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Rake and Other Shows with Vague, Deceptive Titles

by Aly Semigran January 21, 2014 12:39 pm
Rake and Other Shows with Vague, Deceptive Titles

Despite what the title suggests, Rake the new Greg Kinnear show on Fox, is not about a rake or even a series of ill-placed rakes.. Heck, the name of Kinnear's character -- a lawyer with a bad boy attitude -- isn't even something like Rake Rexington, which is really too bad because then I'd be more inclined to watch this show. (His character's name is actually Keegan Deaneā€¦ BORING.) Instead, the title here presumably refers to the "rakehell" characterization in literature ("An immoral or dissolute person"? Check!), as well as the term "rake" in poker (you see, the guy also gambles in this show). Sorry to bum you out, leaf-raking enthusiast, it looks like you'll have to wait a little bit longer. But don't feel bad about being duped by the vague title, because over the past few years that's become something of a trend on television. We've picked a few shows (including some upcoming new ones designed to trick us) with vague, deceptive titles, what they really meant, and what we actually want them to mean.

The Glass House: Better or Worse Than Big Brother?

Can we give the judge who said that The Glass House wasn't a Big Brother rip-off a pair of glasses and force him to watch episodes of both shows? Because while there are a few noticeable differences, ABC's reality series definitely looks a lot like BB to us, right down to the terrible interior decorating. But since we're not in the legal business and have nothing to gain from that copyright infringement lawsuit (aside from maybe one less show to watch this summer), we're more interested in how the new program is better or worse than its predecessor.

The L.A. Complex: Is This the New Melrose Place?

by Angel Cohn April 25, 2012 6:13 am
The L.A. Complex: Is This the New Melrose Place?

The L.A. Complex is a Canadian export that is airing on the U.S. on The CW. It's in keeping with the network brand and an oddly suitable pairing for its increasingly ridiculous 90210 series. Particularly since this new (at least to Americans) show is essentially an alternate version of the Melrose Place update that was cancelled by The CW a couple of years ago. And while L.A. Complex isn't at all what you'd call a good show or remotely original, it's more watchable than MP 2.0, though maybe only slightly. It doesn't help that Complex starts off with the most annoying song of all time, making us feel like we're being forced to sit inside an MRI machine, though once you get past that, there's plenty of entertainingly mindless fluff to enjoy. Here's how the two series compare:

Why Dance Moms: Miami Can’t Compare to Dance Moms

I've long held the theory that reality shows cannot thrive in Miami -- look at the Real Housewives of Miami, Miami Social, 8th & Ocean (though the seasons of Top Chef and Bad Girls Club that were in South Beach were pretty awesome, though those shows travel every season and aren't dependent on the surroundings the way that the former series were, but I digress) -- so my hopes for the South Florida spin-off Lifetime's already surprisingly wonderful Pittsburgh-based Dance Moms were exceedingly low. And the show somehow still managed to disappoint me beyond that. Here's why it doesn't work:

How to Tell If You’re Watching Game of Thrones or The Killing on Sunday

Two big Season 2 premieres are scheduled for Sunday, April 1: HBO's Game of Thrones and AMC's The Killing. To make sure you're watching the correct show and not falling victim to some kind of strange TV-related April Fool's prank, we're created a helpful guide to get you on the right track with the series you're attempting to watch. FYI: Those interested in the three-house Celebrity Apprentice episode need not worry about any confusion.

Fashion Star: Project Runway Gone Very Wrong

by Rachel Stein March 14, 2012 6:00 am
Fashion Star: Project Runway Gone Very Wrong

What the hell did we just watch? After seeing the pilot episode of NBC's Fashion Star, we cannot remember what expectations we had of it, other than we thought it sounded vaguely like a Project Runway rip-off. Don't get us wrong -- it kind of is one, but we think it missed the mark so badly that we've gone beyond the wannabe zone and straight into the disaster phase. Here's why it can't possibly stack up to the O.G. of fashion shows:

Cable Showdown: Teen Mom vs. Teen Mom 2

by Rachel Stein February 28, 2012 6:00 am
Cable Showdown: Teen Mom vs. Teen Mom 2

It was initially disappointing to find out that Teen Mom 2 would take away precious screen time from our beloved Teen Mom, but as it turns out, after two solid seasons, the second installment of "Look How Depressing the Lives of the 16 & Pregnant Girls Are Now" gives Teen Mom a run for its money in several ways -- we're even slightly excited for the recently announced Teen Mom 3. If, however, you only have room for one teen baby mama drama in your life, here's how the two current series stack up:

Cable Showdown: Toddlers & Tiaras vs. Dance Moms

by Rachel Stein September 15, 2011 2:27 pm
Cable Showdown: Toddlers & Tiaras vs. Dance Moms

Say what you will about the moral aspect of parents parading their children around in intense competitions that may or may not be age-appropriate, but in terms of the entertainment factor of the TV shows that portray these cultures, it's hard to argue that they're not at least a little bit intriguing, if not shamefully enjoyable. After all, the best parts of these series come from the pointless drama and the stressed-out adults. (Though I do like the moments when the kids are genuinely happy, too. I'm not a monster!) TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras has had a strong choke-hold on the market of madness since early 2009... but after a strong premiere season of Lifetime's Dance Moms, I think it's necessary to pit these two shows against each other in a grudging, hair-pulling battle of exploitative candid reality shows, if not only to cut down your weekly intake of stage mothers next season. Just know that when I say "Winner", I mean which show I would rather watch, given the battle.

Cable Showdown: Say Yes to the Dress vs. My Fair Wedding

After covering pawn shows and fat shows, it is now time for "Cable Showdown" to tackle two of our favorite wedding shows in all of cable: TLC's Say Yes to the Dress and WEtv's My Fair Wedding with David Tutera. Both are great shows about adults believing in fairy tales, but which is the superior effort? We break down each series to its fundamentals and make our case below.

Cable Showdown: I Used to Be Fat vs. Heavy

by Mindy Monez February 8, 2011 4:44 pm
Cable Showdown: I Used to Be Fat vs. Heavy

Welcome back to "Cable Showdown," where we pit two similarly themed cable shows against each other in an epic blog post cage match to settle once and for all which show rules its niche roost. For today's match-up, in the blue corner we have MTV's show about fat teens, I Used to Be Fat! And in the red corner, we have A&E's show about fat adults, Heavy! Let's list the pros and cons of each and settle ourselves a winner, shall we?

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