Thursday, September 15, 2005


Well, the new season is upon us and tonight CBS will have the premiere of Survivor: Guatemala, where the castaways will be joined by two- count them, two- of the more popular contestants of the recent past.

See, this is why people are fed up with reality TV. They see these familiar faces and they automatically think these people are wannabe actors, and that this is all fakery and phony and that you'll have producers whispering in the ears of contestants, telling them who to get rid of, just so these "stars" stay on the show another week. What phoniness. People want to see real stars, they don't want to see any of these people rounded up off the street for these crummy TV shows.

For evidence, check out my excited reaction below to seeing actress and Stuff cover girl Maria Menounos at the Toronto International Film Festival, where I gushed about her and declared her to be a "babe". People want to see HER. By contrast, Bill Rancic the Apprentice was actually in town in Toronto not too long ago at some big home-business expo they had on. I didn't go out of my way to see him. Just another corporate bigshot. Who cares.

People never tuned into reality shows to see personalities. They used to tune in because they wanted to find out how real people react in real-life office-politics-type situations, so they can learn a few tricks and be successful in their own boring lives. But the novelty has worn off. We now know from watching reality TV that it doesn't matter what you'll do, you'll be fired anyway. People can't relate to these no-name divas and supposed villains, making fools of themselves every week sabotaging each other on reality TV. Some new poll came out where 8 out of 10 disgusted Americans claimed there were too many reality TV shows. People hate reality TV and hate watching this garbage, so why are we still getting this crap on TV? Because there's nothing else these network people will put on. It's either this or Hurricane Katrina coverage on CNN. We're gluttons for punishment.

Already ABC is wheeling out its promos for its infamous Dancing With the Stars rematch, which I'm sure many viewers think is already rigged. And the hype machine is on for The Apprentice shows, with the Donald and Martha Stewart appearing together on the TV ads on NBC.

The PR machine is also spinning. The big news is that Bill Rancic is quitting Trump. That's right, Apprentice Bill has decided to quit being an Apprentice so he can start his own business and milk his new contacts, and get rich. The other big news about The Apprentice is that one of the contestants has an raunchy past as a stripper! Real leadership potential there, a rock-solid replacement for Bill Rancic when he leaves! And you wonder why the audience at home is so cynical about reality TV. The other big news is that Martha Stewart's big tag line on her Apprentice show is "you just don't fit in". Notice that PR people are hyping this, correctly thinking that more people will care about Martha's big tag line than about who will win. Truth is, they know that no one cares anymore about these contestants. The grand prize is that you get to work for an ex-con. What a concept. People are fed up.

Even Amazing Race is getting into the act by tweaking their format to have pairs of 4- families- racing for the top prize. I dunno about this idea, sounds like the demolition of the show to me. Anyway, Survivor: Guatemala and this "return-of-two-contestants" stunt reeks of desperation. I hope the rest of these castaways make sure these are the first two people to go. In fact, I don't even think they'll serve up "popular" contestants- they'll just serve up two of the usual people with high Q-ratings that folks recognize. Maybe they'll bring back Jenna and Heidi, those two girlfriends. Maybe they'll bring back Dr. Sean, or Gervase. If I see Richard Hatch on this show again I'll vomit. But I don't think it will be him. Last I heard he was getting the book thrown at him for something. Who cares.

You want real reality? Tune in to President Bush and his address to the nation tonight at 9PM to explain to the nation what happened with Katrina the Hurricane and why his team botched the job right up. He'll be doing a lot of grovelling tonight. What's happening with Katrina and the rescue efforts are more relevant than all the phoniness you see on reality TV today.

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