is chance to let loose, relax and pretend to be a rock star. For others, it makes their skin crawl.
So of course, MTV had to make a show based on karaoke. Say What? Karaoke aired from 1998-2003. The premise of the show was that contestants sung karaoke in front of celebrity judges. As with any reality competition show, the contestants are judged and one is named the winner.
Say What? Karaoke is one of those shows that you watch when your a certain age. While I certainly watched it when I was in my late teens and early 20’s, I wouldn’t watch it now.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
Compared the course of the history of music, the music video comparatively speaking, is still a new format. But like anything in life, one can only watch so many music videos before it becomes overkill.
This is where Pop-Up Video comes in. Airing on VH1 from 1996 to 2002, the program added to the music videos by including brief tidbits of information that had something to do with the song or the artist(s).
What I liked about Pop-Up Video is that the information that popped up was not just bland facts. Some of the pop ups contained trivia and some contained details that could be construed as naughty by some viewers. Looking back, I remember enjoying Pop-Up Video because you never knew which videos would be chosen and what information was going to be shared during the video.
I recommend it.
The success of a company depends not just on those at the top, but those on the bottom.
Restaurant Stakeout aired on the Food Network from 2012-2014. The premise of the show is as follows: restaurant owners suspect that something that is not on the up and up within their restaurant. Famed NYC restaurateur Willie Degel assists the owners by recording and observing staff via hidden cameras. Using the evidence gathered, Willie is able to assist the owner by identifying and correcting the issues that are plaguing the restaurant.
I like Restaurant Stakeout. I like it because unlike other shows that fall into the sub-genre of “restaurant based reality shows”, the focus is solely on the service that the diners receive. The truth of eating out is that the meal may be the most delicious meal you have ever had, but if the service is not up to snuff, it is unlikely that you will come back for another meal.
I recommend it.
For some food is more than physical sustenance. It is joy, it is pleasure and the creation of the food only adds to that joy. But for others, cooking is akin to a science experiment that has the potential to go very, very badly.
Worst Cooks in America premiered on Food Network in 2010. It has been a staple of the network’s schedule since then. The contestants on the program cannot cook to save their lives. Guided and judged by several well-known and well-respected celebrity chefs, the contestants learn how to create various dishes. The winner of the competition is the contestant who proves to three food critics that they can create a restaurant style three course menu and lose the title of the worst cook in America.
Worst Cooks in America is an interesting program, at least from my perspective. While it falls in the “reality competition show” genre, it also teaches viewers about the proper preparation of food. Learning does not end when we leave the classroom. Sometimes, we can learn something from a reality show.
I recommend it.
There is nothing like a good mystery to get the imagination going.
Unsolved Mysteries (1987-2010) premiered in 1987 and was on the air for 23 years on a number of networks until its formal cancellation in 2010. Hosted for most of the series by the late actor Robert Stack, the show was setup in a documentary style. Each episode told the story of yet to be solved mysteries. Everything from murders and missing persons cases to unexplained paranormal phenomenon was profiled on the show.
Unsolved Mysteries is one of those shows that can only be defined as addictive. You cannot watch just one. The more you watch, the more you want to watch. You want to be able to figure out the mystery and solve the case.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
On the surface, baking seems like a simple process. You mix the ingredients together, put them into the oven and let them bake. But is there something more than the purely physical act of mixing ingredients and putting them in the oven?
Cupcake Wars premiered on Food Network in 2009. Hosted first by Justin Willman and then by Jonathan Bennett, the contestants are put through their paces as they are challenged to create a variety of cupcakes. The winner of each episode wins $10,000 and the opportunity to showcase their work at a related event.
I like Cupcake Wars. I like it because the contestants are not just baking for baking’s sake. They love to bake and it shows in their work. I also like the show because it’s an engaging program, the audience is rooting for the contestants and trying to figure out along the way who will win.
I recommend it.
Genealogy (at least from my perspective) is fascinating. The more information you know, the information you want to know.
Who Do You Think You Are? (2010-Present) aired on NBC for three seasons before moving to TLC. Based on the British show of the same name, the focus of each episode is a performer who goes on a journey to uncover hidden parts of their family tree. Aided by historians and experts in the field of genealogy, the purpose of the journey is for the performer to answer the questions of their family’s past.
I think Who Do You Think You Are? is one of the best shows on television. It has all of the ups and downs of a scripted drama, with an ending that may be unexpected, but ultimately fulfilling.
I absolutely recommend it.
Throughout history, the stories of pirates, both real and fiction have fascinated humanity. Whether they are seen as bloodthirsty and uncivilized criminals or rebels who didn’t give a sh*t about what others thought of them, there is no doubt that we are drawn to them.
The television series, Black Sails (2014-2017) followed the adventures of a band of pirates as they live and try to survive in the Bahamas in the 18th century. The list of real pirates includes Calico Jack Rackham (Toby Schmitz), Anne Bonny (Clara Paget) and Charles Vane (Zach McGowan). In addition to historical pirates, there are fictional pirates from the Robert Louis Stevenson novel, Treasure Island: John Silver (Luke Arnold) , Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and Billy Bones (Tom Hopper).
Black Sails is one of my favorite shows of the past few years. While the show’s main characters did not live what some would call the most moral of lives, they were not all bad. They were fully fleshed out human beings, warts and all. I also loved the diversity of the cast and the fact that the female characters were treated with the same respect as the male characters.
I recommend it.
Many of my regular readers know that I’ve been writing Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday posts for quite a few years now.
That being said, I am in need of suggestions for upcoming Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday posts. I am open to both television shows (both fiction and reality shows) and movies. The criteria is as follows:
- The movie must have premiered in theaters at least five years ago.
- In regards to any suggestions for television shows, the pilot must have aired at least five years ago. I am fine with shows that are both still on the air and/or no longer on the air.
- I avoid horror movies like the plague, so please do not recommend any horror movies.
I look forward to your suggestions. Thank you for reading and have a good weekend.
After a loved one passes away, many of us question if they are truly gone or if they are still around us in some fashion.
Theresa Caputo, the star of the TLC show Long Island Medium answers those questions for her clients in every episode. In her Long Island home and her community, she is able to communicate a message from a loved one who has passed away to their still living relatives and friends.
There are two perspectives on Long Island Medium. The first perspective is that communicating messages from the other world is a con game and Ms. Caputo knows how to play the game like a professional. The second perspective brings out the emotion in both the viewers and those who she gives readings too, giving them some relief that those who have passed on are at peace and still watching over us.
I recommend it.
Saturday Night Live satirized Long Island Medium several years ago. It was hilarious.