Entertainment

Reality TV: The Top Five Shows Of Summer 2014

It is so hard to find good reality television these days, which is why I am here to point a little light towards the cream of the crop. I know it seems too late for summer reviews, but I had to wait until the ‘Big Brother’ finale on September 24, before I could even think about having this published. I am sure a lot of people feel the same way about these great reality shows!

America’s Got Talent, Season 9 (NBC)

There was nothing new this season. The same premise, the same good entertainment. The only thing that was new to me was that the judges surprised some of their favorite acts by telling them in person (and live on-air via Howard’s radio program) that they had automatically made it through to the live shows – Nice touch. Matt Franco was the winner, which was alright with me. I am not sure if he was the most talented act of the season; he wasn’t as bad as Landau Eugene (season 6), but nowhere near as great as Terry Fator (season 2). I am pleased as usual, and am looking forward to season 10.

Big Brother, Season 16 (CBS)

In the biggest non-surprise of the summer, Derek was named the winner. It was such a forgone conclusion that I wrote this three weeks before the finale aired (complete truth). I already said that last season (15) was one of the worst ever, so I can’t use that again. At least this year’s house wasn’t replete with racist and insensitive jerks. All I will say, is that it was certainly a boring season that was devoid of true drama.

The house was run by a group of guys that made a pact early on, and stuck with it (to the detriment of all but one) until the bitter end. For the first time ever, I didn’t have one houseguest that I was rooting for. Under pressure, I would have to say that I loved Donny, but I didn’t develop an affinity for him like I had in the past for Dani Donato, Mike Boogy, Dr. Will, or Frank Eudy (Psycho Sid’s son). I would like to see them bring back some past houseguests just to have some people in the house who would be willing to compete.

Hard Knocks, Season 8 (HBO)

The ‘Hard Knocks’ cameras followed the Atlanta Falcons this year, in what I believe to be the most unexciting season in this series history. None of the controversy surrounding the National Football League seemed to reach this team. The biggest reason I wanted to watch, is because one of my all-time favorite players, Devin Hester, joined the team this year (he was rarely featured). Still… watching guys work hard just for the chance to make the team never gets old to me. I have a sneaky feeling that no matter what team they feature, I will watch. Not only will I watch – It won’t be on the DVR longer than 4 hours. I love this show.

Last Comic Standing, Season 8 (NBC)

I have been watching the winner, Rod Man for a long time, and am ecstatic that he won. I will admit that Lachlan Patterson had the best set in the finale, but for the duration of the season, Rod Man was paramount. Second runner up was Joe Machi, in my opinion. I was shocked to see him booted off by the judges in the penultimate episode of the season. My favorite episode was “Challenge 4 – Roast” with the great Jeff Ross coaching the contestants on the art of roasting. The contestants roasted the great Gilbert Godfrey, and it was fantastic. I loved all three judges, and was happy to see Roseann Barr and Keenan Ivory Wayans on television this summer. This was a great reboot season of a very entertaining competition.

Married At First Sight, Season 1 (FYI)

This was my favorite reality show of the summer. For those that don’t know, this was a show about six people who got legally married the moment they first met. Sounds like a crazy idea, which is what peaked my curiosity in the first place. Here’s my abbreviated breakdown of all three couples:

Courtney and Jason: Nothing to report with this couple. They hit it off from the start and seemed to be the most compatible from beginning to end. I would be willing to bet that they are married for a very long time, if not for the rest of their lives. It is too bad that Jason lost his mother at a time he found the love of his life.

Jaime and Doug: Gosh, I was disheartened to learn (in the reunion show) that Jaime had been a part of two separate seasons of ‘The Bachelor’. What? I thought she was so “guarded?” From the beginning, Jaime wasn’t attracted to Doug, and I’m not sure if she ever gave this relationship a true chance. Doug swore on his mother’s life that he didn’t smoke… what is that? Anyway, I am glad that Jaime came to her senses and decided to stay married to Doug, beyond the show. Doug seems like a good guy overall, and they are perfect for each other.

Monet and Vaughn: What a train wreck! They never even lived together, like we were led to believe. I felt that Vaughn got a really bad wrap. Twitter killed this man each week, but I think he was edited in a way that maximized viewers for the up-and-coming FYI Network. In the reunion show, America got to see a different side of Monet… a side that made half of the Twitterverse change their minds about the situation. We were led to believe that Vaughn was just a bad guy who had “women issues,” but we found out that Monet had multiple agendas: 1. She wanted to show black women in a different light on reality television (goal accomplished). 2. She wanted to marry a man of significant financial/career stature. I do not want to take sides (especially considering the ridiculously scrumptious dress Monet wore at the reunion special, makes it hard for me to think straight) because there is enough to spread around on both sides.

I think this was a fun reality show overall and I am looking forward to seeing the types of couples they pair together in season two.

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Jack Gotta

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