Why is everyone so ashamed of admitting they like reality television (myself included)? Honestly, I have probably seen more episodes of America’s Next Top Model than I have of Law & Order: SVU, yet the latter is the only one showing up in my "favorite television shows" on MySpace or Facebook. (And if I can admit I’m on both of those, why is it so hard to profess my love for Rock of Love?)
The contestants of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 10 at judging
Photo credit: Eric Liebowitz/The CW
There are some really great reality shows, such as Project Runway, Work Out, the two I mentioned above, and several others. What ruins it for us all — all of us closeted reality TV fans — are the ridiculously embarrassing shows. Not the ones that are so bad they’re good (speaking of, I really can’t wait for Living Lohan on E!). You know the awful ones I’m talking about — the ones that make you embarrassed of not only reality but human interaction.
I’ve always known about them, and even suffered through an episode or two, but it’s only recently I realized how bad it has become. I realized this the week that two new shows hit my screen in previews: Farmer Wants a Wife and Groomer Has It.
The first show is about Matt, a 29-year-old farmer, and his quest for a "city woman" to join him on his farm.
The cast of Farmer Wants a Wife
Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/The CW
From the previews, it appears the city women do the dirty farm work and Matt then decides who can handle his lifestyle. According to the official site, these women (who appear to be ages 21–15) are definitely not fit for this, considering their occupations range from "Playboy cybergirl and aspiring actress" to "singer/dancer/street performer."
Left to right: Amanda, Brooke, Krista, Lisa, Christa, Kanisha
Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/The CW
Not only does this show sound painful, it sounds completely unrealistic. Yes, there is a difference between Bret Michaels seeking out a rocker chick to be his temporary backstage boo and a farmer looking for a rural wife. Farmer Wants a Wife debuts on April 30, after ANTM. Check out the preview to see if it’s bad enough to keep the CW on for an extra hour:
Meanwhile over on Animal Planet,
Groomer Has It is a reality competition for (what else?) dog groomers. As exciting as this sounds, this first week’s challenge includes identifying breeds based on touch and smell (one contestant even requested to smell the dog’s behind before answering — incorrectly.)
Groomer Has It contestant Lisa with host Jai Rodriguez
Photo credit: Stephanie Diani/Getty Images
Then their challenge was to groom a fake dog made of yarn. One poor guy made his fake dog’s leg fall off, and was sent home. Riveting, really.
Animal Planet could have come up with some better shows, like Cutest Pug Owned by an AfterEllen.com Writer, and it could be judged by, you know, my girlfriend. I would totally enter. Here are the contestants on the show groaning over their fake furry friends (which they also have to name):
These shows aren’t necessarily the worst, just the newest examples of how bad some TV has gotten. They couldn’t have made their way to our screens without the awful trailblazers leading the way, such as My Dad is Better Than Your Dad, Tommy Lee Goes to College, That’s Amore, Married by America, In Search of the Partridge Family, and Who Wants To Be a Superhero?"
There are plenty of others, and they will certainly keep coming. What will they think of next? Oh, they just announced it — Pamela Anderson is getting her own show on E. Will it be more or less of a train wreck than the Denise Richards show? Only time will tell.