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The Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Reality (TV) Of Summer



Reality shows: you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. Personally, I never liked “reality” television, and this summer’s lineup of shows gives me even more of a reason to stay away. The networks really seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel with some of this stuff. Here’s just a handful of the trainwreck reality shows that will be gracing our TVs this season:

The Great American Road Trip
NBC, Mondays at 8/7c
What happens when you pit seven families representing different regional stereotypes against each other in a race for $100,000? The Great American Road Trip. Only there’s nothing great about it. In fact, it’s rather hard to watch. In the first episode, the families competed in an “end of the road” challenge in which they had to roll a Zorb containing one of their family members through an obstacle course. I felt so bad for the poor kids who were stuck rolling around in the giant Zorbs…although I couldn’t stop laughing through the whole thing! Does that make me a bad person?

More To Love
Fox, Tuesdays at 9/8c starting July 2
Billed as the “dating show for the rest of us,” More To Love is a Bachelor-style competition in which average Janes compete for the love of an average Joe. It makes sense: a reality show featuring “real” people. Except it’s impossible for a reality show to be 100% authentic without it being documentary-style à la the Discovery Channel. There’s still going to be drama – catfights, body image issues, the works. The only difference between this show and The Bachelor is that the women aren’t all super-skinny models. Is this really supposed to fix the problem of reality shows not being real?

Silent Library
MTV, weekdays at 5:30 ET/PT

A couple of years ago, I saw a clip of a Japanese game show that had contestants compete in a variety of wacky challenges – and required them to be absolutely silent in order to win prize money. Now that MTV has adapted it for an American audience, let the guilty pleasure begin! This is one show I can’t help but watch. It’s hilarious to see the contestants perform such bizarre stunts while trying to keep quiet. Some are painful, some are disgusting, but they are all ridiculously entertaining!

Dating in the Dark
ABC, Mondays at 10/9c starting July 20

This show takes “blind dating” a bit too literally. Three men and three women live in a house together (separated by gender) and go on dates with members of the opposite sex in pitch-black rooms. After several days of dating in the dark, the couples will finally see what their partners look like. The idea of the show is to test whether or not love is truly blind, but this is just an absurd premise for a television show. I imagine each couple fumbling around in the dark like buffoons. How can this possibly be entertaining?

I was a call-in contestant on Slimetime Live when I was in fourth grade. I won a remote control car that broke the day I got it. It was perhaps both the best and worst day of my life.