Reality Bytes #2

Reality Bytes #2 – July 24 2006

Back with another go at the reality shows which infect my TV watching these days. They’re like the elevated liver enzymes of prime time, I guess. But I still love them. Sigh.

This is not a review, it’s a rant.

Topic #1: Big Brother.

You know, despite the “all star” billing of the current season, everyone on the show is playing like a bunch of friggin’ wussy boy girly men, and it’s beginning to piss me off. Last week, Kaysar’s big Head of Household win was supposed to “shake up the house” and send home the floaters and make Julie Chen actually deliver a line with emotion, but nope, all we got was Dr. Will and his creepy buddy Mike Boogie dealing their way out of eviction again. For someone who talks about “strategy” all the time, Kaysar hasn’t been acting very strategic. Diane & Nakomis was about as safe a pick as you could make, since no one likes Nakomis anyway and wasn’t likely to save her. Even more pathetic was the veto competition, where essentially everyone but the nominees were yukking it up on the “golf course” and basically trying not to win, because everyone but Dr. Will is scared to actually speak up and play the damn game. I don’t want chess, I want ENTERTAINMENT. Show me some backstabbing! Suffer for my amusement, hamsters! The editors are starved for drama and have to invent stuff like the Will & Howie “romance” or Kaysar “flirting” with Erika in between haircuts, and god knows how dull the house would be if either of the idiots in Chilltown went home this week.

Things are looking up this week with super-schemer James in the HOH seat, and thus someone with the balls to finally call Will on his BS and put him up for eviction. I really don’t get the personal issues with Chicken George, who probably couldn’t scheme to save his life anyway. However, this raises another issue I have with the show lately — the veto competition. Unless the winner of the veto happens to be on the block, no one EVER uses it. The nominees give the same tired “Do what you have to do” speech and then the winner is too chicken to use the veto, so things stay the same. Maybe they should amend the rules so that the winner HAS to use it, or go on the block themselves. That would get things moving, I’d bet. It would also make the initial nominations a lot more interesting, knowing that one of the choices is basically going to be safe anyway.

Topic #2: Canada’s Next Top Brain Surgeon.

God, how I hated this show. None of the contestants were particularly model-worthy, the judges weren’t exactly an impressive roster, and the wrong people made it to the finals. Andrea, the winner, is a personification of everything that is wrong with modeling, as she obviously suffers from an eating disorder and was a flawed competitor the whole way through. Her crazed, delusional rant on the CNTM website following her victory should be proof enough of that. The finale was just as stinky as the rest, with explanations for winning and losing that made no sense, and inconsistent decisions throughout. Tyra Banks may be a nutjob, but at least she’s the same nutjob year after year. I really hope this show doesn’t return next year, or at least returns with a new host and better editors and production.

Topic #3: Hell’s Kitchen.

This season is the SHIT, with drama out the wazoo and totally unqualified people fighting for a billion-dollar restaurant gig. This week’s show was particularly interesting, because any of them are equally likely to get bitched out by Ramsay and kicked off at any point, but “K-Grease” betraying his ex-con homie Garrett and the resulting temper tantrum were truly FOX-worthy reality TV stuff. You don’t break a promise to the guy who was a prison chef, dude! Screw over the sous-chef if you want, but leave the psycho be! Kind of a shame Garrett got punted this week, because he and Heather seemed to be the odds-on favorites, but somehow Keith The Idiot has emerged as a decent chef. Would I want someone who looks like Zippy the Pinhead cooking my meals with his sideways cap and pants falling down his ass? Not really, but then I couldn’t afford that sort of restaurant anyway. Clearly there is no Michael this year, nor even a Ralph, but when Virgina finally snaps and declares her love for Gordon while smacking Sara upside the head with a frying pan to shut her up, it’ll be worth it. Oh yes it will. By the way, kudos to Virginia for not dressing and acting like a total whore while in Vegas like she usually does, because she would have been lost with all the other ones on the strip had she done so.

By the way, professional chefs serving raw chicken “because it’s quicker that way?” And he wonders why he was sent home?

Topic #4: Rock Star: Suave Porn.

OK, I stole that anagram from TV Without Pity, so sue me. Of course, knowing them, they probably would. Anyway, Dave Navarro’s continuing quest to be on every reality show ever even while he’s breaking up with Carmen Electra is truly inspiring stuff. Way to work through the pain, Dave! I was disappointed that the rockers learned to work together to choose songs on last night’s “webisode”, because frankly seeing the chicks snipe at each other over who gets the Nirvana song of the week was much more entertaining. Here’s a hint, ladies: They give you a f*cking Nirvana song EVERY WEEK, just wait until the next one comes up. And here’s a tip for the producers: I have about 200 CDs on my rack at home, and another few gigabytes of MP3s on my computer, and most of them are from bands OTHER than Nirvana, Coldplay or the Rolling Stones. Sure, I have Nirvana, and the Stones, but there ARE other bands out there who write songs, too. I have the CDs to prove it. Just saying.

That’s all I got this week.