Reality Roundup

Is Tori Spelling faking it? Photo credit: people.com

Is Tori Spelling faking it?
Photo credit: people.com

By Lesley Rousso

It’s been quite the busy week in the land of reality tv. But then again, when isn’t it?

First off, let me welcome Bethenny Frankel back to The Real Housewives of New York City. Opinions seem to be mixed about the Skinnygirl‘s return but I for one, am thrilled. Bethenny belongs on reality tv and always brought fun and a little drama to the scene. I can’t wait to see her interaction with the other ladies.

Speaking of The Real Housewives, Us Magazine is reporting that this will be the “most intense” season of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills yet. According to Kyle Richards and Yolanda Foster, it’s a complicated season that features newbies Lisa Rinna and Eileen Davidson. On a side note, how ironic is it that two soap opera stars are joining a soap opera? Anyway, the ladies dish that there is all sorts of drama to go around in the fifth season, including many disagreements and some new friendships. Additionally, several outlets including Radar Online are reporting that Lisa Rinna’s husband Harry Hamlin refuses to appear on the show. His agents allegedly told him it may be bad for his acting career if he participates. Sources say it’s quickly becoming a storyline as one cast member relentlessly questions Lisa about Harry’s absence. We shall see. Season five of my favorite housewives franchise premieres soon on Bravo TV.

True Tori premiered this week and as expected it was another crying and whining fest. I cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone would do a reality show of this sort. Well obviously for the money but it seems like blood money to me. While I do think Dean McDermott is definitely a cheater, I did a little investigating the other night and I cannot find a photo of this woman he cheated with anywhere. Is it fake? The world may never know. Tori Spelling meanwhile who’s in the hospital with respiratory issues, yet again tweeted out a cryptic message the other day, claiming she now knows there’s one person who will never be there for her. Is it Dean? Is it Mama Candy? Again, the world may never know, and probably doesn’t care anyway!

Hasta la vista Honey Boo Boo. TLC has cancelled this ridiculous show after four seasons. Why you ask? Well, Mama June is currently dating a convicted child molester who People magazine reveals is an old boyfriend. Mark McDaniel served ten years in a Georgia prison for aggravated child molestation. Get this, Anna Cardwell, June’s 20-year-old daughter, was the eight year old victim of McDaniel. Anna is reportedly beyond hurt by her mothers actions and says their relationship may be over. Honestly, why these people were ever on tv is a mystery to me. I found this show only mildly entertaining and I’ll watch pretty much anything. Watching those fools and their disgusting behavior does not, a tv show make. Na Na Na Na Na Na Na, hey hey hey, goooooodbye.
Tonight on Bravo, Real Housewives of New Jersey secrets revealed part one airs at 8 EST. Why not the reunion? That’s annoying. It’s followed by a couple of episodes of Manzo’d With Children and Watch What Happens Live with Dina Manzo and Mark Consuelos at 11:30.
Watch this space for my latest reality adventure as I meet up with Andy Cohen yet again at his next book signing in November.  Stay tuned…

The Real Spinoffs of Atlanta

Kandi Burruss (Source: BravoTV.com)

The Real Housewives of Atlanta is turning out spinoffs faster than Kenya Moore can twirl.  The newest RHOA to debut a show is Kandi Buruss. Already a few weeks into the season, The Kandi Factory is like  American Idol on speed; at least the one episode I saw was. Airing at 10pm EST on Sundays, I’m usually trying to fall asleep when it’s on, but I found myself awake last week and got sucked into watching the entire hour. The episode I watched featured an overly emotional gay rapper and a shy almost albino blonde Marilyn Manson wanna  be who calls himself Sweet Tooth. Essentially The Kandi Factory is Extreme Makeover “Rock Star Edition.” Buruss takes these seemingly clueless (and talentless) hopefuls and tries to mold them into performing artists by writing them each a song and coaching them in vocalization and movement to prepare them for a live performance. Post-performance Kandi and her team choose one winner who gets a video and a single that can be purchased on Bravo TV’s website.  Though I do like Kandi and find that her easygoing, nurturing persona shine in the role of music mentor, the songs she wrote on this particular episode didn’t impress me. Sweet Tooth, who dreams of being a goth god, had a song that sounded more cheesy 80’s hair band than goth. Perhaps goth isn’t Kandi’s specialty. As a former goth kid, and forever fan, I certainly could suggest some music she should check out, but the song presented actually reminded me of a bad, very bad, song I wrote when I was in fifth grade. The upside is The Kandi Factory held my interest,  after all it is a makeover show, and we always, no matter how painful it is to watch, want to see how a good makeover turns out.

Kim and Kroy are excited to see the progress being made on their new dream home. (Source: BravoTV.com)

Former Buruss BFF, Kim Zolciak, is back with Don’t Be Tardy. Now in its second season, we are following then Zolciak-Biermann clan as they build a new home and juggle two little boys under the age of two. Zolciak and her brood are as entertaining as always. Anchored by her practical husband Atlanta Falcons Defensive End Kroy Biermann and her stylist Shun Melson, Kim manages to just be shy of forever going off the deep end. As wacky as some of her ideas are, like recreating her wedding for her first anniversary, there always seems to be someone there to rope her in or at least roll their eyes. Don’t Be Tardy  is the type of show I look forward to every week, yet don’t want to tell anyone about it. In one scene Kim takes her daughters to what appears to be a Whole Foods only to have them balk at what isnt processed crap in cardboard boxes. The whole conversation was reminiscent of TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, yet I feel less guilty watching because the Zolciaks are like Honey Boo Boo’s wealthy cousins. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season which will see the return of June Boo Boo, er I mean Jen, Zolciak’s best friend.

The Atlanta Housewives will continue to saturate the Bravo landscape when both Phaedra Parks and Nene Leakes join the spinoff club. I’ll be sure to park my donkey booty somewhere cozy to check those out for you when the time comes.

TLC

Robyn's Raggedy Ann obsession is one of the more normal on My Strange Obsession.Photo cred: TLC.com

Robyn’s Raggedy Ann obsession is one of the more normal on My Strange Obsession.
Photo cred: TLC.com

By Lesley Rousso

TLC, it stands for The Learning Channel.  I have been watching it since it’s been a channel.  Remember the good old days of A Wedding Story and A Baby Story?  It really did have a learning aspect to it.  For instance, I learned that I would definitely be having an epidural and whatever other drugs they were pedaling when giving birth.  There were shows like Trauma: Life in the ER, Medical Detectives and Trading Spaces. Yes, it is important to learn how to decorate!  We most certainly watched for the reality factor, it was pretty new back then, but we also watched because it was quality programming.

TLC‘s current lineup is a tad different.  The mornings are still filled with baby shows, but now there’s Baby’s First Day, which chronicles, baby’s first day, Im guessing.  Okay, that’s not so bad right?  Wrong!  It’s usually followed by I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant.  Really?  You really didn’t know?  The enormous bulge in your stomach and the absence of your period weren’t a clue?  Seriously though, I think it is insane that there are enough of these “I didn’t know” people to make an entire series out of this affliction!

The evening line up is true you just have to stare, train wreck television.  For example, My Strange Addiction.  I’m almost speechless here but there’s just way too much to say.  In the episodes I watched (for research purposes only) one guy was in love, romantically, with balloons.  Another one considered inflatable pool toys his family members, going as far as calling Lila the inflatable dragon his “wife”.  On a different episode a woman ate several sticks of deodarant a day.

I’m not bothering with Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, it’s been beaten to death.  I did, however, give Gypsy Sisters a try.  For the love of god ,who are these people and where did they come from?  Mellie, the youngest of the sisters, is about 23 and spontaneously throws up more than my daughter did when she was a baby and had reflux.  I’m not kidding, it’s just out of nowhere.  She’s also a cursing, drinking, now pregnant & separated (about two days after the wedding) stripper.  Okay so that’s as far as I could get with that one.  I’m sure one day I’ll tune in again, that’s if I’m super bored and Bravo isn’t airing anything good.

I am not a fan of the Duggars and their 500 kids and still counting, I just don’t get it!

Admittedly though, I am a pretty big TLC watcher.  I try however, to stick to the “normal shows”. I love Four Weddings.  It’s a competiton show where four brides attend and score each other’s weddings for a chance at winning a honeymoon.  Many are filmed right here in Miami.  Of course I watch both versions of Say Yes to the Dress.  It’s refreshing to know that people are just as psychotic & controlling in Atlanta as they are in New York.  And who doesn’t love Randy Fenoli and Monte Durham?  

At least on Saturdays TLC airs reruns of Dateline NBC and 48 Hours Mystery.  I just love true crime stories.  The most important lessons learned by watching these shows is that (newsflash) no one ever gets away with it, and it was most certainly always the spouse.

Anyway, as far as what TLC stands for, yeah not so much these days, educationally at least. True Life Crazy may be a better bet, because at the end of the day what I’ve learned from watching The Learning Channel is that some people are certifiable and eating pounds of Secret can really f you up.