Reality Bites: Property Brothers

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"Lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes."
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

The runaway popularity of home improvement shows in recent years speaks to two realities in America today. First, people appear to be far more interested in renovating existing properties, whether to spruce up a home for resale or justify buying an older house instead of a newer, more expensive one. Second, despite the early success of shows like This Old House and The New Yankee Workshop, simply being an old white guy with a tool belt isn't enough to get a TV show. These days, you gotta have an angle.

DIY's Rehab Addict is hosted by Nicole Curtis, a "self-taught home rehabber and designer" wh also happens to be very attractive. Jeff Lewis, of Bravo's Flipping Out, is a sociopath, and those are always entertaining. And then there's Drew and Jonathan Scott of HGTV's Property Brothers, who are identical twins. That's ... interesting, right?


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Reality Bites: Online Dating Rituals of the American Male

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Snap him up quick, ladies!
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

On one hand, I feel sorry for you single people. The dating world, from what I can tell, is insane. The number of sites and apps competing for your attention, in addition to the work involved creating a compelling online persona, looks exhausting. And then there's the effort put into sifting through thousands of potential mates. Before you've even gone on Date 1, you've done more research than a doctoral student on his third dissertation defense.

On the other, I spent my single years in an environment where you had to practically sign a lease together before determining if the other person shared your views on child rearing, the designated hitter, and John Carpenter movies; information which is available these days to anyone at the click of a mouse. So I can see both sides.

What's not debatable, however, is that if the dudes on Bravo's new show -- Online Dating Rituals of the American Male -- are representative of America's single men, you women are really screwed.


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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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