Since then, reality has become the dominant genre on network and cable. Networks love it because it’s cheap, and audiences love it because it’s addictive: At its most rewarding, reality TV can be a fascinating look at social dynamics, an enlightening education into a specific skill, or a fully invested spectator sport spent rooting for one talented singer/dancer/cook/model to triumph over all and become a star! And at its ickiest, it is a ringside seat to truly awful people behaving in incomprehensibly un-house-trained ways – and that can be just as rewarding. … [Read more...] about The Reality Rumble: What’s the Greatest Reality-TV Season Ever?
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These shows also resemble one another far more than they resemble the network shows they ostensibly imitate, like Idol or, god forbid, The Apprentice. Design Star (now HGTV Star), Platinum Hit, All American Handyman, Next Food Network Star and Work of Art, among others, all basically follow the Top Chef format: Most episodes have a short “quick fire” challenge (usually a good way to squeeze in a product placement) followed by an “elimination challenge.” Generally the prize is $100,000 and maybe some sort of position or title. Time management is always a huge factor for the challenges, and the marginal celebrities who serve as hosts all have the same cadence when they say “and your time starts … now.” Everyone lives together, and there are usually shots of a handful of the contestants smoking and gossiping after-hours. Squabbling is part of it, but that takes a backseat to the actual demonstrations of talent. … [Read more...] about Skill-Based Contests Are the Best Kind of Reality TV
Following on from hits such as Isn't It Romantic? and Love Wedding Repeat, Netflix now feels like the natural home for romantic comedy and its latest, Love Guaranteed, doesn't disappoint. Why? Because it knows all the clichés we love and celebrates them. Rachael Leigh Cook and Damon Wayans Jr star as a chalk-and-cheese lawyer and client, heading to court to sue a dating website for false promises. And though they struggle with each other at first, you know just where this is heading. … [Read more...] about Netflix: best movies to watch this week – September 2020
The Venture Bros. creator Christopher McCulloch, who also goes by the pseudonym Jackson Publick, announced the series’s cancelation on Monday. “Unfortunately, it’s true: #VentureBros has been canceled,” he tweeted. “We got the highly disappointing news a few months ago, while we were writing what would have been season 8. We thank you, our amazing fans, for 17 years of your kind (and patient) attention. And, as always, We Love You.” … [Read more...] about Canceled After Seven Seasons at Adult Swim
Was there anything in my life — my actual life, the part not lived on the carpet in front of a TV set — to contradict this? Not yet, but my world was changing. The great cratering of New York City was now at its most dire — it was the era of overflowing trash cans, of sidewalks full of dog turds, of garbage men on strike and blaring horns and headlines about financial default (“New York City Is Now Dead” stories are not an invention of 2020), of graffiti-covered subway cars and mimeographed notes sent home from school about how to teach your children to protect themselves against muggers. I was still too young for some of the movies — The French Connection, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three — that reinforced the national image of New York as an ill-tempered hell where everyone was sweating just to get through the day. But my father took me to a couple of long-forgotten cut-rate versions of those films — Cops and Robbers and Law & … [Read more...] about Real-Life Cops, and Me