quadruple lutz!


Okay, CODE WORD. We are just getting over being sick and settling into Venice (80 and sunny here!), and I have a Top 25 Migraine, so today’s question is this: what reality show do you recommend, and why? Make it good and don’t be salacious or petty, damn it.

We just watched “Skating With the Celebrities” and I have to say, that show was CREATED FOR MY WIFE. What an awesome, sweet thing to watch. It should be pathetic to watch “Diff’rent Strokes” star Todd Bridges skate around with an afro, but instead, I was just cheering for him.

Did I ever tell you Tessa was almost a professional skater when she was a li’l tyke? She can still do an axel and a great spin and that salchow thing.


with mom Sandy circa 1981

0 thoughts on “quadruple lutz!

  1. Greg from Winston Dorm

    Best of its genre and, though it’s a little formulaic now that it’s in the umpteenth season, it’s still a good 42 minutes a week of television. And, with the TiVo, we can FF through the long, puzzle solving challenges. Besides, what better line is there than: “The tribe has spoken!”
    Real World used to be a favorite, but now it’s just a 13-16 week audition for the kids on the show to get to the Real World Gauntlet shows.
    THE AMAZING RACE is second to SURVIVOR. My wife and I shared a flight from Atlanta to L.A. with a woman who came in second place with her husband (Tara and Will) on the show’s second season. I talked that poor woman’s ear off for the ENTIRE flight and learned a lot of scoop on how much behind-the-scenes wrangling of the show there is, especially with how the producers sometimes manipulate the challenges in order to let the contestants they want to win advance after certain stages.

  2. chip

    Made on MTV….they basically bring in an expert to help a high school kid achieve something…the one I saw a fat, dorky, D&D playing kid got taught how to talk to girls and ended up with a cute date to the prom…
    Loved the first season of the Apprentice and have had no interest since middle of 2nd season.
    My wife loves America’s Next Top Model…I think it’s a pretty good show as well…the contestants seem to gain confidence from the experience.
    I saw a few episodes of the reality show with Hulk Hogan and kind of liked it.

  3. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    I agree with Chip. I love “MADE”!
    I was fascinated with “Breaking Bonaduce” and “Blow Out” — but I am not sure whether you will be seeing new seasons.
    Actually, I think that MTV’s reality shows are the best. I love the “Gauntlet” because for those of us who have faithfully watched “Road Rules” and “Real World” over the years, seeing all of our favorite dysfunctional personalities join together for a modern-day “Battle of the Network Stars” makes for some GOOD TV!
    You have got to watch “My Sweet 16” on MTV. It is about affluent teens preparing for their sweet 16 celebrations. You would not believe the opulence, the drama, the sense of entitlement, the self-centeredness . . . it is a sight to behold.
    And, I LOVE MTV’s “Laguna Beach.” It is entering its 3rd season, and there will be a spin-off called “The Hills”. I had no idea how important cell phones are for teenagers until I watched LB. Really. What did we do as teens/college students without cell phones? Yes, I know that most of these kids were born the year I entered college, but I am riveted each week. Riveted, I tell you.

  4. scruggs

    I’m all about Wife Swap (ABC) and Trading Spouses (FOX). Yes, I agree with my husband that it is basically the same show every time, but I love watching how other families operate and what they feel is and isn’t acceptable. And it is interesting to see how often, by the end, there is some common ground found. I also hope there is another psycho ultrafundamentalist mom moment around the corner. These shows give me perspective to know I don’t have it that bad!!!

  5. emma

    For five and a half years, I have been a Survivor snob. I love to watch how people will act and react just to get one step further in the chance to win a bunch of money. And as Greg says, it is now a little formulaic, but I am still amazed at how it stays interesting just because with each season you bring in new personalities and thus, a whole different mix of people and endless possibilities.
    And I am ashamed to admit that occassionally, I get teary eyed watching people lose a whole lot of weight on the Biggest Loser.

  6. Tim

    No contest for me – The Amazing Race. Last season’s “family edition” crap was pretty annoying, and nothing will compare to the first season, but it’s still the best imo. There’s plenty of strategy, but the show is as much about working within your own limitations and working with a partner as it is about competing with other people. It’s a lot less cutthroat and backstabbing and manipulative, because in the end, you can’t actually eliminate someone except by running faster than them. And it’s fascinating to watch different people from all walks of life respond to, say, boarding a train in India, or picking up a cab in a poor neighborhood in Nigeria, or climbing glaciers in the Alps. I practically pee in my pants every time the season premiere teasers start playing.
    That said, I watch them all. Survivor is still pretty darn good, but you get some truly annoying personalities every year who really reduce my enjoyment. Watching the people on the Biggest Loser is shocking… maybe not good TV in any given week, but to see these people at the beginning and the end is almost unbelievable.
    I might be done naming the ones that I don’t think are embarrassing. Sorry for the length. J’adore TAR.

  7. CL

    None of them. The one I really liked was the one everyone else hated – Big Brother. The people on it all had complex personalities and the competitions they had for them were intelligent, and the smartest guys won.
    No wonder no one got it.

  8. LFMD

    I also love MTV’s “Cribs.” I love to sit in my 1200 square foot tract home and watch how the rich spend their money! The episode with Russell Simmons and his wife Kimora Lee was something else. Everytime I see them, I remember their first episode of “Cribs” from early 2001 wherein they showcased their beautiful downtown Manhattan home which was practically within throwing distance of the World Trade Center. The Simmons’ night views of downtown and the WTC were magnificent. Gives me shivers to think about it now. Years later, they live in the most grandiose McMansion of all McMansions in NJ.
    The one part I hate about “Cribs” is when everyone heads to the Master Bedroom and says “this is where all the magic happens.” Please, people.

  9. Tim

    I *would* watch Big Brother… but it’s on 34649 times a week, and nothing happens for the vast majority of each hour. I think the concept is fascinating, and the people generally intriguing, but the execution *as a television show* is lacking for me.

  10. CL

    Yeah, something about the way Big Brother is run has never appealed to people. I think you have something there. If you don’t know the intricacies of their personalities, then it’s not of interest when you tune in here and there and they’re all just sitting around and talking. I only had time to watch seasons 1 and 2 anyway.

  11. Anne D.

    Can I just say that Tessa and her mom are among the best-looking mother/daughter pairs I have ever seen? Such beauty! (and it clearly has been handed down to your little sweetheart girl)

  12. Deb

    I am a tv connoisseur(addict), and have seen pretty much all there is to see, and can assure you that there *are* some quality reality shows out there amid the sludge. A few.
    “Survivor”- An oldie but still a goodie. Two seasons ago, they reinvigorated the challenges, and the strategy angle is still exciting. Wish they wouldn’t make it obvious which two are on the chopping block, though. I started watching with Africa (which is still my favorite), so caught up on Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD. They’re amazing to watch after you know the show, even knowing who won. It’s very different, as it’s the pioneer season and no one knows what to do. There’s the whole “survival” aspect that has gotten a bit lost in the later seasons.
    “The Amazing Race”- Consistently entertaining and thrilling. Global locations, fun challenges, great inter-personal reactions. It’s not a “fishbowl” show, it’s simply a contest. Sure, you get “characters”, but they’re enhancements to the action, not *the* action. No surprise it’s won the Reality Emmy since the category’s inception.
    “Project Runway”- I just swept through the first season on DVD. Loved. It. I like shows where you learn something about a profession you might not know about. I liked this show’s predecessor, “Project Greenlight” (the firt one) and “America’s N.T. Model”, for just that reason. This one is, perhaps, the best of that type. The contestants are passionate and talented, and aren’t looking for their 15 minutes by way of slurping slugs or making out.
    “Made”- I never would have thought of it if it hadn’t been mentioned above, but yes, this is a good one. Watching these kids overcome their fears is really neat.
    “America’s Next Top Model”- Way classier than most people think. A cool look into the modeling world, and I just really like Tyra Banks.
    “______ Moms and Dads”- Bravo’s done Showbiz Mom’s and Dad’s SportKids Mom’s and Dad’s and ShowDog Mom’s and Dad’s (which puts BEST IN SHOW to shame). Parents be crazy.
    “Supernanny”- I probably like it so much because I don’t yet have kids, but I think Jo is classy and informative. We are totally having a naughty something in our house, when the time comes.
    Junk food:
    “American Idol”
    “The Apprentice”
    “Big Brother”
    Anything else on MTV
    “The Bachelor”
    I’ll watch any of the above, but always leave with a stomach ache.

  13. Deb

    CL, you and I would make excellent TV buddies. I agree with you 100% about “Big Brother”. I know it’s bad for me, but there’s something magnetic about it. No one realizes that they have no access to any media, no tv, no movies, no newspapers, no phone, nothing. And it lasts 3 months. AND, sometimes they have to eat nothing but PB&J for an entire week.
    I also must agree about “The Biggest Loser”. Quite inspirational. These days as I’m finishing my work-out and slowing down, I try to think of it as my “last chance”.
    I will also add “Wife Swap” to my junk food list. I like to see who finds common ground and who doesn’t. It may be contrived, but some people genuinely seem affected.

  14. kent williams

    I like “Project Runway.” If there’s anything more shallow, bitchy, and mean than fashion, I don’t know what it is. To put a bunch of unstable, bitchy narcissists into a pressure cooker like that is just brilliant.

  15. salem's little sister

    Where to begin? The MTV shows will always be my favorites. RR,RW, Challenges, never fail to entertain me. I couldn’t get into the first season of Laguna Beach, but loved season 2 and can’t wait for LC’s Little sister to take over the show. I still don’t understand how those kids are real, but it does’t really matter. They are nice to look at and remind me how glad I am to be settled and beyond those years. I think these shows have filled the void left by 90210, Melrose and Party of 5.
    I am very into the Bachelor this season because he is so damn beautiful! He has picked a mix of really sleazy girls and a few classy ones, so it will be interesting to see which way he goes. Plus, I love seeing the sights of Paris. It reminds me of my honeymoon.
    I love the Amazing Race and watching how people react in a pressure cooker situation. I know that James and I would survive one episode and I’d have to kick his ass. I hate being rushed and am a 2 hour early to the airport kind of girl. I’m pretty sure my stomach would explode with ulcers.
    I also love Project Runway. It amazes me that these designers walk into a store, buy some fabric and a few hours later create clothes! My brain does not think like that and I love watching creative people . . .create.
    Wife Swap and Trading Spouces are always entertaining and Random 1 truly aims to help “real people” on a grass roots level. My new favorites are Meet the Barkers and ROLLERGIRLS!!!! If I lived in Austin and I wasn’t afraid of pain, I’d be a rollergirl! I’ve tried to imagine what my name might be, but names like ‘Please don’t hit me’ or ‘I’m a Bleeder’ just don’t sound right.

  16. xuxE

    well here’s what i like in my reality shows:
    1 -personalities and people i can relate to, as if they seem like people i would actually know or hang out with;
    2 -topics or industries or themes i like or know something about, so there are no *survivor* type outdoorsy shows in my viewing habits because i don’t like outdoorsy shit;
    3 -wildcard = pure camp value, no redeeming features or quality or anything remotely of value or interest, just fun to laugh at.
    my list:
    #1 project runway
    #2 taxicab confessions
    #3 intervention
    #4 rollergirls
    #5 making the band -tied with- road to stardom
    #6 forty deuce
    #7 being bobby brown
    #8 miami ink
    #9 oc chopper making show
    #10 american idol

  17. xuxE

    oh – and there is a show on BBC that is kind of like made which i can’t remember, and it’s better than made (i think) but i do like made as well.

  18. CP

    the comeback, or the fictional reality show which got picked up for a second season, while the real (and really good, might I add) show itself did not.
    (honorable mention goes to charla the littlest assistant, america’s next great porn star, and the one where the spouses beat the shit out of each other.)

  19. scruggs

    I will say I enjoy Extreme Makeover/Home Edition, though its something I don’t get around to seeing that much. Every family is deserving of a little good luck, and even if you could still find other families more hard up than who they select, at least for once a family who has gotten a raw deal gets totally hooked up. Its a cryfest.

  20. oliver

    I don’t think I watch any. All my TV comes on DVD or from the occasional motel room. Shouldn’t blogs like this count as reality TV though?

  21. Claudia

    The original _Survivor_. I haven’t been able to get into any subsequent ones, though.
    I also like plastic surgery shows, and the British version of just about any reality show.

  22. Emily B

    I am so impressed by Tessa’s skating talents – I had no idea! I took up skating in my early 20’s and have loved it ever since.
    Sorry I can’t comment on the reality show discussion as I don’t usually watch TV. That will change only when you and Tessa have a show. But I have to admit that when I read about Skating with the Stars it did pique my interest.

  23. Liana

    I agree with many of the posters above, MADE is just so fun to watch, it makes you feel all warm inside. True Life on MTV is great as well.
    I love reality shows where the hosts are just blunt, rude and tell it like it is. This is why I would have to recommend What Not to Wear ( You think you know how bad people dress until you watch this show) and How Clean is Your House ( I don’t know how some people manage to live like this) Both are British imports, which guarantees their awesomeness.
    Hmmm what else…I watch American Idol just to see Simon Cowell rightfully insult everyone.
    My favorite show this/last year however has to be Random 1. I saw it by chance one day on A&E. It’s about two guys and their pickup truck who travel around the country looking for ways to help people. They’ve been doing it for about 10 years and just started recording their journeys a couple years ago. I had the unbelievable lucky chance to interview one of the guys for an article I was doing for a writing class. It’s a heartwarming and amazing show and very real. It’s just real people helping other real people. :>


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.