The Telefile

TWoP 10: Reality Franchises That Should Be Benched

by Angel Cohn January 6, 2012 6:10 am
TWoP 10: Reality Franchises That Should Be Benched

VH1 has wisely decided to give Celebrity Rehab and Sober House an indefinite break. While the network claims that the shows could return at some point, it's about time that VH1 gave the Dr. Drew-led shows a rest. Maybe in a few years we'll be nostalgic for them (no we won't) and they can bring them back Fear Factor-style. Here are some other unscripted programs that could take a break for a season or two (or longer!) and then maybe come back when they've got something fresh to offer fans.

10. Sister Wives
When this show started, it was filled with promise, but now we're stuck with the Browns house-shopping repeatedly and constantly buying furniture. And we certainly don't ever need to see the wives work out again, or anyone else have a baby. We'd like them to take some time off before we hate them as much as the Gosselins.

9. What Not to Wear
This show is beyond stale. Hell, we could do the makeovers ourselves by now: Take someone who likes sweatpants. Fix their hair, put them in clothes that fit, toss on some high heels and pound on the pancake makeup. Voila.

8. The Biggest Loser
Much as we love to ogle Dolvett's fine physique, two seasons a year and two hours an episode has worn us down. Even watching people get tortured during Last Chance Workouts has lost its luster. And we've developed such unrealistic perspectives of weight loss from this show that if contestants don't weigh 500 pounds and lose 30 a week, we feel let down.

7. Survivor
In a cost-cutting measure, the series has been filming seasons back-to-back in the same location. But boy, is that boring for us at home. They recycle the challenges as well, which further dilutes the air of originality, plus they keep bringing back former contestants instead of seeking out some unique new individuals. They're so lazy, they don't even seem to do many reward challenges these days.

6. Top Chef
There's Masters, Desserts and Original Flavor, and given how dull this current season of Top Chef has been, something's got to give. The main series is so desperately trying to hammer home the Texas theme that the show is suffering. If we have to watch one more meat preparation challenge, we may be out. And while the online Last Chance Kitchen concept could have infused the show with a new twist, it seems like an afterthought on air.

5. Project Runway
The All Star season just started, but that's a separate series with new judges and hosts. If there's no Tim Gunn, it's not really Runway. But the original show has gotten so bloated and dull that we could do without it for a while. They need the time to seek out designers who realize the competition is about more than sewing, and who have some inspired edginess to their clothing instead of wanting to produce things we've seen a million times before.

4. The Real World
Seven strangers picked to live in a house and drink copious amounts of alcohol. They've been to every city possible, most of them twice. At this point, the show seems to just be a breeding ground for new Challenge participants, and for people who want to promote their lame pet projects in increasingly obvious ways.

3. Hell's Kitchen
This Gordon Ramsay-hosted series seems like it's always on since it alternates with Kitchen Nightmares (which could also use a time out) and MasterChef. But really, there are only so many incompetent chefs being screamed at that we need in our lives. At this point, how is Gordon going to find new ways to insult people? Will they ever properly cook Beef Wellington? Who cares?

2. Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Actually, we'd like to bench any Kardashian-related show, especially after the clearly staged-for-attention wedding. Let's give Kim and her big ass a rest, okay?

1. The Amazing Race
We love this show, but lately it's been subpar... at best. The series needs some time to recharge, find new destinations and plan stunts that are actually challenging. Remember when a woman had to shave her head or risk being eliminated? Contrast that with untying some knots, setting up beach umbrellas or, God help us, typing. Let's bring back the excitement instead of just running a pale imitation of a once-great program two seasons a year.

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