Category Archives: TV Review

Throwback Thursday-American Pickers (2010-Present)

History has a way to occurring in the most ordinary of places. The objects that mark as a reminder of these events sometimes have a way to making themselves known not in a museum, but in a private setting.

American Pickers (2010-Present), has been a staple of the History Channel schedule for nearly a decade. The show follows a team of antique collectors who travel across the country looking for hidden historical gems to fill either their personal collections or to sell to waiting customers.

Though American Pickers is labelled as a reality show, it’s not what one thinks of when one thinks of a typical reality show. That being said, I find this show rather boring. I understand the unique concept of the program, but it has never hooked me as other shows have.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Flashback Friday: America: The Story of Us (2010)

History has always been a fascinating topic. But sometimes, it must be couched or presented in a way that is exciting.

America: The Story of Us premiered in 2010 on the History Channel. Airing every 4th of July, this 12 part, 9 hour long documentary tells the story of 400 years of American history. Combining interviews, computer recreations and dramatic re-tellings of the events that shaped America’s history, this show is an academic history book brought to life.

As a history nerd, I find this program fascinating, even after multiple viewings. The history of our country comes alive, as if the viewer is experiencing it first hand. I especially appreciate how the changing technology is woven into the narrative, used an example of the American ideal of thinking out of the box to achieve our goals.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday-Giuliana and Bill (2009-2014)

Reality television, whether we like it or not, has become part and parcel of our television viewing schedule.

Giuliana and Bill was on the air from 2009-2014. The show followed the lives of two married TV personalities: E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic and season one The Apprentice winner Bill Rancic. As with every reality show in which the focus is a celebrity, this program told the story of the daily lives of their subjects.

If the point of this show and the sub-genre of celebrity based reality shows is to prove how normal they are, this show succeeds. However, it seems to be self-serving with a “look at me” attitude. I do recall watching this program, but looking back, I wish I had spent my precious TV time watching another program.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Flashback Friday-See Jane Date (2003)

A wedding can be a glorious event. But if your single and your loved ones have well meaning and bothersome ideas about setting you up, going to a wedding may not be so glorious.

In 2003 TV movie See Jane Date, Jane Grant (Charisma Carpenter) needs a boyfriend ASAP. Her cousin’s wedding is coming up and she has stated that she has a boyfriend. The problem is that she is single.

Can she find a boyfriend in time to cover the lie she told to her aunt and former high school foe, Natasha Nutley (Holly Marie Combs)?

As I see it, this TV movie falls into the category of harmless and predictable. There is nothing spectacular about the film. However, as standard romcoms go, it’s surprisingly not the worst that I’ve seen.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Throwback Thursday-The Bachelor/The Bachelorette (2002/2003-Present)

Every television genre has their iconic programs. These shows symbolize the genre, regardless of whether or not the specific viewer is a fan of those shows.

Among reality shows, The Bachelor/The Bachelorette (2002/2003-present) is an iconic behemoth that has been on the air for nearly twenty years. The premise of the both shows is simple. At the center of the show is a single man or woman. During the first episode, the self titled bachelor or bachelorette is introduced to a group of singles. As the series moves on, the number of contestants vying for the heart and the hand of the man or woman is whittled down to two potential partners. He or she must then decide whom they want to spend their life with.

I usually have a high tolerance for reality television. I know it’s fake and as produced as any fictional television program. But there is still some enjoyment to be had as a viewer. However, when it comes The Bachelor/The Bachelorette, this is one show that I cannot stand and refuse to watch. As far as I am concerned, it is pretty people falling in love for the cameras and for the sake of ratings.

Do I recommend it? Not at all.

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Throwback Thursday-A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila (2007)

Dating shows seems to be one of the most popular within the reality show genre. The question that I think a viewer has to ask is if the show is “real” or staged for the sake of good television?

A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila aired on MTV in 2007. The premise of the show was the same as an reality dating show, with one exception. The star of the show, Tila Tequila, was bisexual. 16 straight men and 16 gay women competed for her affection. At the end of the series, like all reality dating shows, the final competitor was chosen as the star’s significant other.

As much as I dislike reality dating shows, I really disliked this one. The creative team had an opportunity to give a voice to the LGBTQ community. While it appeared that this was another opportunity to open the doors of communication and acceptance, it was in reality just another dating show that took advantage of the “exoticism” of the LGBTQ community to increase ratings.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely not.

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Flashback Friday-Extra (1994-Present)

The 7PM hour is an interesting hour on the television schedule. In between the end of the news and the start of the evening prime time shows, this hour might be considered by some viewers as the time to turn off the television.

Extra (1994-Present) premiered in 1994. It’s your basic entertainment news program. The focus of the show is everything and anything in Hollywood.

Yesterday, I wrote about Entertainment Tonight. My review of Extra is the same as it was yesterday for Entertainment Tonight. I would honestly turn off the TV for an hour rather than waste my time and electricity on a program that is mindless.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Throwback Thursday-Entertainment Tonight (1981-Present)

“The news” as we know it to be is a very vague term. Which is why there is room for news programs with different formats and subject matters.

Entertainment Tonight has been on the air since 1981. The basic concept of the program is similar to a traditional news program. However, instead of focusing on the days events, Entertainment Tonight, or ET, focuses on the goings on in Hollywood.

This show has been around for nearly 40 years. It obviously it had some legs and a good number of viewers. It wouldn’t be on the air for almost 40 years if it wasn’t getting the ratings that it is. I used to watch it during college, however, I prefer to watch other things these days. Granted, it is an entertainment news program. But, it feels a little mindless and honestly, I would rather watch something else if I could.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Flashback Friday-Bar Rescue (2011-Present)

On the surface, working for yourself and opening your own business seems like the perfect antidote to the drudge of the 9-5 corporate world. But the reality is different than the image of the surface. Most businesses close within ten years of opening their doors.

The television show Bar Rescue (2011-Present) aims to change that. Based on the UK show of the same name, the premise of the show is to help the owners of failing bars keep their doors open. Hosted by Jon Taffer, owners turn to Taffer and his team to discover why their bar is failing and provide help to keep it open. The resolution often includes the firing of staff, changes of policy and alteration of the menu.

Though Bar Rescue is a reality show, it’s interesting. As a viewer, you root for the bar owner, hoping that they will heed Taffer’s advice and do everything they can to keep their establishment open. But, as the old saying goes, G-d helps those who helps themselves.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday-Chopped Junior (2016-Present)

When it comes to certain professions, it takes years of hard work, grit and mistakes before one can call themselves a master of their craft.

The adults who compete on Chopped have years of experience in the kitchen. The children who compete on Chopped Junior may not have same amount of years in the kitchen. But they have the same drive, passion and want to succeed.

The premise of Chopped Junior is the same as it’s adult predecessor. Also hosted by Ted Allen, four young chefs must make three distinct meals within a short amount of time. One by one, the contestants are eliminated until one is named the winner and earns $10,000.

What I like about Chopped Junior is that even though the pressure is the same as it is for the adults, the kids are willing to help their fellow contestant. It shows, at least from my opinion, not only how talented and driven these kids are, but how open helping one another succeed.

I recommend it.

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