When planning our previous brackets, we spent hours arguing what year to make the cutoff for eligible shows, as both genres had been TV staples since its earliest days. However, reality TV is a relatively recent phenomenon: Yes, The Real World (and its itinerant sibling, Road Rules) has been around since the early ‘90s, but the true reality explosion didn’t occur until 2000, with the debut of Survivor and the one-shot Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire. The former, a summer smash that mixed The Real World with ruthless competition, mind-fucking, and low-blood-sugar crankiness, inspired an immediate network rush to come up with their own lock-people-inside-a-BLANK-and-watch-them-fight series. Fox’s instant marriage special Multi-Millionaire, on the other hand, sparked waves of pearl-clutching tsk-tsking about television’s devaluing of love and the show’s broad interpretation of “real” (multi-millionaire “prize” Rick Rockwell was … [Read more...] about The Reality Rumble: What’s the Greatest Reality-TV Season Ever?
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Ink Master ticks each box for the reality-contest checklist: It’s based on an unusual skill in a largely insular industry; the contestants are all passably decent (at least to a layman’s eye); and the judging — by tattoo legend Oliver Peck, Miami Ink alum Chris Nuñez, and, uh, Dave Navarro — is expert, harsh, and hugely informative. It’s the kind of show that at once demystifies a process (oh, that’s how you make a color tattoo really seem three-dimensional!) and deifies its practitioners (oh, and she is really good at it!). Each episode tests the artists on a different facet of tattooing: dimension, shading, old school, new school, cover-ups — even prison tattoos got an episode. When done well, shows like Ink Master (which airs tonight) create an instant hobby. Passion is inherently interesting, even when it’s not a passion you necessarily share. I didn’t mean to care this much about who can do the best photo-realistic … [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
We did not have a lot of father-son bonding experiences, but there was one night that year, during the time he was still healthy enough to go to work, when my younger brother was away on a school trip and my father decided that we were going to have a night together. I took the bus to his office in midtown, and he took me out to a chain steakhouse for dinner. By then I had become intensely interested in movies, and he had started to take me whenever he could. Next to him, I watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Network, Rocky, Dog Day Afternoon, and Jaws, and I knew that my love of movies was something he uncomplicatedly enjoyed about me, one of the few enthusiasms we could share without tension. For all of our mutual frustrations, my father was never uninterested in me; when he said, “What’s on your mind?” he wanted to know the answer, even — perhaps especially — if it was something he hadn’t considered himself. “I’m never going … [Read more...] about Real-Life Cops, and Me
Ramona is really a human mood ring, just vacillating between emotions like changing from deep blue to cobalt to a frosty mint. She sways this way and that; her feelings are as changeable as a cloud bank rolling across the heavens. But for now, Ramona is having fun. She and Aviva toss a few more back together and stare into each other’s eyes, thinking about the possibilities of the year, the uncertainty of their contractually obligated future. They toast and smile. Eventually they get up and totter out of the restaurant together to hail cabs. They stumble back and forth on the sidewalk before reaching out for their respective chariots. What Ramona doesn’t realize is that in the all the fun, she seems to have lost a shoe. She’s like Cinderella or just some careless sorority girl who doesn’t know better. But there it is, a pump, sitting in the gutter telling some indistinct story that will definitely confuse a middle-aged man when he picks it up and tosses it in … [Read more...] about Season-Six Premiere Recap: New Girl, Same As the Old