Reality Check #1

Reality Check is a weekly column featuring the musings of multiple writers on various reality TV shows. Are you hopelessly addicted to a reality show? We invite you to contribute your thoughts! Reality Check runs every Friday on

Big Brother


by Kyle Trembley

The 15th (!) season of U.S. Big Brother premiered this week. Based on the first episode, let’s rank the contestants on the Tolerability Scale, ranging from “Could Conceivably Have a Beer With” to “Possibly the Antichrist”.

16. Howard. Youth counselor, all-around good guy. He brought his Bible to the house, for goodness sakes! I can only hope the awful people surrounding him don’t corrupt him.
15. Candice. Delivered the only intentionally funny moment of the premiere when she unveiled her devastating Ginamarie impression.
14. Aaryn. Made an honest-to-goodness effort to win the first challenge, expressed doubt about sleeping in the guys’ room on the first night of the show. In the world of Big Brother, that practically makes her Mother Theresa.
13. Amanda. Has yet to do anything whatsoever, meaning this point of the scale represents “neutral”. Note: 3 houseguests rate better than “neutral”, 12 are worse.
12. Judd. Dumb as a stump and knows it. Yet to follow through on his promise to “start schemes.”
11. Helen. It’s a little disconcerting that someone who is seemingly this smart and successful is so obsessed with Big Brother, right?
10. McCrae. He’s clearly been designated as the guy that fans should root for, which makes me not like him. Also, I don’t trust anyone who’s this excited about being a pizza delivery boy.
9. Kaitlin. Claimed she was “too nice”, then quickly noted that she’s going to “use that to her advantage” to backstab people. So, not actually too nice, right?
8. Nick. Has already assumed the role as mouthpiece of the show, recapping everything that happens right after it happens, to make sure the audience didn’t miss it. Needs to dial his enthusiasm down a few notches.
7. Spencer. Country bumpkin railroad conductor who went out of his way at every possible opportunity to assure the audience that he is, in fact, an awful person who will backstab everyone.
6. Elissa. She REALLY wants you to know she’s the sister of a former winner, but doesn’t want anyone else in the house to know! Also, a yoga instructor.
5. Andy. Can you sit a few rounds out, Andy? I got my fill of you within the first 20 minutes of the premiere, thanks.
4. Jeremy. Set race relations with the Cherokee people back 100 years within the first hour of the season. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how he had only been on a boat twice before purchasing the boat he now lives on.
3. David. Surfer bro. Catastrophically stupid. I hate David.
2. Jessie. Boldly called herself the “prettiest girl in the house” despite that statement being objectively false. Attempted to organize alliance based on “athletic vibe.”
1. Ginamarie. Pushy personality. Nails on a chalkboard voice. Works on the beauty pageant circuit. A mortal lock to have a sex tape at some point in the next 5 years. Fan and frequent user of the fist pump. Already hated by most everyone in the house. Completely intolerable from start to finish. Will definitely have a terrible reality show on BRAVO before all is said and done.

The Bachelorette


by David Warren

Alright! This weeks’ Bachelorette! It was a triple dose of drama:

– We got to watch Michael confront Ben in awkward fashion right in front of Desiree. This was awesome. I think Ben was right, he was just focusing (too much) on Des, but he also clearly lacks some social skills when it comes to hangin’ out with the gents. Ben should probably be back with his son, anyway.

– The remaining boys are trying to tell Lady D about James’ ‘alleged’ ulterior motives to become famous and be the next bachelor. More crying to come next week I’m sure. I hate to see true sadness from anyone, but do kind of dig it when a guy is revealing something to Des and they are both crying. I want to see Chris Harrison come out during those moments and outcry the other two, ending in an uncomfortable tri-hug. (or try-cry-hug?)

– Bryden’s bailout. Wow, he was able to track down D & Chris in a city full of 1.3 million people. Great job! Then he had to reverse-rose Desiree: It was either too much pressure or, as he claimed, they just lost the connection they had. Why not stay and hang out, though? Munich looks so fun. No one has to cope with that strange hybrid name BRY-DEN anymore.

What else? The yodeling at the top of the highest peak in Germany, ironically, I suppose, was a low point. But every episode needs its silly moments, I guess. Sledding was total chaos. Desiree apparently has her own Fortress of Solitude located in the heart of Bavaria. Some men have taken to wearing strange circular scarves around their neck.

So what do we (she) have left? Brooks, Chris, Drew, James, the awesome and slightly mysterious Juan Pablo, Kasey and Michael G. I think Chris is the best match right now. But who knows!

The Real Housewives of New Jersey


by Cait Malone

This week on ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’, surprise surprise, Teresa Giudice argued with her family. She and her brother, Joe Gorga, went head to head when they bumped into each other at the gym, because between last week and this week it is apparent that there is only one gym in New Jersey. As someone who is the farthest thing from a fan of Teresa’s I’m glad her brother really called her and her husband out, after all we are four episodes into the season and there has yet to be a good fight. Teresa says that everyone already knows that Melissa, Joe’s wife, lip syncs so therefore it’s no big deal that she called her out on it. Joe’s response was that everyone knows that Teresa, who has released two Italian cookbooks, doesn’t cook. But when Joe says that Teresa’s husband treats her and her four kids poorly she throws her water bottle at her brother and knocks a garbage can over, but I’m sure if there was a table to flip she would have done it.

Other highlights of the episode were the Manzo boys preparing food for their new restaurant and their father suggesting they serve grilled cheese rounds. Ah yes, grilled cheese, the height of culinary excellence. The restaurant does plan on serving authentic New Jersey food and I am afraid to find out what that even is, although it must be a step up from their black water endeavor. Also, at the Wakile father-daughter birthday party, everyone talks about Teresa more because, even though I dislike her, there wouldn’t be a show without her. Even when she isn’t present she is the center of attention.



by Blaire Knight-Graves

Ew. Ew ew ew ew ew ew. Ew. Why did I put myself through the misery that was “Cold Feet”, and why did I try and watch it while I was eating my dinner?

In case you’ve never seen it, Total Blackout is a competition series in which 4 contestants (or 4 pairings) must complete challenges in a pitch-black warehouse. The challenges range from the uncomfortable to so-disgusting-that-you-can’t-believe-that-only-one-of-them-threw-up. Oh, and the show is hosted by Steve Urkle (Jaleel White).

“Cold Feet” was one of the latter. The teams were comprised of two best friend duos, firefighters, and one brother-sister team. Something that I’ve come to realize while watching this series is that no one acts like a grown up when they cannot use their sense of sight, not even the firefighters. But if I were faced with their challenges, I’d have been throwing up and screaming like a child, too.

The Challenges:

1. Transfer Challenge – In this challenge the team members needed to pass 5 objects from one player’s container to another. The objects were nothing horrific, but trying to figure it out in the dark definitely wasn’t any fun: a live chicken, a live iguana, a mop head, a hairbrush, and a squeaky toy. (Quote of the challenge regarding the hairbrush: “It’s some kind of sex toy.”)

2. Taste Test – This was the moment in which I would have broken my contract. The contestants had to identify foodstuffs that were smeared, placed, and sprinkled on three performer’s toes—and one of those performers not only had toe jam but also had also not clipped their toenails in well over six months. I’m talking fungus and knife-length toe nails. Blech.

3. Egg Hunt – The contestants had to pick up as many eggs as possible inside of a t-shaped, three-foot tall cage. The trick was that these eggs have some guardians that the contestants must identify. This one wasn’t so bad because they were just trapped with a bunch of pigeons, but if they crawled onto the eggs they greatly diminished their chances of winning.

The brother/sister team won because they simply had the best time in every challenge, but for the most every single challenge was a close call because the difference between winning and losing was often less then ten seconds.

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