Summer Reality Shows
The Great Escape (TNT)
This new TNT show started out lame. It had such a cool premise until I started watching it. They have three teams of two people each and every week they have to ‘escape’ out of some secure area. They have four stages in which they have to complete in order to win. The first episode they had to ‘escape’ out of Alcatraz. And by escape I mean just figure out clues and look at a bullshit map that the producers give them. It’s basically solving puzzles and being the first team to the finish line. If you win the episode you get $100,000. It got old quick because while in the prison if they were caught by the prison guards they were sent back to their cell. Each team got caught at one point or another and seeing them try and complete the same stages over and over again sucked. It got repetitive and really boring. I found myself not paying much attention after the first half. I’m giving it two out of four stars in hopes that it was just the first episode that wasn’t that great. Next week they’re going to be on some big ship. Hopefully the Titanic? Wishful thinking. Spoiler: The Red Team wins episode 1. (** out of ****).
Mrs. Eastwood and Company (E!)
This new E! show was sort of being compared to Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I guess because it involves rich families? And both the daughters seem like brats. That’s kind of where the similarities end. This show follows Clint Eastwood’s wife Dina and her two daughters. And unlike Kris Jenner, Dina isn’t annoying as shit and she actually has some morals. She isn’t whoring out all of her children for fame and fortune. Back to the daughters: one doesn’t do much and in turn doesn’t get much screen time and the other is Dina’s 19 year old step daughter Francesca whose real mom is the red headed lady who played Kate Winslet’s mom in Titanic. WTF is wrong with me? Second Titanic reference in the same article. And thus far Clint has yet to appear in an episode. Fail. Dina also manages an all male vocal group of South African singers called Overtone. Apparently they did the soundtrack to Invictus. This show would be terrible to sit through if it wasn’t for two things so far. The first is the step daughter’s boyfriend Tyler. The guy is bat shit crazy and it’s awesome. He’s one of those people who knows everything about everything and has done it all. He’s so full of shit and manic that it makes for good T.V. He talks about how he holds the world record for longest time without sleeping (40 days). Claims to be able to hold his breath for something like 8 minutes and keeps referring to himself as a ninja. Like I said the guy is bat shit crazy and he causes a bunch of drama between himself and Dina. The second redeemable thing about this show was when one of the Overtone members got drunk and cut his wrists because he was in love with another band member and was told they couldn’t be together. I’m pretty much an awful person for admitting that one of the big draws to this show was the self mutilating drunk guy. But really does reality T.V. get any better than that? (** ½ out of ****).
The Glass House (ABC)
When I heard that CBS was trying to stop The Glass House from airing on ABC because it was too similar to Big Brother I thought I would give it a shot. I’ve never watched Big Brother but I love when people rip stuff off from others and claim that it’s their own idea. I got about 15 minutes into the show and I couldn’t do it anymore. I literally felt my brain cells dying. It was awful. Don’t even bother watching this. (½ a * out of ****).
The Glee Project (Oxygen)
Sadly out of all the reality shows I have reviewed thus far this is by far my favorite. It’s pretty embarrassing, I know. I don’t know what it is about this show but it works. The Glee Project (Season 2) is a reality competition where the winner gets a role on FOX’s show Glee. Last year there were two winners and then two other people got guest spots on the FOX hit. So hopefully this year they don’t let half of the competitors win the prize. So as you would expect the show is cheesy and campy. Like Glee. But it isn’t terrible. They have weekly assignments where they have to convey things like Individuality or Vulnerability and all that stuff that Glee is about. They do song and dance numbers. Music Videos. Acting. Then the three worst people of the week have to do a last chance performance in front of Glee creator Ryan Murphy and three other people who actually work on Glee. The casting director, vocal coach, and choreographer. Then one is sent home. And in Glee tradition they have underdogs as the competitors. One is a self proclaimed ‘crack baby’ named Shanna, they also have a blind guy, a girl in a wheelchair, and a transgender person. What draws me into this show is what assholes the contestants can be and there are a couple this season. One is the overweight girl named Lily. She’s really cocky and bugs the shit out of me but she’s such good T.V. And the blind guy Mario is kind of an asshole too. I’m rooting for Shanna or this dude named Blake. So far they are the least annoying. Give this show a shot. It’s surprisingly not bad. (*** out of ****). -RC