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What’s it like to be a contestant on The Biggest Loser?

The AV Club interviews Nicole Michalik about her experience as a fourth season contestant on NBC's weight-loss reality show The Biggest Loser [more inside]
posted by figurant on Dec 2, 2013 - 30 comments

Big Bad Bag Boys

Last month, New York PBS affiliate WNET launched a subway ad campaign that promoted several fake but totally plausible reality shows, to poke fun at the state of Cable TV. To follow up on the successful campaign, yesterday, the network released 3 TV spots with a similar theme. (Kinda previously...)
posted by schmod on Jul 16, 2013 - 57 comments

Commentary and thoughts on Honey Boo Boo

Don't judge Honey Boo Boo, because the tv show doesn't care what it's saying about American culture.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 31, 2012 - 156 comments

The Tribe Has Spoken: Survivor is Reality TV's Finest Achievement

Is Survivor the only great reality TV show? The AV Club argues yes.
posted by The Gooch on Jul 2, 2012 - 127 comments

A bunch of guys standing around trying to sound like a Kevin Smith movie but failing because they're not as clever

Last Sunday, Comic Book Men premiered on AMC, sliding right into the time slot right after the comic book-based Walking Dead series. It's a reality show masterminded by filmmaker and occasional comic book writer Kevin Smith that follows four employees at his New Jersey comic book shop, the Secret Stash, as they deal with the world of comics retail. If the intent is to show comic shop employees as anything other than obnoxious walking sterotypes, it's a complete failure. If, however, it's meant to be the most compelling argument I've ever seen for never setting foot in a comic book store, I have to admit that it's a smashing success. - Chris Sims reviews Comic Book Men. Remember, no chicks allowed.
posted by Artw on Feb 16, 2012 - 112 comments

Unintentional or Hyper-Aware Marketing?

Why The Hills’ [new] Opening Credits Are Both Creepy and Cruel
For more can-this-really-be-an-accident marketing: This promo for the final season as compared to this earlier use of the same song.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew on May 21, 2010 - 70 comments

if you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere

Is ‘If I Can Dream’ the Start of a Web Reality Rush? [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Mar 8, 2010 - 12 comments

15 Minutes of Infamy

After appearing last month on the ABC reality television show 'Wife Swap,' "San Francisco resident Stephen Fowler was forced to resign from the boards of two nonprofits, allegedly received e-mailed death threats and stood on the sidelines as his wife, Renee Stephens, issued a public statement condemning his behavior and asking him to get 'professional help.'...Thanks to online TV and easy access to private information, Fowler's 15 minutes of fame have snowballed beyond his control." "What has generated such wrath is Fowler's condescending treatment of Gayla Long, a mother of four from rural Missouri....In wince-producing remarks, Fowler, who is British, wrote off middle America with such pronouncements as 'Your two languages seem to be bad English and redneck.'" Video highlights - 1, 2. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Feb 21, 2009 - 168 comments

I don't care if you cry and cut, but you better cry and cut.

The Near-Fame Experience: A fascinating interview with former contestants of Bravo reality television shows Project Runway and Top Chef, presenting the fickle nature of fame and how it can come at significant professional and personal cost, if at all.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 24, 2007 - 26 comments

Win In China!

Win in China! A "reality" TV show in China where young would be entrepreneurs compete for a large pile of startup cash to actualize their business ideas. Not everyone is happy about the glorification of capitalism, of course, and one losing contestant may have committed suicide, but overall reaction in China to the show seems positive. Video clips here (also a full length article by the Atlantic if you have a paid subscription).
posted by Burhanistan on Mar 9, 2007 - 5 comments

War on Everything

The Chasers reveal the irrelevant of many surveillance cameras and the ignorance of many Americans by declaring War on Everything.
posted by augustweed on Jan 19, 2007 - 33 comments

Sex, check. Drugs, check. What, no rock & roll?

Today in the Netherlands, public broadcaster BNN aired the first episode of sex- and drug-themed television show "Spuiten en Slikken"; the punning title translates to either "Shoot Up & Pop (Pills)" or "Squirt & Swallow". [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Oct 10, 2005 - 21 comments

Amelie Nothomb's "Sulphuric Acid"

Novelist posits Shoah as reality TV show. In her new book titled ’Sulphuric Acid’ published in France, the successful Belgian author Amelie Nothomb describes a “concentration camp reality show”. It's the story of a reality show called “Concentration”. There are ’candidates’ which are arrested in roundups, tattooed and guarded before they are executed one by one following a vote by the spectators.
posted by matteo on Sep 14, 2005 - 19 comments

A DESCRIPTION FROM THE LIVE PORTION OF THE SHOW

And the apprentice is: Kwame Jackson! Trump fired Bill for how he ran a tournament at Trump National Golf Club and hired Kwame for the way he put together a Jessica Simpson concert at the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. USA Today makes an ooopsie.
posted by riffola on Apr 16, 2004 - 38 comments

World Idol

Kurt Nilsen wins World Idol. Gap-toothed and described by judges as "with the looks of a hobbit," the Norwegian plumber with the voice of an angel proves that there's hope for all of us to become popstars. True talent triumphs!
posted by dagny on Jan 1, 2004 - 20 comments

Season One DVD to be most popular ever

From the "Bound to Happen Sooner or Later" department: Mary Carey to host reality TV show in which 28 women will complete for the grand prize of a one-year contract in adult video.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Nov 5, 2003 - 31 comments

10 contestants, 40 lapdancers, 1 winner....

3. The girls are always there: you make breakfast - lapdancers. You brush your teeth - lapdancers. You try and sleep - lapdancers. Can you handle that?
The Lapdance Island contestant application. Can you handle that?
posted by davehat on Aug 18, 2003 - 36 comments

Survivor Sucks

Survivor Sucks A nice little site which rips every reality show apart quite nicely, but my favorite is the "Off Topic" section where threads on any subject offer up some of the best trolling/flamebait and some very funny comments. More inside...
posted by Mack Twain on Apr 15, 2003 - 9 comments

Fame Academy comes to an end.

David wins Fame Academy! Mix Big Brother with Pop/American Idol and you get the Fame Academy, where 12 gorgeous under-30s are thrown into a glorified stage school for a few months, and only one emerges an idol. The prize? Supposedly the 'biggest TV prize ever.' A £1 million recording contract, a fancy apartment in London, a personal shopper, chauffeur, and more. All is not lost for the 'losers' though, as they've all gained professional management and Mercury Records is considering them all for solo careers. In contrast to the 'Idol' shows, being couped up for weeks on end has caused even the wackiest contestants to grow in their singing and songwriting abilities. So will this show reach the US? Probably, given these other crossover shows.
posted by wackybrit on Dec 13, 2002 - 8 comments

Beverly Hillbillies, Redux!

Beverly Hillbillies, Redux! No... not a new movie, but a reality series under development by the shiny and shimmering Tiffany Network. CBS scouts are scouring for a "rural, rustically telegenic" family to be whisked to a brand new home in Beverly Hills, and have a life of luxury bestowed upon them for a period of a year... cameras following them all the way. Crass exploitation of the poor when the gap between rich and poor gets larger and larger? Fun idea to see what happens when someone's dreams come true? Somewhere in the middle? What do people think?
posted by tittergrrl on Aug 28, 2002 - 33 comments

Survive This!

Survive This! Last week the Los Angeles New Times reported that NBC had signed teenage kidnap/rape victims Tamara Brooks and Jackie Marris to star in a midseason replacement "reality show", to be entitled "Survive This!"

After the initial jaw-drops of this revelation and alleged quotes from therapists and sex crime experts that "NBC may actually be doing the teens a service by exposing them to worldwide publicity", further along in the article we get this description of what the show will entail:

'Survive This!' contestants will be briefed by the girls before they are helicoptered to a remote, secret location. If things go according to plan, NBC will have placed several paroled repeat sex offenders in various locations miles from the drop zone. The contestants will have 48 hours to find safety at a remote building made to resemble a rural sheriff's station.

People were outraged. Protests were planned. There was just one catch. The author of the article made up the whole thing.

One wonders how this ever got past the editors.
posted by chuq on Aug 22, 2002 - 26 comments

Will wins Pop Idol

Will wins Pop Idol - the contest to win a recording contract finally comes to a conclusion. To me, this programme just about showed how easy it is for anyone to end up in the charts. Now it's time for them to find out what the music industry is really like...
posted by robzster1977 on Feb 10, 2002 - 7 comments

Are you 25-29? Like to travel? Wish you could influence global politics? Look good in front of the camera? Maybe you should be President.
posted by sandor on Jan 31, 2002 - 8 comments

Season 11 of the Real World

Season 11 of the Real World started tonight! Among guitly pleasures, this one's gonna be good: 2 person showers! lifeguarding! conflicting interests! I'm hooked.
posted by adrober on Jan 15, 2002 - 38 comments

The East Coast knows...

The East Coast knows... Survivor Africa is over. You may not have noticed it ever starting... But Kim, Lex, Ethan, or Tom won. I'll let someone else spoil the surprise for those West Coast viewers.
posted by jacobw on Jan 10, 2002 - 11 comments

CBS Plans Military Reality Show

CBS Plans Military Reality Show Feel the need for speed? Can you be a wingman? Is this what Karl Rove was talking about?
posted by BarneyFifesBullet on Dec 11, 2001 - 4 comments

It was bound to happen.

It was bound to happen. "The NBC TV network is looking to revive the old fantasy TV series FANTASY ISLAND -- as a reality series."
posted by donkeyschlong on Oct 30, 2001 - 11 comments

CBS posts 'Survivor: Africa' cast profiles

CBS posts 'Survivor: Africa' cast profiles If reality TV is even marginally relevant to anyone anymore, the bios of the latest Survivor contestants have been posted. My questions are: 1. are these people representative of the American population at large? Almost all of the women list In Style magazine as their favorite and one picks "shopping and ads" as her favorite section of the newspaper... and 2. will more or less people be watching Survivor post-WTC tragedy?
posted by popvulture on Sep 25, 2001 - 26 comments

Who wants to be a Princess?

Who wants to be a Princess? Remember "Who wants to marry a Multimillionaire?" Remember how it turned into a big scandal? Remember how Fox promised they wouldn't do it again? Well, they're doing it again this coming Monday.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Sep 22, 2001 - 36 comments

"He doesn't say please, he doesn't say thank you."

"He doesn't say please, he doesn't say thank you." Yeah, it's Survivor, British-style. A natural leader with survival experience emerges, gets his tribe organised, and is promptly voted out in the quietest of revolutions. My American girlfriend, who'd watched Colby marshal his people through the Outback season, is visibly gobsmacked. ("I really couldn't do psychology in this country.") Different levels of power distance at work?
posted by holgate on May 22, 2001 - 12 comments

Somehow We Survived Survivor 2

Somehow We Survived Survivor 2 "Sunshine" Tina wins, for those who care and for those who don't. Poor Bryant Gumbel... I can't believe he got conned into hosting last night's "special." And we'll never understand why Colby didn't pick Keith to go up against in the final vote, which would've all but guaranteed his own win of the $1 million grand prize. And now, back to your regularly scheduled summer reruns...
posted by yarf on May 4, 2001 - 30 comments

Survivor is filled with crap for sale

Survivor is filled with crap for sale - so why can't I find that groovy Panama hat Colby wears for sale, anywhere?
posted by subpixel on Apr 29, 2001 - 3 comments

Reality tv

Reality tv with a neato science lesson curve. Plus the mom claims to be "one of the ugleist women in Britain."
posted by thc on Oct 14, 2000 - 2 comments

{{{Spoiler Alert}}}

{{{Spoiler Alert}}} The exercise in broadcast shame has crowned an evil queen.
posted by Awol on Aug 23, 2000 - 6 comments

"And you're little dog, too!"

"And you're little dog, too!" (via Taken Outtacontext in an unrelated post). Finally someone puts this whole Survivor nonsense into terms I can understand. The PC-types are going to be all over Stuever on this one, but damn it's funny!
posted by m.polo on Aug 23, 2000 - 4 comments

Big Brother

Big Brother may be even more Orwellian than I thought. It may not be so much about constant surveillance, as about manipulating public perception of events.
posted by harmful on Aug 22, 2000 - 9 comments

So farewell then, Nasty Nick! Or was he a stoolie all along?
posted by Mocata on Aug 18, 2000 - 8 comments

Last One Standing.

Last One Standing. Now this is reality tv. Just came on at 8PST on USA. About 10 people have to keep a hand on a car in order to win it. After 3 days awake, they started losing their wits and begin to imagine that they're being plotted against. What Big Brother should have been.
posted by owillis on Aug 13, 2000 - 11 comments

RealityRun

RealityRun is apparently real; 'Roger', the world's first 'Reality Runner', starts evading the masses on the 14th of this month. He has a 10K USD bounty on his head.
posted by dplanet on Aug 11, 2000 - 12 comments

Take one reality based TV show, add one 'angry black man', and stir.

Take one reality based TV show, add one 'angry black man', and stir. Are reality based TV shows like "Survivor", "Big Brother" and "insert-the-name-of-any-Bunim-Murray-production-here" guilty of resorting to stereotypes when casting African American males? One critic seems to think so.
posted by likorish on Aug 2, 2000 - 6 comments

"When Plastic Surgeons Attack"?

"When Plastic Surgeons Attack"? It's good to know Fox is going about pandering to the worst instincts of American television viewers *responsibly*. I feel better, don't you?
posted by Sapphireblue on Jul 21, 2000 - 13 comments

to follow up the scandal of who wants to marry a millionaire, might fox give us who wants to marry a staggering genius featuring 50 young, college-educated women vying for the affections of sympathetic literary star Dave Eggers?
posted by palegirl on Feb 24, 2000 - 2 comments

More bad news about Fox's multimillionaire.

More bad news about Fox's multimillionaire. Now the smoking gun says he was abusive to a past fiancee. i'm willing to bet someone in the research department is sweating today.
posted by sugarfish on Feb 21, 2000 - 3 comments

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