Dispatches From The Couch: Broken GLASS


 
Everything that is wrong with reality television in general and THE GLASS HOUSE in particular can be summed up in one word: Alex.
 
From the moment he appeared on our screens, it was apparent that Alex — a 25-year-old from Dallas whose ABC bio indicates that he’s a bail bondsman with a penchant for “free-style rapping” — was after one thing and one thing only: fame. Now, it can certainly be said that anyone agreeing to go on a reality show is looking for their 15 minutes, but Alex and his ilk are people who grew up in what I like to call the A.P. era.
 
I believe that whether folks like Alex realize it or not, they owe their particular style of attention-getting to THE REAL WORLD’s Puck. [Read more...]

Dispatches From The Couch

 

Anybody who thinks we live in a “post-racial” society because there’s an African-American man in the Oval Office hasn’t been paying attention to the Trayvon Martin case… or, according to the men filing a class-action lawsuit against ABC, watching THE BACHELOR.
 
Nathanial Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson’s suit is based on the fact that in the history of THE BACHELOR and its sister series, THE BACHELORETTE, not a single one of the folks asked to choose among a bevy of would-be mates has been a “person of color.” They go on to claim that the show’s “refusal to hire minority applicants” is part of a “conscious attempt to minimize the risk of alienating their majority-white viewership” as well as the advertisers who pony up big bucks for the privilege of pimping their products during the show. [Read more...]

Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Ladyboys We Want Featured On RUPAUL’s DRAG RACE’s All-Star Season!

Given that the ratings for the gay-centric network Logo are so bad that they basically trying to butch themselves up with a yet-to-be-announced lineup of shows aimed at a more mainstream audience, chances are good that you’ve never seen that outlet’s one decent program, RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE. But if you’re among those who know the pleasure of hearing Mother Ru clapping her hands for silence or warning grown men in dresses that “the time has now come for you to lipsynch… for your life!” in such dramatic fashion that guest judge Lily Tomlin thought a literal execution was about to occur, then you’re no doubt giddy at the prospect of the recently-announced all-star season. So which queens are we most anxious to see return? Glad you asked! [Read more...]

Dispatches From The Couch

Okay, people, clearly we need to have a talk.

Now, I’ll admit to having watched the occasional housewife cat-fight, and I’d be lying if I said watching Colton be carted off SURVIVOR on a gurney didn’t fill me with a certain sense of schadenfreude. (I don’t feel good about it, but, come on! That dude was annoying!) There is, however, a line I’d like to think I wouldn’t cross when it comes to my relationship with reality television.

And that line involves paying $18 bucks an hour to chat on the phone with REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY “star” Danielle Staub. Or $12 a minute to find out what Nadya “Octomom” Suleman thinks of, say, the Republican frontrunners.

Yet some of you out there are doing exactly that according to TMZ, which reported on a site called dial-a-star.com where you can… well, the name is pretty self-explanatory. [Read more...]

Summer Scoop: EXPEDITION IMPOSSIBLE

No matter what you think about reality TV, the man who made it an art form is Mark Burnett. From SURVIVOR to ECO-CHALLENGE, he knows exactly what kinds of survival shows are eye-catching and addictive. His latest venture is EXPEDITION IMPOSSIBLE: KINGDOM OF MOROCCO in which he takes 13 teams of 3 on a one month adventure through the vast terrain of Morocco. Based on the idea that people would love to be a part of an “Indiana Jones” type adventure, Mark created the show to test their mental acuity and physical prowess back-dropped against one of the most beautiful and romantic areas on the world – and nothing was more perfect than Morocco which is not only feature-film friendly, it encompasses a wide range of vistas to draw from — there is the Sahara, camels, Bedouins (The Blue People of the Desert), canyons, mountains with snowstorms, plains, rivers –everything, including the ancient city of Marrakesh. [Read more...]

Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Lessons We Learned From This Week’s THE REAL WORLD

People are stupid
Somehow, despite having unprotected sex with each other for weeks — and his having slept with others (with her blessing) — it somehow came as a shock to Leroy and Naomi that she might be pregnant or have an STD.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander
Having dumped Dustin after his gay-for-pay past was revealed, Heather got drunk and had sex with Nany.

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Reality Break with CT

After sitting through another exhausting episode of BIG BROTHER — with its endless squabbling between the increasingly immature housemates — I realized that I never gave due praise to a little reality show that really deserved it: HERE COME THE NEWLYWEDS.

Airing over the past few months on ABC directly after THE BACHELORETTE, the woefully underrated NEWLYWEDS had something that few reality offerings do today: charm. The show appeared to be shot on a shoestring budget, had a laidback host and featured contestants who almost immediately defied the stereotypes which leapt to mind when they first appeared on screen.

During the first episode, I fell in loathe-at-first-sight with The Corliss’, who looked like a porn star and her meathead hubby. Yet by the end of the first hour, they’re wildly appealing senses of humor and down-to-earth nature had made them, against all odds, my favorites and the eventual winners. Thoughout the run of the show, each of the couples had their moments to shine and not a single one disappointed.

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THE MOMENT OF TRUTH Courts Roger Clemens

the moment of truth

In anticipation of tonight’s premiere of FOX’s newest reality TV show THE MOMENT OF TRUTH, the TV Addict recently had the opportunity to sit down with show creator and executive producer Howard Schultz. But before we get to the interview, this TV Addict must pause and reveal partake in his own moment of truth.

While I generally loathe reality television and blame most of the world’s evils on it, I will be giving this show a try (at least for ten minutes that is.) Not only is there absolutely nothing new/interesting on TV tonight (with the exception of CASHMERE MAFIA), THE MOMENT OF TRUTH is a train-wreck waiting to happen. The Columbian version already was cancelled after a woman confessed to hire someone to murder her husband (for a measly $25,000).

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, on to the interview.

What’s the premise of the show?
Howard Schultz:
The basic premise of THE MOMENT OF TRUTH is that it’s a game in which a contestant is potentially asked twenty-one questions. Naturally, each question gets increasingly more personal and private in nature to win a half a million dollars. The game is divided into six levels. There are six questions on the first level, than five, four, then three, two and one, adding up to twenty-one. Contestants can quit at anytime and take the money they’ve won thus far. But if they continue on and tell one lie, they lose everything.

I imagine the questions get a lot more personal as the show goes on?
Absolutely

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Channel Surfing with C.T.

Am I alone in thinking that the GOSSIP GIRL storylines involving the adults tend to be more interesting than those of our central teens? Sure, the kids get the good lines (“I don’t speak Ukranian, but I do speak envelope of cash, and he understood me perfectly.”) but they don’t always click as real human beings. Frankly, I might just be wishing that the characters were as well-defined as they are in the books upon which the series is based. That said, I have to admit that Ed Westwick’s Chuck Bass is one of the most deliciously vile creatures to slither onto the TV screen in ages. Far and away the best line of the night was young Eric intoning to his sis, “Mom looks about as happy as grandma at last call.” Speaking of whom, bring back CeCe, pronto! I miss the old gal!

I really loved LAW & ORDER: GOSSIP GIRL DIVISION this week. I mean, the beautiful, blonde rich girl murdered by the brunette socialite whose world she threatened to rock? It was pretty hard not to think about S and B and the rest of their Upper East Side co-horts, especially given the promos for the real GOSSIP GIRL which have been running for weeks and made it seem as if someone was gonna bite the bullet. This was the SVU that I once knew and loved… fun story, great actors and absolutely no personal info about the detectives. The L&O mothership, meanwhile, didn’t thrill me with its season premiere. First of all, two separate episodes does not make for a “two-hour premiere!” Then again, the first hour was so yawn-inducing that I’m glad it didn’t go on for 120 minutes (although it seemed twice that). Is it really the best idea for a show which once prided itself on refusing to get personal where its leads are concerned to kick off the season delving into the personal issues of new cop Jeremy Sisto? Worse, the plot was yet another retread of the tried-(or should I say tired) and true assisted suicide storyline the show has trotted out time and again. The second hour’s story was more interesting, although it was amazing how quiet Manhattan seemed during the blackout which played a crucial role in the unfolding drama, and they relied on yet another overused plot device by having the earnest attorney tell the cops to go ahead and execute a search warrant he hadn’t actually obtained. Wake me when they run out of new episodes and start rerunning the classics.

Why do bad people keep on winning? I’m tempted to quit watching THE AMAZING RACE now that Kynt and Vixen — aka the good-hearted goths — have been eliminated, especially since they lost to Nate and Jen. Nate’s got a bit of a temper, but who can blame him given the nasty piece of work he’s teamed up with. These two take the fun out of dysfunctional.

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Channel Surfing with C.T.

So ONE TREE HILL will be back in a few weeks, and I find myself asking the age-old question: Am I so hard-up for new programs that I’ll give this monstrosity another try? I think we all know the answer. (Is there anybody out there actually excited about its return?) Could fast-forwarding the plot four years so that the 30something actors are now playing 20somethings instead of high school kids really work?

My housemates and I have decided that Bravo should do a new competition in which past contestants from PROJECT RUNWAY, TOP CHEF, TOP DESIGN and SHEER GENIUS compete against one another in a variety of competitions covered on their individual shows. The reality star who proves to be the best designer/chef/decorator/hairstylist will win, and we’ll call the show TOP, a title sure to appeal to the huge gay audience drawn in by Bravo’s competitions. (If you didn’t get that joke, you are so not among our dream show’s target audience.)

Forgive me, but I’m going on record as loving the crapfest known as CROWNED. It might help that I went into it with the lowest of low expectations, only to find myself laughing at — definitely not with — several of the mother/daughter duos competing for the prize. How can you not get a kick out of a show on which two women name their team Silent But Deadly without realizing that they’ve become a walking flatulence joke? And then there’s Patty and Laura, who define the word “insincere” with their every word, gesture and deed. Finally, there’s Angela, the kind of camera-ready drama queen whom you know spent the weeks before taping got under way figuring out the best way to make herself the center of attention. Her chosen course? Stirring up trouble at every turn. She’s a truly vile woman who represents the worst of what people often become on reality television. I’m not sure I really get the point of having the Cabana Boy around, but you know, I’ve never one to begrudge viewers pointless eye candy. (Although why you’d call him a Cabana Boy and not put him in a swim suit, I’m not sure. Then again, I don’t get why the guy isn’t 75 percent hotter.) It’s nice to see that Nick Verros (of PROJECT RUNWAY’s season 2) getting a little work, if only to show the would-be models that there is life after reality tv… if by “life” you mean landing a one-shot on another reality show. At this point, I’m hoping to see Hollis and Gina walk away with the crown since they’re the only ones who seem like truly decent people.

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