For some reason, no one I know has the same appetite for reality TV that I do. I never thought of myself as one of “those” reality TV nuts, but recently more than one person has made a comment about how they’re just not as into it as me. Megan and Heidi also both say they prefer my short recaps of these shows to actually watching them. So, without further ado, here’s what you’ve missed this summer in reality TV.
Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition
I have to admit that I’m prejudiced when it comes to this show. I tend to only watch the episodes about women. I think it’s mostly because I’m only really interested in how clothes fit after the makeover…and men’s clothes really aren’t that different, no matter what size they are. With regards to the actual contestants, it seems that Chris Powell tends to set his bar too high. Only one of the contestants, Jacqui McCoy, was able to meet all her goals this season. Still, it was nice to see that the show is dedicated to its subjects–one woman was having so much difficulty losing weight that Chris invited her to stay with him and his wife for 2 weeks. The same woman also didn’t lose enough weight to qualify for skin removal surgery after 9 months of working out, but the show still paid for it when she had met the 40% of total weight lost benchmark at 1 year.
Yes, I’m still watching. If you haven’t read my post about why I love Teen Mom (and Teen Mom 2) yet, I’d strongly recommend you do. This season has been billed as the most emotional, explosive one of all. It’s the final season (though there is allegedly a Teen Mom 3 coming!), which I think MTV wanted to be super-dramatic. Unfortunately, the girls are growing up and not surrounding themselves with drama the way they used to. Catelynn and Tyler are getting ready to go to college to get their careers rolling. Maci and Kyle buy a house (which I think is silly, Kyle has said he doesn’t want to get married because he doesn’t want to deal with Ryan forever) and enroll Bentley in preschool. Farrah moves to Florida, but after some months down there, she decides Sophia should go back to Iowa with her parents. She also does infuse a bit of crazy into the show by pressuring a guy she’s dating about getting married while they’re on a trip to his home town. They break up. Shocker, right? Finally, there’s Amber, who goes to rehab for anger management. After she gets back, she continues to slowly implode. She seems depressed and like she’s on drugs. What I find great is that she’s totally in support of Gary going for full custody of Leah, like he’s not going to use that custody as leverage against her.
This show is my newest obsession. It’s on National Geographic and is all about a Romani family living in New York City. They traditionally run psychic healing shops, but one of the 5 brothers, Bobby, encourages his children not to live blindly by tradition. This leads to lots of conflicts with another brother, Nicky, for “breaking tradition.” Nicky also lands the family in Romani court (a “Kris” is what they call it) for sleeping with another Gypsy’s wife. That offense ends up costing them $10,000, none of which Nicky will pay because he’s broke. The oldest brother, Erik, has a son named Val, who is 18. Val gets lots of pressure from his family to get married to a nice Gypsy girl, but he wants to goof off and be like any other 18-year-old American boy. I can’t blame him, but he may be forced into a wedding on the next episode!
Season 10 seems to be pulling out all of the stops. For the first challenge, the runway show is done in Times Square. There are lots of celebrity challenges and collaborations. This season, two designers walked off the show in the same episode. We’ve seen dropped-crotch pants, aprons, blue hair, amazing construction and gummy sharks turned into sea glass. Ven, who is an amazing designer, straight up ruined a collaboration with a real client. She was “plus sized” (size 14) and he made her feel absolutely terrible. He refused to use color for her because black is more slimming; he couldn’t find a belt that fit her and he made that seem like her fault; he took to Twitter the morning after the episode aired not to apologize for coming off as a jerk, but to defend himself.
So You Think You Can Dance
The format of SYTYCD kind of sucks this season. They drew out the auditions for far too long and are now rushing through the actual season. I like that the eliminations are at the end of the episode, rather than during a ridiculous second episode of the week. However, they’ve had two episodes in which four dancers (instead of two) are eliminated. I would have much rather seen less of the auditions and more of those dancers! They all seem pretty decent (as people. They’re all fantastic dancers, of course.) My favorite is Cyrus, who is an animator, which means he dances like a robot. During one episode, Christina Applegate congratulates him on not having drawn contemporary yet, as though saying he’s not going to be on much longer because he’s untrained. Last week, he proved that he’s just as strong in other styles when he performed beautifully during–you guessed it–a contemporary piece.
Minnie watches all these shows so that you don’t have to.