No alarms and no surprises, please.

Monday, February 11, 2008

TOP 5 Reality Shows I've been forced to watch because of the WGA Strike

In the absence of my favorite shows on TV, I've been forced to pick up other forms of entertainment. I've been playing a little Battlefield 2. I've been re-watching the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl over and over. I've actually been getting to some of the organizational tasks I've been meaning to for so long. I've been shredding Guitar Hero III and blowing up zombies in Resident Evil 4 on the Wii. I've been watching Arrested Development on DVD. I've been watching my roomba torment my two dogs. In short, there's been plenty of stuff to do without Heroes, BSG, etc. while the writers fight valiantly for their just compensation. And of course, there's been the rare mid-season revelation of Terminator The Sarah Connor Chromicles (very long title, btw - hereafter known as TSCC).

Still, I've also meandered up and down the guide to watch some reality TV that I wouldn't have glanced at before now. Here are the ones I've come to enjoy.

1) MythBusters (DSC)- Most everyone has probably seen this show at least in clips. A couple of special effects guys lead a team of shop nerds into trying to recreate famous myths. I've watched it on and off since it came out. Once the WGA strike came, it got "season pass" TiVo status. So far, my favorite episode is the episode where they tried to build a rocket that might have been built at the end of the civil war. Apparently, there was a myth that a rocket was built that was fired on Washington DC from nearly 100 miles away. In the process, they almost burned down their shop but managed to build working missiles in two days. A lot of geeky fun here.

2) Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (VH1)-
I can't believe I watch this show, but I do. There's a dude from Grease and Taxi, Daniel Baldwin, Mary Carey (the porn star who ran for Gov of California), Brigitte Nielsen, Chyna from WWE and frankly, some celebrities I don't even recognize. Still, I can't stop watching it on VH1. This also made it to "season pass" status, I'm ashamed to say.

3) Scott Baio is 46 and.... (VH1)- I guess this show used to be "and... Single" and now is "and... Pregnant". This could be one of the most obviously "produced" reality shows I've ever seen, but I find Baio strangely compelling. I can't explain it. Maybe it's the fact that he hangs out with the dude who was the older brother on the "Wonder Years". Maybe it's because he admitted that real-life Chachi lost his virginity to real-life Joanie. Maybe it's because he was Bob Loblaw on Arrested Development. Dunno.

4) Flip This House - Step 1 - Buy a house. Step 2 - Fix it up. Step 3 - Sell it, hopefully at a profit. Why is this interesting? Damned if I know, but it is. I think I watched 4 of these in a row one boring sleepy Saturday afternoon. There's something pleasing about the "uh oh, this is more than I bargained for" followed by the "Yikes! I'm having problems with a contractor" before ultimately "Phew! Everything came together at the last minute! Can you believe it?"

5) Cheaters (G4TV) - This show is the ultimate guilty pleasure. Here's how it works. Person contacts cheaters because they suspect significant other of cheating. Cheaters covertly follows other and catches them on tape. Cheaters shows person the proof that the other is cheating. Cheaters coaxes person into confronting other, known to be cheating right this very minute. Confrontation happens, Jerry Springer-esque goodness ensues. Damn I love that show. I am a bad person.