Check out the trailer for this unlikely – but potentially very entertaining – hybrid (premiering on BBC America, Tuesday, October 2, 9/8C) , then follow the jump for the official press release.
Our first look at reality TV! Teresa talks about her favorite – Shark Tank, one that’s got away – America’s Next Top Model, and one to throw back – The Real Housewives.
Shark Tank – ABC
Created and Produced by Mark Burnett.
Starring Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, and Barbara Corcoran.
America’s Next Top Model – Bravo
Created and produced. by Tyra Banks, Ken Mok, and Kenya Barris.
Starring Adrianne Curry, Yoanna House and Tyra Banks.
The Real Housewives – Bravo
Created and produced by Scott Dunlop.
Starring Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Barney and Gretchen Rossi.
Tonight, Syfy premieres a paranormal series – Paranormal Witness [Wednesdays, 10/9C] – that is apparently based completely on eyewitness testimony. Real or not, the series premiere is pretty creepy.
When the Sci Fi Channel became Syfy, its name went from standing for science fiction [as well as fantasy and horror] to something both trademarkable and less specific. By that time, the channel had already added some reality shows – and professional wrestling – to its schedule. But now, it has put together an entire evening of reality TV with its Wednesday lineup of the venerable Ghost Hunters [8/7C], new series Haunted Collector [9/8C] and the sophomore season of Hollywood Treasure [10/9C] – three shows that follow naturally to form an unexpectedly intriguing evening of entertainment.
Ok, I’m always late on these manufactured cultural bandwagons, but it’s like all of a sudden these people are everywhere I look for the last few weeks and my question was/is. Who the heck are they and why should I care? What’s Jon and Kate Gosselin’s claim to fame, other than their ability to procreate? I’ve avoided talking about this because, frankly I hate most reality Television and I worked for Discovery and TLC for 4 years, so I’m not really into promoting their programming. Am I the only one who think it’s pretty sleazy that they actually teased the fact that they were getting a divorce to spike ratings for their TV Show? Apparently their ratings, according to several reports, were dropping fast. “In a statement, Jon Gosselin says he and wife Kate filed for divorce Monday afternoon. The co-stars of "Jon & Kate Plus 8," who are parents of sextuplets and twins, spoke of their decision to separate during Monday’s episode of the TLC reality series. The network had promised a major on-air decision from the couple, whose increasingly troubled 10-year marriage has dominated the series in recent weeks as well as fueling a firestorm of tabloid coverage.”
Am I the only one tired of hearing about Susan Boyle? But I’m not above giving you this video clip of her performance of Memory from Cats on
Britain’s Got Talent. I’ll admit I never bothered to watch the other clip but this is quite good.
By now, you, my loyal readers, will know that I tend to despise/loathe/abominate reality TV – which is why I am surprised when I find myself liking a reality series like Cha$e, where the format is more game show than anything else, and relies on contestants being capable of utilizing their intelligence [and some spiffy effects work]. Then there are the shows that stress endurance of the loathsome in the service of greed – like Fear Factor. Estate of Panic [Sci-Fi, Wednesdays, 10/9C] is such a show; a mix of Fear Factor and a haunted house.
Seven contestants are gathered in a spooky mansion where host Steve Valentine [Jordan’s Crossing] explains the rules as a Karloff-wannabe butler looks on. The rules are these: the contestants will enter three rooms/areas of the estate where they will find lots of money; these rooms/areas will be booby-trapped in some way and thus present a challenge to the contestants; the person with the least money and the last person in the room/area will be eliminated.
In the premiere, the tests/challenges/tortures are: snakes and flooding; walls and ceilings that close in on the contestants, while crabs and worms are freed from their aquaria by the ceiling dropping, and a garden area looped with wires that give the contestants varying degrees of electrical shocks. But wait! There’s more!
Following each challenge, two contests are dropped from the game [for the reasons described above] and the last person standing gets all the money collected – if they can overcome one last test – a vault with two hundred safety deposit boxes. There’s a timer that will lock the vault in a specified time, so the finalist must work quickly. As an added incentive to hurry, the finalist is shackled to the floor of the vault and must also look for keys or implements that help free them. There are also some less friendly contents in some of the boxes.
The challenges will, naturally, vary from episode to episode.
Estate of Panic might have worked as a one-off for Hallowe’en, but as a series, it would seem to be the logical successor to Fear Factor. If you like watching real people willingly being scared and/or tortured, this show will appeal to you. In spite of Johnson’s suitably creepy presence as the host – and Rupert, the butler – Estate of Panic revolted me. Not as much as Fear Factor, but close.
Final Grade: D