Tag Archives: Reality Television

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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Flashback Friday-Drawn Together (2004-2007)

Parody, when done well, can illuminate the reality of a world that is almost too perfect.

Drawn Together aired on Comedy Central from 2004-2007. A sort of animated The Real World, the characters come from different cartoon genres. There is the super hero, the Disney-esque Princess, the chiseled hero from an action cartoon, etc. But, the different between these characters and their stock character predecessors that audiences have gotten used to watching.

Though it only lasted three seasons, Drawn Together was perfection while it was on the air. It took the the cartoon characters that we know and love and turned them on the head. It was funny, slightly sarcastic and perfectly mocked the genre in which it is based on.

I recommend it.

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Bring the Funny Review

A good television competition/reality show has to be compelling, entertaining and above all, has to create the want in the audience to continue to watch and root for the contestants.

Last night, Bring the Funny premiered on NBC. Hosted by Amanda Seales, a variety of comedy acts present themselves to the audience and judges Kenan Thompson, Chrissy Teigen and Jeff Foxworthy. At the end of the episode, six of the acts are chosen to move forward and one will eventually win the competition.

Bring the Funny is genuinely funny and entertaining. Unlike other competition reality shows, this show feels unique, interesting and a real shot for the contestants.

I recommend it.

Bring the Funny airs on Tuesday nights on NBC at 10PM.

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Flashback Friday-The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency (2006-2008)

To be a mentor is a wonderful thing. The hope is that the person you are mentoring will accomplish everything they hope to accomplish.

From 2006-2008, The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency aired on the Oxygen network. Starring the self-proclaimed original supermodel Janice Dickinson, the show followed her as she opened her own modeling agency, hired would be models and clashed with her business producer Peter Hamm. The show also followed the models as they auditioned and went to work.

This show is the standard reality show. I watched while it was on the air. Looking back, I regret watching it. It was nothing more than free promotion for it’s star and her wannabe models.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Throwback Thursday-Airline (2004-2005)

When we fly, we hope that the flight will be smooth and without complications. But hope often springs eternal, especially when it comes to the potentially long list of factors that can delay a flight.

Airline aired on A&E from 2004-2005. It told the story of Southwest Airlines passengers and staff at four different airports across the country. As is expected, there is drama, problems, frustrated passengers and employees just trying to do their jobs.

Among reality shows, Airline was unique. Instead of focusing on the personal life of celebrities or watching singles date and fight for their potential spouse, this program told the real story of real people. It was also raw and closer to the reality without the slickness and over-production that is the hallmark of this genre.

I recommend it.

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Flashback Friday-Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids (2011-2013)

Any woman who has ever gotten married will tell you that shopping for a wedding dress is fraught with enough tension. Adding the process of finding bridesmaid dresses to the to do has to potential to make things worse.

Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids aired on TLC from 2011-2013. An off shoot of Say Yes to the Dress and set in the Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta store, the show follows brides and their bridesmaids as they choose bridesmaid dresses. As usual, there is drama and questions of who has the power to make the final decision.

Cut from the same cloth as it’s predecessor, this program is the kind of show that one watches on a weekend when you just want to relax after a long week of work or school.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Flashback Friday: Blow Out (2004-2006)

The reality show genre has exploded over the past fifteen years or so. Every sub-genre under the term of “reality show” has had it’s day in the sun, for better or for worse.

Blow Out aired on Bravo from 2004-2006. The show followed the lives and careers of the staff of Jonathan Salon and the salon’s owner, Jonathan Antin. As with any reality show, the drama and personality differences between the participants created the narrative.

As I recall at the time, Blow Out was just another reality show. I understand the appeal of this genre, especially after a long day of work or school. Your brain has been pushed to the max all day and you just want to watching television that requires a little less thinking. However, as I recall, there was nothing special about Blow Out and in the end, it was nothing more than free marketing for the salon’s products and services.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Songland Review

Getting your big break in the entertainment industry requires luck, hard work and being in the right place at the right time. Or, perhaps auditioning on television for millions of viewers.

Last night, Songland premiered on NBC. The premise of the show is as follows: four unknown songwriters audition with their songs in front of three respected producers/songwriters and one guest musician or band who will record the winning song. Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean and Shane McAnally are the producers/songwriters who provide guidance to the hopefuls. The guest musician last night was John Legend.

After three of the four songs are chosen, the producers will work on the song with the song writers. After the song has been refined, the song writers will then perform the updated song. One song and one songwriter is chosen as the winner.

I really like this show. Unlike other competition reality show where the focus is getting into the entertainment industry, Songland feels authentic. As a viewer I was genuinely rooting for the contestants and on the edge of my seat for the entire episode.

I recommend it.

Songland airs on NBC on Monday nights at 10PM.

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The Aquarium Review

The behind the scenes point of view is often (at least to my point of view) the most interesting and least mind numbing of the reality show sub-genres.

Last night, The Aquarium premiered on Animal Planet. An offshoot of The Zoo, The Aquarium goes behind the scenes of the running of the Georgia Aquarium. Each episode, the viewer is introduced to the animals that live in the aquarium, the staff that take care of the animals and the work that it takes to maintain the aquarium.

I like this show. It is not only entertaining, but it teaches about the importance of conservation without hitting the viewer over the head.

I recommend it.

The Aquarium airs on Sunday night at 8:00 on Animal Planet.

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