Reality Bites: Ice Cold Gold

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There's gold in them ... glaciers.
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

While researching the next show for "Reality Bites" (i.e. channel surfing after a few Stone IPAs), I came across Ice Cold Gold, Animal Planet's show about 21st century prospectors braving the harsh terrain of Greenland in a quest for gold, rubies, sapphires, and the Jade Monkey (probably).

I admit to being a bit dubious. For while you'd assume modern gold-hunters (not to be confused with gold "diggers") would possess advanced technology like seismic imaging to aid them in their search (spoiler warning: they don't), it isn't as if The Atlantic is writing about the new wave of gold millionaires.


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Reality Bites: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

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Wow. Such dude. Very Flavortown. 10/10
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

Like most people, I've eaten at restaurants. As luck would have it, I've also been to several of the eateries featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I recall meeting the owner of one of them (not in Houston) who loudly and profanely cursed host Guy Fieri for selecting his restaurant, then loudly (and profanely) complained about the "new clientele" the show had drawn in. I hadn't gotten my food yet, so I didn't ask a) why he agreed to do the show in the first place, and b) if he was returning the new customers' money.

But this appears to be an uncommon response, judging by the fact the majority of the restaurants featured on the show prominently display links to the show. Like it or not, Fieri is one of Food Network's biggest stars, and arguably its most recognizable (provided Giada De Laurentiis isn't standing nearby in a bikini). A visit from His Goatee-ness can boost significantly boost a restaurant's business.


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Reality Bites: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Categories: Reality Bites

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He even made a "billions and billions" joke.
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

I've earned this.

For all the real (the misguided veneration of Giordano Bruno) and imagined (no equal time for creationists) problems with Fox's Cosmos, it has one huge advantage going for it: no Honey Boo Boo.

I've endured more than 100 reality shows in the course of this endeavor, and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, may be the first one I've actually looked forward to watching.

Well, that and Doomsday Preppers.


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Reality Bites: RuPaul's Drag Race

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Get it? They're *tucking their penises*.
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

My experience with drag queens is pretty much limited to The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and the odd fundraiser at Rich's (RIP), so maybe I'm missing some vital piece of information. Does it involve anything more than lip syncing disco hits while wearing the most insane make-up and fashion possible?

Don't get me wrong; if that's your bag, more power to you. Even so, the tagline for RuPaul's Drag Race ("Searching for America's next drag superstar") is a little misleading, unless they mean the "next drag superstar" since RuPaul. AKA the *only* drag queen anyone outside of New York has likely ever heard of.


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Reality Bites: The Real World: Ex-Plosion

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Partner abuse: abhorrent unless it jacks up our ratings.
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

There's a scene in this episode of MTV's The Real World: Ex-Plosion where -- after a Festivus-like airing of grievances -- two of the characters (I'll call them "Mook Skywalker" and "Hootie McBoob") engage in something resembling fisticuffs. MTV, perhaps remembering the lessons of Snooki's beatdown on Jersey Shore, immediately cut in with this gem:

If you or some you know if dealing with dating abuse, chat with someone who can help at www.loveisrespect.org

I hope the first thing the helper on the web site tells anyone contacting them is there's no worse abuse than making a loved one watch the fucking Real World.


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Reality Bites: Secret Sex Lives

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Hooray for body dysmorphic disorder!
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

TLC's Secret Sex Lives is little more than anthology series depicting the sort of thing Rick Santorum probably believes will become commonplace if gay marriage is legalized. In his mind, and the minds of those like him, legitimizing homosexual unions would open the floodgates to everything from allowing bronies to adopt human children to public autofellatio, only involving actual autos.

Honestly, I don't care to dissuade that line of thinking. Because the thought of Santorum and his ilk sweating bullets at the thought of furries roaming the streets with impunity is strangely comforting to me. It's just a pity the show kind of sucks.


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Reality Bites: Game of Arms

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Meet him halfway, Kenny (one of 47 "Over the Top" references in this entry)!
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

I hate to tell you, but Over the Top lied to us. In that movie, "Lincoln Hawk" (a particularly bulgy Sylvester Stallone) supplements his long haul trucker income with arm wrestling bouts, culminating in a Vegas tournament where the grand prize is $100,000 *and* a new semi. After watching the debut episode of Game of Arms, I'll be surprised if these guys end up competing for more than $10K and a moped.

This isn't something *really* macho, like Magic: the Gathering, after all.

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Reality Bites: 90 Day Fiance

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Desperate times call for desperate measures. Right, ladies?
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

I'm hearing a lot about how "traditional marriage" is under assault these days. At the forefront, apparently, are The Gays, who want to -- I don't know -- swish in and force those of us who were wed in a "legitimate" fashion (according to an antiquated ritual based upon a woman's historic role as chattel) to acknowledge their basic human rights. What assholes.

Does 90 Day Fiance represent a second front in the War on Marriage? On the surface, the couples here are under the gun to get hitched before the woman's (always the woman's) three-month K-1 visa runs out. In short, it's Green Card: The Reality Show, only played weirdly straight.

Could these people thrust together for clerical reasons actually, I don't know, *love* each other? Especially when, as Detective Rust Cohle tells us, love doesn't even exist?


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Reality Bites: Ghost Adventures Revisited

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No malign spirit can withstand the might of those forearms.
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

The Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures was one of the first "Reality Bites" I ever did, way back in 2011, and the reaction was ... spirited. I think it generated more comments than any RB besides South Beach Tow, including a couple from the owner of Rolling Hills Asylum (who challenged me to come spend the night there) and generated a handful of annoyed paramornal blogs and Tumblrs.

But if America's about anything -- aside from type 2 diabetes and the inexorable eradication of the middle class -- it's second chances. Ghost Adventures has been on the air since 2008, developing an enthusiastic following. Perhaps, I thought, I was overly harsh in my initial assessment?

Nah.


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Reality Bites: Hollywood Hillbillies

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Except for the size of the camera, this is a pretty common sight in L.A.
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

Imitation is both the sincerest form of flattery and one of the easiest ways to make a quick buck. So with the runaway success of Duck Dynasty (and lesser notoriety of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo), it should come as zero surprise other networks have recovered the gauntlets thrown down by A&E and TLC from their tubs of country gravy and are grabbing for that sweet, pork-rind-stained, redneck dollar.

One of the first out of gate is Reelz, a cable channel you may or may not be aware you're subscribed to (I wasn't), with Hollywood Hillbillies, a "fish out of water" experiment that operates under the assumption southern California is still as whitebread and cloistered as it was in the Jed Clampett era.


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