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VH1 Gives Good Reality

by Rachel Cericola, TV editor

For every "Amazing Race" or "Survivor," there is a "Littlest Groom" or "Extreme Makeover." Frankly, I think all of those shows are crap. I don't care about challenges or low self-esteem. Give me shattered celebrities. In other words, give me VH1.

As USA Today says, VH1 rules the reality roost, and before you balk, here are a few keys to what makes good reality TV:

  • It has to involve people in semi-real situations.
  • It has to shock, appall or invoke tears.
  • It needs to be a complete train wreck.

While it's true that VH1 has pretty much abandoned the idea of being a music network, they have created a lineup of reality TV that physically makes me angry when I discover that they are either skipping an episode this week or showing a repeat. Not saying I am proud to confess that nugget, but that, my friends, is good reality TV -- whether you care to admit it or not.

Shows have come and, sadly, have gone (and sadly, some will be back), but VH1 has managed to keep a nice lineup in the reality rotation.

Breaking Bonaduce

Breaking Bonaduce Seems to me that Danny didn't need any help being broken. What he needs is help being put back together, which he "tries" to do in every episode. I give the guy props for parlaying his "Patridge Family" stint into a lifetime of other opportunities. But who knew that such an annoying guy would make such great reality TV? We see Bonaduce dealing with his wife and kids, his radio show, his insane/intense training sessions, and even his doctor visits. Frankly, none of it looks fun, but damn, it sure is interesting.

The most sympathetic character here has to be Bonaduce's therapist, who seems to teeter the line between disgust and plain fear each week. "C'mon get happy" does not apply here -- unless it's steroid-induced.

"Breaking Bonaduce" airs Sundays at 10:00 p.m. (EST) on VH1.

The Surreal Life

Surreal Life UPN must be kicking itself for letting this one go. The current and fifth incarnation (the third was the first for VH1) might be the least interesting, but it doesn't really stop me (or others) from watching.

Not sure how many Omarosa fans are out there, but the woman knows how to make reality TV. In fact, when I found out she was on the show, I was dead set on not watching. Now here I am, every week, as appalled as ever. They know how to pull together a cast, and I'm sure people will continue to hang in with the sixth season's lineup.

Each round gets more entertaining, watching semi-celebrities wonder how they got there and how to escape. Have any of them watched the show? And how can only 10 days make so much frightening TV? With an endless supply of former superstars to choose from, this show could go on forever. Nice snag, VH1.

"The Surreal Life" airs Sundays at 9:00 p.m. (EST) on VH1.

My Fair Brady

My Fair Brady Here's the story of a former Brady, who decided to shack up with a very lovely (and much younger) girl -- who turned out to be kind of a psycho. Christopher Knight, with all of his little quirks, seems like a fairly normal, nice guy. Adrianne Curry, on the other hand, is as hot as hot can be, but also a bit needy.

It's super that they are trying to make their bizarre romance work, while letting all of us watch the horror. But did they learn nothing from "Strange Love?" Cameras do not make good romance. Plus, as cute as they are, they could try turning down the mics a bit during the make-out sessions.

Watching Curry continue her career in a post-"America's Top Model" world is actually kind of interesting. Too bad she comes off a bit whiney in her off-camera moments. To expect a guy that's been married twice to want to marry you after seven months of courtship is not too much to ask for -- repeatedly -- right? She claimed in one episode that she has been more patient with him than any other boyfriend -- which ones? Guys from the sixth grade? At 22, she can wait a bit longer. After all, it makes for better TV.

"My Fair Brady" airs Sundays at 9:30 p.m. (EST) on VH1.

Posted by Rachel Cericola on October 1, 2005 10:43 PM
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