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Reality TV Shows on Cable

Pimp My Ride - MTV

In this show, crappy, rusted cars are made less crappy by giving them a new paint job and sticking Xboxs and DVD players in the trunk. I don't know how a bunch of cosmetic makeovers really improve a car. Plus, no one who works in that auto ship appears to be an actual mechanic. I worry what would happen if I took my car into them. I'd mention that my transmission sometimes jams and the engine makes a weird noise that causes the inside of my car have a burning smell, and they'd be like, "Uh yeah...we don't touch the engine here, but we'll paint your car with tiger stripes and stick a disco ball where your inside lights are."

"No," I'd say, "that's ridiculous and won't do anything to actually fix up my car."

"But wait," they'll say, "we'll also hook up a Playstation 3 in your trunk."

"What? That doesn't make any sense," I will say, waving my arms high in the air in an irritated fashion. "How am I going to play a video game system that is in my trunk? Am I just supposed to pull over and play it on the side of the road? That will be unsafe and eat up my battery. Plus, all these outlandish cosmetic alterations just make my car a prime target for theft. How will I insure it? Are you guys even licensed?"

"Hey look over there."

"What is it? I'm looking, but I don't see anything. I'm going to turn my head back around in one more second."

And then they will be gone. Their auto shop will no longer be there either. It will suddenly be just a vacant lot with tumbleweeds blowing through.

Dice: Undisputed - VH1

Andrew "Dice" Clay was a comedian at some point, I think during the 1970's. He had a reality show on VH1 because VH1 will give a reality show to any minor celebrity who logs on to vh1.com and fills out a brief form. But with most celebrity reality shows on VH1, the channel at least provides some camera men. I think VH1 decided they weren't going to spend any of their own money on this show, so they forced Clay to film the show himself. Seriously, a lot of the time he's carrying a camera himself and will point it at his face, so then we get a big shot of his head, emphasizing the nostrils. If he has a mirror nearby he'll use that, but the show doesn't have the budget for many mirrors.

Dog the Bounty Hunter - A&E

I think if you are going to become a bounty hunter, it's probably a must to get a TV deal in order to supplement your income. I don't think bounty hunting really pays all that well. Judging by this show, you'll spend all day chasing after a small time offender who missed a date with their probation officer just because they decided to stay home and sleep in late. The bounties aren't even all that large. $500-1000 for one day sounds good, but then you have to split it among four other people because it takes a large crew to chase down the middle aged chain smoker who is wanted for public urination. Then there's the office expenses which include bear mace. You know how expensive bear mace can get? I don't either, but I assume it costs them a lot because they are in Hawaii. Who the hell has to deal with bears in Hawaii? They must have to ship it in from outside and that can't be cheap.

But the benefit to being Dog the Bounty Hunter is that you live in Hawaii. How hard can it be to be a bounty hunter in goddamn Hawaii? It's not like the person you are chasing has a wide area to hide in. From watching the show, it doesn't look like many of them would have the means to fly to the mainland either.

Growing Up Gotti, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Criss Angel Mindfreak - A&E

Remember when the A in A&E stood for Arts and they tried to be a classy cable channel, the kind of place you'd figure Fraiser would air in syndication? Yeah, that clearly didn't work out. They also forgot what the E stands for, too.

American Chopper - TLC

I kind of like this show. I'm not into motorcycles, I just like the fact that no one on this show seems to enjoy working there. The guys that build the motorcycles don't like it when the old guy who owns the place yells at them for not building the motorcycle fast enough. Then there's the fat guy who, as far as I can tell, doesn't have a job there other than to annoy the people who are building a fucking motorcycle entirely by hand.

Did you see the episode where Billy Joel came by and they tried to build a bike for him, but Billy Joel kept being really crazy and rejecting their ideas? I think the American Chopper people shouldn't be making a motorcycle for Billy Joel into the first place because I'm not sure that this guy should be allowed to operate motor vehicles anymore.

Mythbusters - Discovery Channel

This show I like. It is informative and has lots of explosions. I like when science decides to target dumb people like me who avoid science classes unless we were required to take one in order to graduate. The only problem with this show is that lately, all too often, the main guys, Adam and Jamie, leave all the real hard and dangerous stuff to the younger members of the team. You'd think since Jamie and Adam are older with more experience, they would be the ones best suited to handle the dangerous jobs. And they did originally, but then they hired Tory, Karia and Grant to do all of the hard stuff. So now the show consists of the three younger ones busts myths like whether wearing a suit of armor will protect you from shark attacks and whether it's possible to survive falling off a cliff in a Humvee, while Jamie and Adam busts myths involving which karma sutra positions are most effective and whether kosher pickles give you more gas than dill.

Miami Ink - TLC

This show is about a tattoo parlor, probably in Miami. Though that could just be part of their name, like how you can buy Philadelphia Cream Cheese anywhere. The problem I have with this show is that their narrator is the most redundant narrator ever, and I base this on only ever seeing one episode of the show. In it, a woman came in wanting a fairy tattoo, but the tattoo artist said he didn't like drawing fairies. So the narrator is all like, "This guy doesn't like drawing fairy tattoos." But then the tattoo artist learned that the fairy tattoo was going to represent this woman's battle with cancer...or maybe it represented buying her first house or something, I forget. The tattoo artist decided he would draw the fairy tattoo after all. So, of course the narrator then needs to tell us that the tattoo artist is coming around to drawing a fairy. Miami Ink doesn't think very much of its audience.

The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency - E!

Seventies model Janice Dickinson was unfrozen from cryogenic stasis by the E! channel to star in a reality show about her new modeling agency. Her modeling agency is based in a shopping mall. I don't know how common it is to put a business in a shopping mall that isn't a store, movie theater, nail salon, fast food place or dojo, but it's pretty clear from watching a few episodes that this Janice Dickinson doesn't know how to run a business. It's also pretty clear that she has more artificial body parts than Darth Vader.

Extreme Elimination Challenge - Spike TV

You think this show would be the best. It is from Japan, so it is going to be pretty wacky right off the bat, and I think XEC is even pretty far out by even Japanese standards. It's a game show where people in funny clothes compete in a large and insanely difficult obstacle course. Presumably, there is a prize at the end. While it looks like it would be an awesome show in its original form, Spike TV fucks it up by editing it around and replacing the Japanese dialogue with stupid sexual comments in English. Yeah, ha ha those Japanese people keep talking about penises, whatever. Those jokes never stop...not being funny. What a waste.

Fuck you, Spike TV, just show the 11 hours of Star Trek spinoffs that you clearly want us to see.

Ninja Warrior - G4

This is the show Extreme Elimination Challenge should be. They do everything right on Ninja Warrior. There are no stupid American editing, no unfunny sex jokes, just a competition that has Japanese people running through an insane obstacle course. They don't even have a safety harness. If you fall attempting the obstacle course, the only thing protecting your spine is a shallow river that looks very dirty. But if you complete the obstacle course and then a second obstacle course, you become a Ninja Warrior.

Johnny and I were in a bar a few weeks ago and Ninja Warrior was on the big flat screen TV. There was a NASCAR race on a smaller TV in the corner, but everyone was more interested in the game show. That just proves right there which is a better sport. The people who compete in Ninja Warrior also have to be in shape to compete in their sport. It seems like these obstacle course shows are a big genre, like celebrity reality shows are in the US. In Japanese bars, there are probably large crowds of people who watch Ninja Warrior every week shouting while passing around money in bets.

We wondered what being a Ninja Warrior meant. Johnny thought that you probably couldn't become a full Ninja just by winning the show because there would still be a lot more training you would have to undergo. I thought that a Ninja Warrior is to a Ninja what the National Guard is to the Army, they are kind of in the organization but they aren't full members. Johnny agreed, figuring that Japan probably needs some backup Ninjas who can clean up after national disasters.