Monday, August 06, 2007

The Worst Kind Of Reality

A few weeks ago, I praised ABC for one of its newest reality shows which aimed to curb childhood obesity with the help of NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal.

Childhood obesity is one of the biggest health issues facing America today, and using a popular athlete like Shaq to reach kids was, I thought, a smart move.

Now the network is presenting something called "Fat March" (ABC, 9 p.m.), which seems to be less well-intentioned, at least to me.

I'll readily admit, I could stand to lose a pound or 10, so perhaps that makes me a little sensitive to such programming, but when you title a show "Fat March," it does sound more gawkerish than your average fare, much like NBC's "The Biggest Loser," a double-entendre of a title if I've ever heard one.

In "Fat March," the contestants are asked to trek across nine states, where they have the chance to earn $1 million. I don't really understand the whole appeal of these shows, since they feel a bit unseemly in their tone, putting these people on display with the air of a sideshow carnival atmosphere.

But, it's obvious the networks feel there is an audience for these sort of programs, so I guess we are stuck with them for a while longer.

TV SCHEDULE UPDATE: Some good news for Fox's "Bones." The network has decided to shuffle its lineup, moving "Bones" to Tuesdays at 8 p.m. while pushing back the debut of its new series, "New Amsterdam," to winter. It's a good move for "Bones," which has a small but loyal audience, for a couple of reasons. For one, it takes the show out of the ultra-competitive Wednesdays at 9 p.m. lineup. For another, it pairs "Bones" with megahit "House," putting two similarly styled procedurals back-to-back.

On the flip side, Sci-Fi made it official this weekend and canceled "The Dresden Files." It's a shame because the show picked up over its season and had a lot of potential. Fans of star Paul Blackthorne needn't worry, however. is reporting he is joining the cast of ABC's "Big Shots."

MONDAY'S BEST BETS: One of my loyal dozens complained that I don't do anything to promote "Hell's Kitchen" (Fox, 9 p.m.), so here is me letting you know that the final two chefs duke it out tonight. Also ending (thank goodness) is "Age of Love," in which 20-somethings battled 40-somethings to be the next Mrs. Tennis Star.

Your better bets, however, include TNT's all-new lineup of "Heartland," "The Closer," and "Saving Grace," which are killing in the ratings. I tend to prefer FX's offerings to TNT's, but it's hard to argue with the numbers the latter's programs are pulling in.

"My Boys," (TBS, 10 p.m.), my favorite non-network summer comedy (at least until "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" returns) is back with a new episode.

"Big Love" (HBO, 9 p.m.) is also new, as is ABC Family's "Kyle XY" and "Greek."


zodin2008 said...

While I appreciate you mentioning "Big Love" and "Kyle XY" each week, you are kinda half assed about it--you should consider watching both.

Over the weekend, my wife and I officially 'canceled' our relationship with "Monk". The episodes are fine, but the same thing over and over so at some point, you have to 'trim the fat'.

As for reality TV< I will never understand why anyone watches it but then again, I still am sickened over the fact that serious news organizations like CNN have sold their souls and actually cover drunk starlets like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, as if their Beverly Hills 2 AM skirmishes are actually news worthy.

To me, watching reality TV is akin to being interested in wanting to hear about who Paris Hilton is making out with at a night club.

Anonymous said...

i'm glad to see you throwing some love at "my boys." i've been enjoying it since the beginning, but i was beginning to think i was the only one.

Jonathan said...

I agree with your assessment on "Dresden Files;" it was a show that improved each week it was on, and how freaking rare is that in the world of television? And I wonder how bad the ratings must have been to not even grant it a second season.

Sci-fi's ratings numbers obviously can't be held to the same standard as any of the networks, and are the countless reruns of "Stargate" and "Star Trek Enterprise" doing so much better? Granted, I understand they probably pay less in the end for syndication rights and reap more benefits than they do from original shows, but it still stinks that a promising show like "Dresden" can't even get a second chance on a cable station that has very little good material to offer in the first place. Besides "Battlestar Galatica" and occasionally "Eureka," they don't have a whole lot else going on.

And with "Dresden," they had a series of good books to pull countless stories from for the future installments. It would seem like a win/win to me, but maybe that's why I'm not a station exec.

Phillip Ramati said...

I've always appreciated My Boys. My only complaint is that PJ has free time like no other sports writer I've ever met. But it's one of the few sitcoms that is consistently funny on a weekly basis.

As for Dresden, after Sci-Fi's cancellation of Farscape in Year 4 when it had already promised a Year 5, nothing they do surprises me.