When it comes to daytime television, there are generally three choices: news, soap operas and talk shows.
Maury (1998-Present) is a talk show, but only in the loosest definition of the word. Hosted by Maury Povich, the program has such wonderfully intellectually stimulating topics such as paternity and polygraph tests, shocking secrets and out of control teenagers.
If there was a category of television programs with the labels of trash, Maury would fall into this category. This show is so horrible and mind numbing that it makes reality television look Oscar worthy.
We all know that there is no “reality” in reality shows. They make look like they are made on the fly, but they are just as slickly produced as fictional television programs.
Jersey Shore (2009-2012) is one of tent poles of the recent MTV schedule. The show follows eight housemates of Italian descent as they live and work together during the summer in Seaside Heights in New Jersey.
There are few television shows that I hate with a passion. Jersey Shore is one of them. Not only is it trashy beyond trashy, it is a waste of brain cells and precious television time that I will never get back.
Do I recommend it? Let me put it this way. No is the gentler way of describing how much I dislike this television program.
Fifty years ago, a little family show premiered. It told the story of the marriage of a widower, a widow, their combined family of six children and their maid. It was only on the air for five years, but this show is as iconic as it gets.
Monday night, A Very Brady Renovationpremiered on HGTV. Last summer, the house was used as the exterior shots The Brady Bunch was put on the market. Purchased by HGTV, the house is being renovated to match the set. Led by HGTV stars The Property Brothers and advised by the actors who played the Brady kids, each episode focuses on the renovation of a specific portion of the house. At the end of the season, the home will look like it came straight out of the Hollywood sound stage.
I really like this show. It is unique, entertaining and full of nostalgia with just enough of the home renovation process to easily ensnare home renovation show addicts.
I recommend it.
A Very Brady Renovation airs on Monday nights at 9pm on HGTV.
For many people, nothing say summer like cooking via the grill. That of course, leads to another off shoot of the Food Network show Chopped.
Chopped Grill Masters premiered in 2012. The premise and format of this program is similar to that of it’s predecessor. The only difference is that the contestants are all professional grillers and it is held outside as a posed to be filmed in a kitchen with professional chefs.
I like this show, as I do all of the various incarnations of Chopped. While it is a reality show in the strictest sense of the word, it’s fascinating to watch. The competition by itself is enough to keep the viewer hooked, but the process of watching these pros create a meal is the icing on the cake for me.
It’s easy to tell a lie. It’s harder to tell the truth, especially if the person who needs to hear the truth does not want to hear it.
Judge Judy (1996-Present) has been on the air for nearly a quarter of a century. Judy Sheindlin is a real life retired New York City Judge. Coming before her are real life small claims conflicts. Held in what looks like a real court room, Judge Judy hears both sides before making her ruling.
Though Judge Judy falls within the reality show genre, it’s far from the brain drain that is most reality shows. Judge Judy is a no nonsense, tell it like it is Judge, who does does not bend because the cameras are on her. Using logic and reason, she makes judgments that may not appeal to everyone, but make sense, given the parameters of the case.
When going to the grocery store, having coupons on hand is a regular part of the shopping experience for many.
The subjects of the TLC reality show Extreme Couponing (2010-2012) took the idea of having coupons on hand while grocery shopping to another level. The premise of the show is that the subjects go to extreme measures via coupons to spend as little as possible at the grocery store. The highest point of drama came at the checkout counter, to see if the hard work of extreme couponing paid off.
I don’t know about this show. I certainly understand the concept of the program, but it feels almost like a television side show. We are watching the coupon freaks for the sake of our entertainment and their derision.
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.
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.
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.
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.