Trashy TV and Margaritas

It’s the dog days of summer here in Southern Ontario. Its hot, its humid and all anyone can do is complain about the weather. You have to forgive us, we’re Canadian, its our way. All this hot, sticky weather leaves me longing for two things; trashy reality television and a cold drink. Thankfully Big Brother makes its triumphant return tonight!

Now, if you have never seen Big Brother, its is a “reality” show where a number of contestants are locked in a house for 3 months with no television, books, radio or access to the outside world all while being filmed 24 hours a day. They are forced to compete in competitions where they win head of house (a position that allows them to nominate other contestants for eviction) and other luxuries. In some cases losing house guests are allowed to only eat slop, which is akin to gruel and I’m sure far from nutritionally complete. Anyway, as I’m sure you can guess things quickly degenerate into cliques, name calling and general household tension. Its like highschool with less acne and fewer pregnancy scares. It’s situation that would be absolutely horrible to live in but is actually quite entertaining to watch. Anyway, starting tonight it will be on three nights a week. If you love reality TV, this is the granddaddy of them all. Check it out.

I mentioned in a previous post that my friends and I watch the Batchelor(ette) every Monday night. We just found out that there is a spin-off that is coming out towards the end of the summer called The Bachelor Pad. From what I gather, its former contestants of the Bachelor and Bachelorette, all unlucky in love, who live in the Batchelor house and compete for different prizes. It sounds like a hybrid between Big Brother and The Bachelor, which means it has to be good (as good as any train wreck could be). I am interested in seeing how they choose to film this show. The interesting thing about Big Brother is that there are no camera operators. All the filming is done by camera’s installed in the house. They run 24 hours, and since there are no camera people there is also no producers asking questions or setting up scenario’s. This is not to say that there is no editing, there obviously is, but it seems much more true to the actual situation than other shows like Survivor and The Bachelor.

In the world of fictional tv – Mad Men comes back to the set on July 25th. It is not trashy reality TV and if you have not yet watched it you might have at least heard quite a bit about it. It’s my favorite show now that Lost is over. First I love the styling. The show is set in the early 60’s and the costumes and sets are absolutely beautiful. Also it is so interesting to see how things have changed in 50 years. In one scene we see a pregnant woman both smoking and drinking a cocktail while another character chides her daughter for having a plastic dry cleaning bag over her head, not because of the inherent danger but because this must mean the dry cleaning is on the floor. Finally, and probably most importantly, the show is so well written. The humour, the character development and the plot lines are so intriguing. The writers really have a way of writing sympathetic characters with so many flaws and skeletons that deep down you know that you should not care about them, but you do. The show is a great hour of television and one of the best dramas I have seen in a long time. And, if all that isn’t enough Jon Hamm is a dream boat.

Its pretty clear that I will be spending the next few months inside watching television. Now if only I had an air conditioner…..

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