Wasted Summer: How NOT to Spend Your Precious Viewing Time
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Wasted Summer: How NOT to Spend Your Precious Viewing Time

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September 8, 2010, 6:58 pm
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The Spin Crowd

Kim Kardashian executive produces and makes an appearance on this latest E! reality trash-fest which follows the staff of Command PR as they set up a new office in Los Angeles. Nothing exciting or memorable here. Although the series does raise a couple of questions, like why company president, Jonathan Cheban and vice president, Simon Huck, live together when they both should be making more than enough money to have separate quarters. Another phony-baloney slight of hand that can only be attributed to the constant 'need for drama' on these types of shows. Other than the occasional jolt of a celebrity cameo (Kelly Rowland, Mario Lopez, Kelly Osbourne, among others), there's no one in the cast that's endearing or interesting enough to keep me watching. Everyone's too busy waiting for a pause in the mindless banter to give a quotable insult to a colleague. I like playing the dozens like everybody else, but who in their right mind would do it at work? PASS!

 

Bachelor Pad

The producers of 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette' cheapen the price of love to the tune of $250,000. Not a bad price, you might be thinking, but remember that the two shows in 15+ combined seasons has produced only two marriages. Previous participants of the aforementioned shows return to the house for a chance at cash and 'love'. The series is an amalgamation of Survivor and Big Brother.  Each week there's a challenge for a rose. The winner gets immunity and one step closer to the cash prize. He or she also gets to handpick three people from the house for a date and give one of them an immunity rose . For some of the contestants, this is clearly all about the dough (a few are on the show and in a relationship), so I find it deceitful for the producers to pretend that they have any interest in sowing seeds of romance when in reality they just hope that someone loses their inhibitions (frequently) while the cameras are rolling (ratings!).In an interesting twist, the men vote off one women and the women vote off one of the guys which will likely encourage a lot of romantic shenanigans in an effort to stay in the house. And if that's not enough to pepper the pot, the cast stays in one room! Nothing says lovin' like shacking up in room with bunk beds. I've only watched one installment of the show and have no plans to waste any more brain space. I'm not comfortable with love (or the promise of love) being used for manipulative means. And can someone please explain to me why in the eight years that 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette' have been on, there's been not one bachelor or bachelorette of color?

 

The Monique Show

Don't get me wrong; I love Mo'Nique. She is an unlikely star who has risen from stand up comedian to TV star to movie star to Academy Award winning performer. Few people can claim a similarly impressive resume. That being said, Mo'Nique's many charms do not make for a good late night host. She doesn't open with monologue like most of her competition. Instead, she interacts with her audience and sidekick, Rodney Perry. In the show I watched, they invited two studio audience members to battle in a dance contest. Mo'Nique implied that the move was unscripted, but nothing about it felt fresh or off the cuff. Her delivery feels more like a sermon on Sunday morning, just around the time when the pastor is winding things up and getting louder as he make his final points. Except Monique doesn't get louder, she is loud. Every comment is punctuated with an exclamation point. Her questions don't flow; they seem to be fed to her from the show runners and when she compliments her guests, you'd think she was meeting the Queen Mother or Nelson Mandela. Her praise is often too big for the person, not undeserved, mind you, just overdone. Mo'Nique is one of those rare performers of color who have the potential to explode in the mainstream; just because her show is on BET doesn't mean she can't have non-black guests. A woman who has such great vision for herself shouldn't be so limited when it comes to who she talks with on her show. Perhaps instead of hug at the end, she should give herself a swift kick.

 

The Real Housewives of DC

Considering that I picked the NJ sister show as one of my favs for summer viewing, I thought I would be willing to give this latest entry a chance…not so much. They advertise the show as an inside look at DC's mover and shakers, but it really is more of a glimpse at some of DC's upper and upper middle classes. Nice to see though that most of the women are married, making them actual 'wives,' though housework is hardly on the agenda. The forced interaction is palpable. These women don't know (or necessarily like) each other. If the cameras aren't there, neither is the relationship. And I hate to be judgmental, but why glorify the behavior of a notorious party crasher like Michaele Salahi by giving her a prime slot on this show?

Author: Keisha Allisse
Keisha is a freelance writer currently living in New York City. She formerly worked in the nonprofit sector for a walking/biking advocacy group and then later for a small theater company. She worked in the finance department of a NYC-midtown based theater organization before leaving to pursue writing full-time.
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