Top 10: Best and Worst Reality and Competition Shows

The headline should be rather straightforward, but TV is littered with reality or competition shows that I just wish would go away. From obnoxious “cast members” to obnoxious hosts, these shows should disappear.

Now, I should note two things about this list. First, I don’t watch these shows. My knowledge of them comes from clips I’ve seen from the web, commercials, and The Soup, so you can call me out in the comments if my decisions are off-base because I’m not a regular viewer. Second, if I hate them this much by just seeing clips from the web, commercials, and The Soup, that generally means that I agree with my assessment. If they’re terrible in minimal quantities, they don’t deserve the time that’s allotted in the show itself.

Our Picks for Best–and Worst–Reality and Competition Shows

The Top 5 WORST

1. American Idol

Ooh! This one, I did watch. Well, I watched the end of the first season, when Simon was critical but fair, Randy was happy but smart, and Paula was a sweetheart (and not letting her drunkenness show). Well, now Paula’s gone, Simon’s gone (after moving on to just plain mean), and Randy’s unhelpful. Plus, we’ve got random new judges that people don’t really like, and honestly, the contestants all seem the same. Sure, there’s an impressive performance here and there, and yes, these people have talented voices. But the show takes over at premiere time, airing way too many hours in a week, and honestly, people just watch to make fun of the people who just show up to make idiots of themselves. And once we get to the talent, well, it’s still on way too much in a given week. It’s run it’s course, and it just needs to go.

2. Keeping up with the Kardashians

Not even Marshall from How I Met Your Mother can remember why these people are famous. I’m ready for them to go. Sure, they give Joel McHale some good fodder for The Soup, but every time I see a clip, a little part of my soul dies. As well as my vision.

3. Kate plus 8

Kate Gosselin dug her own grave when she went entirely obnoxious in Dancing with the Stars. With her public divorce (ok, even I felt a little sorry for her once I saw what her ex-husband turned into), I’m quite tired of hearing about her, and honestly, I felt like the kids deserved a break from being in the public eye. But to put it right back on the air–with her bad hair to boot–bah. End it.

4. Jersey Shore

I’m not sure if this needs a reason. I can just imagine the world is getting spread around with STDs just watching the show. Plus, seeing a 40-something “Situation” nailing college girls just makes me sad.

5. Sister Wives

I understand that people have their own beliefs, and I think that’s fine. But flaunting it on TV is another thing. Plus, isn’t polygamy illegal? All that aside, the husband, Kody Brown, just seems like the biggest jackass I’ve ever seen (think about this, after what I just said about the Situation), and his wives don’t seem that much better. Sure, I can see how this might be a guilty-pleasure show for some, but my pleasure would be to never see these people again…unless I’m seeing Brown go to jail.

Read more to see the reality and competition shows I like! Continue reading

Glee: Hair, sign language, and other distractions

KT is looking forward to the showdown at sectionals.

GLEE:  1.11 “Hairography”

Here’s what we got this time on Glee:
-Baby Drama, combined with Everybody Loves Finn
-Preparation for sectionals, which presumably are going to be the big fall finale in two weeks.

The best part of the episode was the introduction of the two glee clubs that McKinley High will compete with at sectionals and if you’re very sharp, you may have remembered that one is a correctional school for girls and the other is a school for the deaf.  This was played as a joke in an earlier episode, but is treated more seriously here.

Rapper Eve leads the group from the correctional school, a serious woman trying to help her students get their lives on track.  In contrast, the music teacher from the school for the deaf is written as a comic character — his definining trait is that he’s much more deaf than he thinks and is very sensitive about it.  Sue brushing him off and telling him to read her lips was funny and very Sue.

The deaf choir, on the other hand, was very tastefully presented with a spoken/signed rendition of “Imagine” that our kids couldn’t resist joining in on.  Perhaps overly sentimental, but I liked it.

I also liked the friend-ish, sidekick kind of vibe Rachel and Will had going on in this episode, and of course he realizes that she’s right, in the end.  His kids don’t need to distract the judges with what Rachel calls “hairography,” leading to a charmingly unassuming performance of “True Colors” with Tina in the lead.

People were getting distracted all over the place in this epiosde, and usually stemming from the Baby Drama.  Quinn wants Kurt to make-over Rachel to distract Finn so she can spend time with Puck, who turns out to be distracted by Santana.  Terri buys Will a dupicate of his much loved first car to distract him from her fake pregnancy, which backfires pretty much 100% when his brother-in-law gets him thinking about car seats for the new baby and Will trades the “Blue Bomber 2” for a minivan.  I admit, I didn’t really expect Will to be the kind of guy who likes to work on cars, but I can’t come up with any reason why he shouldn’t be, either.

Quinn turns out to be so good at distracting Will and Terri’s horrific nephews that she re-thinks the idea of parenthood, especially when Puck seems to be interested in getting back together.  They even throw together a one-voice, one-guitar version of “Papa, Don’t Preach,” which is pretty much a perfect song for her.  But Puck is just good-looking bad news as far as I can tell, and when Quinn realizes that he wants to have his cake… and also eat other cakes, she goes back to the baby-swap idea.

Luckily for her, Finn is loyal as a hound dog — and Kurt sabotaged Rachel’s Friday night with Finn big time.  In my eyes, the big lump went a long way towards coming back from last week’s terrible terrible idea to tell Quinn’s parents about her pregnancy when he pointed out how also terrible the end of Grease is.  (Don’t tell me Sandy just needed to loosen up a little or get in touch with her sexuality.  The on-screen message is that to get the guy, you have to change who you are, and you better do it in the direction of being borderline slutty.  Revolting.)  Anyway, I’m happy to say that Finn was as weirded out by Rachel’s Sandy act as I was and shut her down pretty fast.  The resulting misery-loves-company scenes between Kurt and Rachel were good, though, and I’d like to see more of their somewhat chilly friendship.

Speaking of misery loving company, though, I regret to point out that we’re going to have a four month hiatus from Glee.  We get two more new episodes, but after December 9, we have to wait until April 13, when Glee will be on Tuesdays after American Idol.  I wonder if it’s because it takes them longer to make each episode because of all the musical numbers.

So guys, what’s our distraction?

Rant: Things I Hate

JC here with a short post about a few TV related things that I really HATE.

  • Crossovers: So the Disney channel was on in the background the other day (I wasn’t watching, I swear) and they were advertising a Wizards of Waverly Place/Suite Life crossover. Wizards on Deck or something like that. Now, I hate both of those shows, so putting them together is like a double-dose of crap to me, but beyond that… Are crossovers EVER good? I can’t think of a single one that wasn’t a trainwreck. When I hear crossover, I think: last ditch attempt to revive a fading series. Though, sadly, I feel like this might not apply to the two series listed above (damn).
  • The Secret Life of the American Teenager: I’ve only watched it once, but I hate this show and it’s self-righteous attitude about sexuality. I hate the cliched dialogue. I hate the completely unrealistic depictions of teenage relationships. I hate the fact that none of these kids have ever heard of safe sex or contraceptives. I hate that people actually like this steaming pile of dog crap. And by the way, I’m not sure there’s much of a secret left in this teenager’s life anymore. Change the name!
  • Reruns in the Middle of a New Season: A couple of years ago, the only new TV I watched, other than live sports, were HBO original series. HBO generally runs a new episode of a series each week until the season is over, so I got used to this schedule. Now that I’m back to watching new cable and network TV, I’m finding myself constantly annoyed by the breaks networks throw in between new episodes. A one to two week break is annoying, though I suppose I could understand it since the networks want to milk more time out of a series. Anymore than two weeks, though, is unacceptable. With that long in between episodes, I start forgetting what happened, and stop caring about the show.
  • American Idol: I know it’s not on right now, but I hate this show, and I hate how it seems to eat up 5 hours of primetime each week. Please stop.
  • Getting Excited: I hate getting excited about a show that I know is going to get axed. It happened with Kings, it’s going to happen to Dollhouse next season (why do you think they slashed the budget so much for season 2?) and it’s going to happen with HBO’s next original series project, which will be based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels. I love HBO, and I love this series, but for some reason, I’m almost sure it’s not going to work. While a pilot has been ordered, I’m sure one of three things will eventually happpen: 1) either the pilot won’t be picked up,  2) it will be, but the show will suck because it’s live action (and would have been so much better if it were animated!), and 3) it’ll be great and subsequently cancelled because it’s too expensive and too niche, even for HBO. I hope I’m wrong about these three possible outcomes, but I don’t think I am. That being said, result #3 would be the most satisfying and heartbreaking at the same time. I’m not sure I could handle it.

Finale, finale, finale

Well, since there was a large vast emptiness of nothing on last night (ok, I don’t watch Lost because I’m waiting to start it from the beginning and I’m not an Idol fan–and I did watch ANTM but I don’t write about it), I’ve got nothing to say here.

Just kidding. I’ll write about what’s on TONIGHT! And there seems to be a lot.

Seriously. If you don’t have TiVo, a DVR, a VCR, or an Internet connection, you’re in trouble. You might as well just shut off your electricity and read by candlelight because you’re just going to miss too much.

No, that didn’t make sense, but there’s a hub-bub of activity fluttering in this Raked brain, and I don’t know where to start!

How about at 8:00? Which will you watch? Bones? Smallville? I haven’t watched Smallville all season, but I’ll be certainly checking it out tonight. Why? Because two characters–maybe three–will be dying. Really dying. Not Heroes dying. Like, seriously, off-the-show dying. What’s your guess? I’m going to guess Tess and Doomsday but I’ve heard that both seem to have roles in the comic, so who knows? I would love for it to be Lana (hate her), but Chloe is always an option. It’d be a big deal if she died. But I love her. Keep her. Please?

But you can’t just miss Bones after last week’s episode. I mean, it was huge! And I hear that Booth and Bones will be getting it on, too. People have been waiting for that for quite a while now. And I hear that it’s not what you think and the sexual tension will not be gone from the show (if it gets picked up–it’s on the bubble). So there you go.

But what about 9:00? Nothing’s on then, right?

WRONG! We have the two-hour finale of Grey’s Anatomy. What do you think? Will Izzie die? I personally think she won’t, but I’d love for her to just so I can get my Death Count back up again. I mean, no one has died since Heroes! And I made up a song and everything!

Anyway, the big questions are whether Izzie will live and whether George will live. I know. Who even knew George was in danger?  But I will be watching, as painful as it is.

But don’t forget the finale and 100th episode of The Office, which comes with the return of Holly. As much as I can’t stand Holly and Michael, I’ll be watching. I mean, it’s The Office. For some reason, I must watch for the one occasional funny episode that’s left.

30 Rock also a finale. And if Alan Alda’s in it again, I certainly won’t miss it.

I’m sure I missed some others, but these are the ones that I care about. Either because I like the show, or big characters might die. Is it sick of me to be watching just for that?

If so, you’re sick, too.

Tuesday with a ‘Fringe’ on top

FRINGE: 1.15 “Inner Child”

Finally! Fringe is back on! And I’d like to formally apologize to anyone who TiVoed and missed the end because of American Idol running over. I know that I had nothing to do with it, but it still sucked.

I’m glad I stayed in last night.

Anyway, if you didn’t notice the similarities between the Child and the Observer immediately, you sure got a sight at the end. Every time I watch this show, I want to relate it back to the Observer. He’s such a strange character and so…creepy. I want to find out more.

This week, it looks like we found another one. I’m not saying the Child was an observer, but based on what Michaels was saying, he’s not the only one of his kind, which makes you think that it could be the case. Plus, the baldness. The lack of pigmentation of his skin. Plus, the telepathic nature.

I know we don’t know much about the Observer, but we do know he’s telepathic. Remember when Peter and the Observer were standing in the woods, and the Observer was saying everything Peter said to him–at the exact same time? Now, here’s a child that is finding answers to Olivia’s questions without even blinking.

Speaking of, I’m growing to love Olivia. I know I was lukewarm at the start. (Wait–no, I thought she rocked at the start. It was after the pilot that I was lukewarm.) But seeing her interact with the Child was so nice, along with her relationship with her niece. I think she’s really growing in a much more three-dimensional way, and I’m enjoying it.

Now, for the case? I don’t think I ever want to go outside again. That killer was so creepy. What’s funny is that the case itself wasn’t paranormal. The paranormal part was the Child, who was able to help. It was nice to see a case that isn’t completely wonky with a twist.

Beyond that, I’d say this was a great return for Fringe. I’m embittered at American Idol for running late and not appreciating it (I’ll calm down), but fortunately, I got to see it and I enjoyed it. I’m really looking forward to seeing more regarding some of the mysterious story arcs that have appeared throughout the season. Hopefully, we haven’t forgotten them in the break.

Meanwhile, did you see the preview for next week?! It looks incredible. I sure hope it lives up to the trailer.

More moves and new shows for ABC

Very rarely are we usually excited about midseason shows. It’s more exciting now than it used to be for some. I, however, don’t watch American Idol, Lost, or 24, so it’s never meant that much for me.

But this year it’s rather exciting for me. With Dollhouse on its way in–the newest show from Joss Whedon with Eliza Dushku as the leading lady–this midseason should be rather exciting…as long as the show’s as good as the hype (I’m sure it is) and it sticks around (please, FOX?).

But what about the other networks. Say, ABC? Instead of going with the new, I’m excited that ABC is bringing back the old. Scrubs is back on deck for the ABC midseason, and I’m looking forward to it.

ABC recently announced their schedule for January and beyond. Scrubs will be given a full hour on Wednesday at 8:00–that’s two new episodes each week. Which is nice since they got shoved into the midseason.

I’m still wondering about this season. From what I heard last year, it was supposed to be its final season. When the writer’s strike kicked into high gear and stopped some of its episodes, the creator wasn’t sure how to continue the series. He has an entire plan as to how it was going to end and he didn’t want to truncate it, considering releasing the entire season as planned on DVD only.

With the new ABC adoption policy (you know, where ABC buys all old shows, whether from 1998 or 2008), I wonder how this is going to turn out. You could tell last season that some episodes were shown out of order now that the show wasn’t ending. For example, the season finale has Kelso still working at the hospital when earlier in the season he clearly retired. At least with the move to ABC, the creator gets to finish out his plot (which was really revving up, in my opinion).

The question, though, is whether it will actually end. I hear rumors–nothing confirmed–around the blogs about a ninth season: Will there be one? Will Zach Braff be involved? Why can’t I spell Zach Braff anymore without wanting to type Zac Efron? Why has my world plummeted due to the Disney Channel?

(Ok, the last two questions weren’t asked in the blog world.)

I hear that with the new season, we’ll be getting some new interns–new interns that could be used for a ninth season. Again, this is all blogosphere speculation. I don’t know what I think about this. Why can’t, if a creator sees a natural end, we just let a show end?

I think it’s time after this season. I’m thrilled we’ll be able to see how the creator wanted it to be, though annoyed that episodes are already out of order and it might be changed because ABC wants it longer. I guess I’m looking negatively already, when the season hasn’t even started, but the show’s been around for a while, the actors want to do other things, and I think it should be time after this midseason finishes up.

In other news, ABC’s announcement mentioned some spring shows in the works, including The Unusuals and the remake of Cupid. Good to see Amber Tamblyn’s show really is on deck, though I’m still skeptical of our reincarnation of Cupid.

Oh, and Life on Mars will be moving to Wednesday–a good move in my opinion.

No dates yet, but at least we know what they’re thinking. Well, except about some unanswered Scrubs questions.