Here’s the skinny on what’s going on this week in Reality Television:
Treasure Hunters - This new show debuts tonight (Sunday, June 18) at 8 PM ET/PT in most viewing areas. This one is well-hyped by the network, perhaps trying to tie in with The Da Vinci Code madness. It looks like we’re in for a wild Amazing Race/The Da Vinci Code worldwide romp as viewers are even offered the opportunity to win cash playing along on the show’s website. From that site:
From the producers of The Da Vinci Code, Project Runway and Top Chef! In this fast-paced adventure reality series, multi-player teams face mental and physical challenges in their quest for hidden treasure. The teams must avoid elimination as they travel to remote locations where they decipher cryptic codes that lead them closer to the ultimate prize.
The two-hour season premiere is tonight, but the regular day and time for the series is Monday nights at 9 PM ET/PT. On Monday, June 19, NBC has NHL hockey in the time slot, so look for the second show on June 26.
Hell’s Kitchen - Perhaps it’s my deep-within sadistic inner child looking for redemption, but I get a kick out of Chef Gordon Ramsay going berserk in the kitchen with chef-wannabes who aspire to run ritzy restaurant kitchens. I couldn’t do it; I wouldn’t do it. In “real life” I despise Ramsay-like mean people. But it’s “good TV.” This second season pits men against women for the position of their dreams. It looks like FOX TV is continuing to run two episodes in a row from 8 to 10 PM ET/PT on Mondays, with the first episode a repeat from last week. After this week, this will conflict with Treasure Hunters for me. Thank you whomever invented the VCR, I love you!
Fear Factor - Now, I’m not a huge fan of this show. Since its inception, I believe I’ve watched perhaps five episodes. However, for the Reality TV fan, this is the season you may want to watch. This season’s contestants are previous reality show “stars” from shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race, to name a few. It airs on NBC Tuesday nights at 8 PM ET/PT. Me? I ate a caterpillar when I was a child and had to go to the emergency room to have bristles removed from my lips and mouth. Watching people eat worms tends to put me in post traumatic horror. Or something.
Last Comic Standing - This week it’s past the auditions and into the house for the comedian-contestants. I personally haven’t been too faithful to this show since the season of hometown guy Rich Vos. So far I have watched this season and perhaps will keep checking in. I want to see how Joshua Blue handles comedy sets not dealing with his disability, but I enjoy his disability-related stuff, too. It’s sort of like John Callahan with his cartooning -- sometimes you just have to laugh at the blows life deals to you. If you don’t, well…you’ll be a miserable bitter so-and-so. The show airs on NBC at 9 PM ET/PT. Check your local listings and remember…I’m funnier than Dat Phan.
So You Think You Can Dance - The competition’s heating up with the dancers as we saw last week when the first couple was eliminated. Can a break-dancer or a popper do ballroom? Can a ballroom dancer dance hip-hop? For the answers to those questions and more, check out this FOX TV show which airs 8 to 10 PM ET/PT on Wednesdays followed by the elimination show at 9 PM ET/PT on Thursdays. I personally enjoyed the couple who “Broadway-danced” to “Steam Heat” last week and may or may not watch this series through to season end. I’d like to see a series based purely on the break-dancers and poppers as I find what they do amazing. Me? I can do that crazy hand-jive and know I can’t dance. I do, however, think that FOX should capitalize on this format. I can see it now -- So You Think You Can Skydive or So You Think You Can Walk Bad Neighborhoods In Camden (NJ) At 2 AM. The possibilities are endless!
Big Brother 7: All Stars - America’s Vote - Oh, if you know me, you know I’ll be watching! I’m not too keen on “All Stars” versions of reality television shows, but I’m a true BB fan at heart, so the season is a given for me. This Wednesday (June 21) at 8 PM ET/PT, it’s a pre-season show giving America the opportunity to vote previous houseguests back into the house. From what I’ve read, it’s a bit limited as far as who might be available for the return to Hell in a House, but I think it could be quite intriguing. I’m a people observer with live feeds. Just, please, America -- do not vote either Holly or Alison back in, I beg you! I beseech you! The regular season premieres Thursday, July 6, at 8 PM ET/PT.
America’s Got Talent - Another ballyhooed NBC series premiere is on the slate! Like Treasure Hunters (even more so), I’m eagerly anticipating this series! Created and produced by Simon Cowell of American Idol fame and hosted by the much-beloved Regis Philbin, it’s a talent contest which goes the realm of…of…um…whatever! The two-hour season premiere is this Wednesday, June 21, at 9 PM ET/PT. Be there or be square.
Of course, my listing here tends to focus on shows in which I’m interested, but I’m the one writing the article. If you have a reality show you enjoy or are looking forward to watching, let me know! This is going to be a big TV week for this TV fan, I tell you.