It's going to be a long summer, and television networks have the solution...tons of crap-ass reality programming. After a few commercials, it's like they all blurred together into a lump that wouldn't see a second season. One writer in RNO posted a laundry list of new shows...and even then, he forgot about The Real World: Austin, which drops in mid-June.
Also, I flip around DirecTV, and made a discovery on Ch. 250: a network that has all reality programs. The bad news? It's Fox Reality. Aside from American Idol, name one genre show from Fox that didn't make you embarrassed to be watching. Worse, they're airing Joe Millionaire. Remember that show? It was about a multi-millionaire trying to woo ladies...except the guy made about $19,000 a year. Rememeber how huge it was? Bet you feel dumb for remembering that.
While I'm still recapping the Challenge and getting ready for the next one (Coral's back! Yeaaaaaa!), I figured I should take the time to close the book on two shows, and start a fight with my old site.
As expected, Kendra got the gig of being Donald Trump's new apprentice, and Tana basically screwed herself over and over again. Suddenly, Tana is the worst person ever, at least on the message boards. For some weird reason, I can't join in on the dogpile. Is it some misguided form of pity? Is she too pathetic for my tastes? I like to think I have some perspective. Think about it...prior to Tana's nosedive (the Pontiac task), would she have been considered that bad? We had Brian the stout dumbass. We had Danny, whose "team morale" schtick and guitar basically said, "Please let me be the monkeyboy like Sam and Raj, then fire me." There was Kristen, the hatchetfaced harpy who could turn rivals into stone, and John the rock groupie/poseur. Remember Erin? Girl who looked kinda like Julie? She was so annoying, I wanted to cut her long locks off and shove it down her throat. Alex was the ambiguous tightass prat. Craig didn't step up to the plate enough, and he tried to abuse Kendra. Oh...and Chris. The humanoid volcano. If he had been fired earlier, he would have lunged over the desk and tried to choke Trump. And all of them are better than Tana now? Her humiliation was more public, true, but she still kicked ass before her fall. My only beef with her was that she apologized to her team for abusing them in the final task. I would never apologize to Kristen for anything, up to and including setting her property on fire.
And what's the big prize? Well, you're supposed to be running one of Trump's operations, but you're basically Trump's show pony, doing little of note. Kendra seems like a nice person, but the reward sucks. Tana could always get a better or more public position...maybe fill in for Mistress Juliya or Marianela on Fuse. A few days after the finale, I had an epiphany: why do I watch this show? On most reality programs, you find folk to identify with. Name the last candidate you fell in love with. Kwame? Bill? I know everybody dug Troy, but he's not coming back. All we get are people who are only as cool as their last mistake, and Trump overshadowing them all. Trump will blow the task results with one of his monologues. Trump will show us that his friends are rich, famous, or both. Trump has two advisors who are more bobbleheaded than most people admit. So I'm done with The Apprentice. No more Boardrooms, no more George & Carolyn, no more seeking out bitches and tools. That's it, I'm done, end of story. And I'm not even giving Martha Stewart's edition a shot this fall, not even if a fired candidate is thrown into a shiv fight with the domestic diva. The next time I see Trump, it'll be when he whines about not getting an Emmy again.
Like the finale for The Amazing Race, we got a result that was great...but at what cost? Tom wins another immunity challenge, and everybody seems set to vote Jenn out. Jenn even seems at peace with taking a hike. Then Ian goes, "Man, if you hadn't won, it would've been tough to decide whether to vote you out." And Tom's all, "Wait a minute...where did that come from?" Suddenly, we got a father/son fight, culminating with a firemaking tiebreaker where Ian takes out Jenn. Then Tom and Katie keep tearing chunks out of Ian's soul. I like Tom, but it was painful to watch.
After the "remembrance of Survivors past" montage, we go into the final Immunity Challenge: grab onto a buoy for as long as you can. Katie bows out relatively early, and it comes down to Tom and Ian...for almost twelve hours. At this point, whatever marbles that Ian had are long gone, and he makes a deal with Tom: he'll fall, and Tom promises to take Katie with him to the final two. Tom wins, then makes a few token efforts to make sure his friend is thinking straight. Ian insists on that, and Jeff Probst forgoes Tribal Council to eject Ian.
The rest of the finale was typical...the jury unleashed a tidal wave made of sour grape juice. Tom ends up winning 6-1, with the lone dissenting voice coming from Coby, who has entitlement issues up the wazoo. The reunion was better than last season, even with Wanda doing her version of "Oh, Suzzanah." Oh, and Coby adopted a kid and named it after Janu. Alrighty, then.
A few days after the finale, I learned that Ian had been inducted into the Reality TV Hall of Shame. This is a sister site to Reality News Online. And for those just tuning in, that's where I recapped for over two years before getting dumped. Now, I didn't start this blog to critique every little thing RNO did. But in my mind, they dropped the ball with Ian. The kid was punch-drunk, his self-esteem ripped apart by Katie, as seen three days earlier. There he was, breaking down about not wanting to be the bad guy, possibly foreseeing endless photo ops with "Jonny Fairplay"...and honestly, who wants that? He spent almost twelve hours on that buoy. He once applied to The Amazing Race...it would be as if he spent that amount of time between legs on the buoy, as opposed to eating, sleeping, and mingling with other Racers. While his final decision cost us what could have been the greatest final day ever, I don't think he's HoS material.
How bad was this decision? Weeks prior, we saw Janu give up, becoming the second Survivor to lay the torch down during Tribal Council. Some time after that episode, I read a HoS article on why Janu was not inducted. Now, I didn't have much of a problem with her. I'm sure she's a nice lady, and she probably cleans up nicely. And her decay over 27 days shows what an unforgiving game this is, even when you're on the tribe that wins almost every challenge. But she could have rebounded. She could have shrugged off Probst's efforts to get her to drop the torch. In my mind, she probably wanted to quit after she was exiled on another island overnight on Day 26...but she saw the shame that accompanied Osten after his useless self quit (as well as Jenna Morasca and Susan Hawk, to a far less extent). She was begging the tribe to axe her, but they wanted Stephanie gone. So after Probst badgered her, she quit. And to me, this is more "shameful" that a half-insane Ian throwing in the towel.
From what I gathered, the Janu debate was fierce on both sides. And I'm guessing that the one for Ian raged on. But in Ian's case, RNO dropped the ball. Trust me...this isn't something where the boss just picks and chooses what's wrong and right. There has to be debate. To me, this is a group decision, and a poor one at that. If you don't agree with me, you can e-mail me, or leave a comment. If you have a comment to send to David Bloomberg and the RNO staff, their e-mail address is email@example.com. I'd send my two cents, but it's obvious that my opinion no longer matters to them. Heck, it didn't matter much when I was there.
That's it. New episode of Inferno II airs tomorrow night. And if you're into cartoons, The Life & Times of Juniper Lee debuts tomorrow on Cartoon Network. It's from ex-RW cast member Judd Winick, whose work in comics has proven that reality stars can break away from the genre. Judging from this interview and the A-minus grade from Entertainment Weekly, it should be a blast to watch.