Since then, reality has become the dominant genre on network and cable. Networks love it because it’s cheap, and audiences love it because it’s addictive: At its most rewarding, reality TV can be a fascinating look at social dynamics, an enlightening education into a specific skill, or a fully invested spectator sport spent rooting for one talented singer/dancer/cook/model to triumph over all and become a star! And at its ickiest, it is a ringside seat to truly awful people behaving in incomprehensibly un-house-trained ways – and that can be just as rewarding. … [Read more...] about The Reality Rumble: What’s the Greatest Reality-TV Season Ever?
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I find zero joy in humiliation, so audition rounds for Idol or So You Think You Can Dance make me heartsick. I like when people are good at things, and I love that these shows depict how hard it is to be great at something. Most of these people are really good — but a handful of them are better, and that battle between good and great is so much more engrossing than the arbitrary shrieking on, say, Big Brother. So keep your lifestyle reality shows. If I never see another Real Housewife, it will be too soon. I don’t want to vote anyone off, I don’t want to watch alliances form, and I do not care who had the fanciest wedding or flipped the shittiest houses. But twelve people who all do something, competing to see who does it the best? Sign me up. … [Read more...] about Skill-Based Contests Are the Best Kind of Reality TV
Two of Hollywood's biggest names in comedy - Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish - team up for this dumb-but-fun laugher about adults in evening class that’s new to Netflix. The jokes are hardly high-brow but those leads sure know how to grab your attention - especially hyperactive Hart, who also co-wrote and co-produced. And if you like the film then look out for a spin-off TV show, coming soon. … [Read more...] about Netflix: best movies to watch this week – September 2020
New York was still the down-at-the-heels city of bankruptcy, blight, and seediness that ranged from the amiable to the menacing, so there were also, ambling up and down Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, a fair number of heroin addicts, prostitutes, and pimps who actually dressed like they did on TV shows and movies set at that time, in fake furs, neon hot pants, and spectacular platform shoes. As a small boy, I took in stride much of what I saw and heard. On the sidewalk, my mother would briskly move me and my brother past the junkies and sex workers and tell us not to stare. In the afternoons and early evenings, they would congregate on or around the small pedestrian islands just north and south of the 72nd Street subway station, officially called Sherman Square and Verdi Square but known to all residents (and immortalized in a 1971 Al Pacino movie) as “Needle Park.” At night, the addicts and streetwalkers would hang out at the large diner across the avenue, guzzling endless … [Read more...] about Real-Life Cops, and Me
I don’t know if its affectation or a certain amount of craziness that is starting to seep out of her pores and into the outside world, but Sonja is becoming more and more eccentric, like an old English lady who lives in a church or, I don’t know, that crazy broad that likes to “make flowers” in the True Detective finale. She has a ratty old carpet with holes in it, her old stuffed dog is sitting on the buffet covered by an old scarf, a fleet of midwestern teenagers are doting on her every command while she shouts at them about not letting the air conditioning out. But the weirdest thing of all was her giant plate of breads and jams and jellies that she expected these women to sit down to. Do you think this is on any of their diets of green juice and flavored steam? Hell no! … [Read more...] about Season-Six Premiere Recap: New Girl, Same As the Old