6 Dec 2005

Fonzie on waterskis

There's really only one reality TV show worth watching. Fear Factor. I know, from time to time I've been known to make the odd unkind remark about reality TV. Things like "it's utter crap" and "no really, it's complete and utter crap". But I've always had a special place in my heart for Fear Factor. How can you go wrong, when the contestants seem to spend half their time in swimsuits and when they are wearing clothes, they're eating entrails or trying to avoid being blown up! It's a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition meets a Jerry Bruckheimer film with Dawn of the Dead thrown in for good measure. A triple threat! What's more, when the show started doing themed editions- twins, playboy playmates, celebrities*- it just got better.

But here's the bad news. It sounds like Fear Factor has finally jumped the shark. The new series will be themed, with the reality stars theme playing out over several episodes:

Reality Stars Fear Factor will play out over multiple episodes with teams from The Apprentice (Craig Williams and Tana Goertz), The Amazing Race (Jonathan Baker and Victoria Fuller), Survivor (Twila Tanner and John "Johnny Fairplay" Dalton), American Idol (Carmen Rasmusen and Anthony Fedorov) and Real World (Trishelle Cannatella and Mike "The Miz" Mizanin).

It's probably the same guy - the one who said, "look! We can make a reality show and use stars from other reality shows in ours! How meta is that? It's brilliant!". That guy is the same one who forces people to create podcasts about podcasting or make authors write books about authors who are having trouble finishing their book. This is not hip and self-referential - it's lazy, boring and crap. Besides which, I just made a new rule. Anyone whose nickname is "The Miz" or "Johnny Fairplay" is not a star. They're just not. What happened to the good nicknames: "boom-boom" Mancini, Jake "the snake" Roberts, George "quite likely the worst president in the 200-year history of the United States" Bush?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to write a blog about blogging.

* Well, Donny Osmond and Coolio. Look, if weather presenters can call themselves celebrities, we have to accept that the Osmonds and Coolios of the world are of genus celebritatus as well m'kay? And the episode where Donny Osmond fell off the bus - best one ever.

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