Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: Reality TV (11-20 of 182)

Republican-o-rama: A debate, a wronged wife, a Perry pull-out, a Santorum sally, a Newt of a night

Rick Perry drops out! Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife says he wanted an “open marriage,” with the woman who became his current wife! Herman Cain is climbing aboard the Colbertrain! The Obama campaign released a new ad (see below)! It turns out Rick Santorum scored a victory over Mitt Romney in Iowa! And CNN held a John Kingly debate followed by Anderson Cooperly analysis! On Thursday, things were busier in politics, and in the media covering politics, than Steven Tyler in a roomful of teenage American Idolettes. READ FULL STORY

'Caged' premiere review: MTV goes MMA, tries for a knockout

MTV tried to edit the opening moments of the first episode of Caged so that it had a vibe familiar to its viewers: a Teen Mom aura, with a Louisiana girl named Red narrating, describing how difficult it is to be an unwed mother, a student, and the ex-girlfriend of Wes, the father of her baby. But the show is, at bottom, really about what its title implies: Cage fighting, mixed martial arts, as conducted in a Southern town. READ FULL STORY

Gary Busey and Gayle Haggard as captive newlyweds on 'Celebrity Wife Swap': A quick review

Granted I was only catching it between covering the Iowa caucus media circus, but the high point of Tuesday night’s Celebrity Wife Swap had to be when Gary Busey introduced the wife of disgraced preacher Ted Haggard, the gracious Gayle Haggard, to a Lakota Sioux Indian who within seconds of meeting her declared the devout woman “a lost soul.” Gayle Haggard was so politely offended, she was speechless. Gary Busey, meanwhile, was cackling like crazy. Celebrity Rehab was never wilder, more surreal, than this. READ FULL STORY

'Work of Art' season finale review: 'Project Artwork' comes to an end

Work of Art concluded its second season Wednesday night with an hour that typified what made this season so frustrating. The very quality that should make this series a TV natural — it’s visual art, being made right in front of your eyes — is also what ended up hemming in the series. READ FULL STORY

'Suzilla, The Mouth That Roars' review: Tonight's debut is easy to stomach

I thought I’d just about had my fill of reality food/eating shows, but the debut of Suzilla, The Mouth That Roars is awfully fun and satisfying. It airs tonight on Planet Green network.   READ FULL STORY

'Work of Art' recap: 'I don't particularly WANT to get naked, but... '

“It’s time to sell out,” host China Chow told the remaining six artists on this week’s Work of Art. Of course, some would say they sold out when they signed on to Work of Art. But what sounded like a banal idea — exploring, as Simon de Pury said, the “art versus commerce” conundrum by having the contestants make art, sell it on the street, and then display it in the gallery ended up with one of this series’ livelier episodes. READ FULL STORY

Mitt Romney's new campaign ad: Beware that hazy Obama!

Mitt Romney released a campaign ad today that begins with some intentionally grainy, hazy images of Barack Obama on the campaign trail, followed by crisp, clear images of Romney accusing him of failing to meet his pledges. As an alternative, Romney proposes a “smaller, simpler, smarter approach to government.”

It begins with “getting rid of Obamacare” because it’s “killing jobs”:

Romney contends we have a “moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in.” (This is political magic: attach the word “moral” to any theory or phrase and — voila! — you have God on your side.) With its ominous framing of Obama footage combined with its moralistic message, Romney is pushing buttons for a constituency that he’s having a tricky time appealing to thus far: The no-tax, no-spend wing of the Republican party, some of whose citizens actually believe that “Obamacare” is “killing jobs.” (That there’s no proof that the health care bill Obama oversaw is anywhere near to being so active in the life of economy yet that it’s somehow depriving people of jobs is just, you know, campaign rhetoric.) READ FULL STORY

'Work of Art' recap: 'There's enough of The Sucklord to go around'

It’s always nice to have a person on a reality show with whom a viewer can identify, who speaks on camera the thoughts you’re having in your head. In the case of this week’s Work of Art: The Increasingly Fruitless Search for the Next Great Artist, that person was Lola, who responded to the careful, thoughtful critique of Simon de Pury by saying, after he’d walked away, “Whatever. I don’t care what Simon says.” READ FULL STORY

NBC is a big mess; NBC is on the verge of big success: A critic's take

Given the announcement of its midseason schedule, we can say two things: NBC is in big trouble, and NBC is paving a path to success.

NBC is in big trouble generally because its new fall shows have either been watched with a minimum of enthusiasm or by virtually no one. More specifically, NBC is in big trouble, public-relations-wise, because it will yank Community from its Thursday-night 8 p.m. slot to make way for the return of 30 Rock as of Jan. 12. And Community fans are, I can tell you from experience, some of the most passionate and social-networky fans in the uni-Twitter-verse. READ FULL STORY

'All-American Muslim' premiere review: A show that insists, 'Muslims, they're just like us!'

Where cable’s TLC is usually the Learning Channel that teaches us ordinary people, when placed in front of TV cameras for long periods of time, can become extremely freakish (Jon and Kate Plus 8; Toddlers and Tiaras), its new series, All-American Muslim, is determined to assure its audience that Muslims are ordinary, non-extremist Americans. That such a need even exists suggests a problem that the show is disinclined to address. READ FULL STORY

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