The Bachelor is a popular American reality series where a group of beautiful young women compete for the affections of one very handsome Bachelor. Towards the beginning of the series the women take part in group date/challenges with the man of their dreams, and are eliminated in an infamous rose ceremony. The group of 25-30 is eventually whittled down to four, where the bachelor visits the home of his top four ladies. After that elimination the final three go on extended overnight dates with the bachelor. The final two get to meet the bachelor’s parents and from there a winner is chosen. The ultimate prize is getting engaged to that particular bachelor at the end of the series. There are many plot twists, and drama drummed up by the competing women who are forced to co-habitate.
|Survivor is the pioneer of reality TV. It was one of the first major reality shows to be on prime time and has gained an incredible amount of success over its 25 series. Host Jeff Probst is the only constant, as even the tropical location to where the contestants are dropped off changes each new cycle. A group of strangers are left stranded in a tropical space and from there they are initially divided into two “tribes” and compete for basic needs such as food, water, fire, and shelter. Challenges either decorate the winners with rewards or immunity from elimination. The tribes vote off one of their own each week until only two or three survivors are left. Then a jury comprised of past contestants reconvenes and choose a winner. The Sole Survivor takes home a million dollar prize.
Hell’s Kitchen is a reality cooking program hosted by world renowned chef Gordon Ramsay. Aspiring chefs are brought into Hell’s Kitchen to compete for a prize that involves becoming the head chef of a world class restaurant in one of America’s major cities. The contests have to deal with high pressure situations, as well as Ramsay’s infamous temper. The contestants are initially divided into boys vs. girls. The two teams compete together in challenges at the beginning of the episode, where the winners are rewarded with a prize and the losers have to go through a humiliating punishment. The true test is a full dinner service for actual patrons, every episode. One team is named by Ramsay as the losers of the night, and they have to choose amongst themselves who is up for elimination. At the end of the day it is up to Gordon to decide who goes home.
The Amazing Race is a long running, multi-Emmy winning reality show. Teams of two are cast together and they are set on a race around the world against other couples. The teams are comprised of individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds. Contestants go on adventures through many different countries to reach, “pit stops” which hold prizes and advantages for those who arrive early, and may result in elimination or disadvantages for those couples that are the last to arrive. The teams have to figure out where to go next through figuring out various clues given to them, and the tasks that they have to perform in challenges are closely related to whatever country they are currently in. Teams are whittled down to the final three teams who compete to be the first one to reach the end of the last leg of the trip.
American Dad is an animated comedy from the popular creator of Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane. The central characters are the Smiths, a quirky all-American family and the bizarre creatures that reside with them. Stan is a CIA agent with a very conservative view on the world. He prides himself in being as American as apple pie. Francine, his wife, is none too bright, but she raises the liberal teenage Hayley and hopelessly nerdy Steve. Rounding out the family is Klaus, a goldfish with the brain of a human and Roger a fugitive alien that Stan is hiding in the house. The show has no central storyline but it chronicles adventures both strange and not so strange, but with a comedic twist, of course.
Blue Bloods is a crime drama set in New York City. It follows a family of Irish-American police officers. Francis “Frank’ Reagan is the Police Commissioner. He and his deceased wife produced four children whom became involved in the New York City legal system. One actually ended up dying in the line of duty, and part of the show is about investigating the death of their fallen son/brother. The three Reagan boys are Danny, Erin and Jamie. Danny is a premiere detective for the NYPD, who is not one to follow rules. Erin is an assistant district attorney. The youngest, Jamie, is a rookie cop fresh from Harvard who begins the investigation of Joe’s death, the dead brother, whom might have been killed under shady circumstances.
The Simpsons is one of the longest running animated shows in television history. It follows the wacky misadventures of the Simpson family. Homer, the oafish patriarch works for the local nuclear power plant. Marge is a stay at home mom to their three children: mischief maker Bart, gifted Lisa, and precocious infant Maggie. The Simpsons get themselves involved in comedic family situations, as well as those involving their hometown of Springfield. While the show is famous for its incredible wit, homages to famous film and television shows, and social commentary, it still manages to remain heartwarming and family-centric. It is an international sensation with an extremely loyal following, and numerous instances of famous guest stars providing voices for new, one episode only, characters.
Mike & Molly is a sitcom about a couple who find love at an Overeaters Anonymous group. Mike is a police officer who is self-conscious about his weight. Molly is a fourth grade teacher who has a similar issue. They end up dating and being very happy together despite the criticism that comes from those closest to them. Reno Wilson is Mike’s partner on the police form who has a bit of a motor mouth when it comes to various topics. The mothers of both parties are heavily involved in the lives of their children. Peggy is Mike’s influential, sarcastic mother. Joyce is Molly’s mother, who strives to maintain her youth. The show is essentially about the development of their relationship and how it involves the people around them.
It’s high octane; it’s Steven Spielberg’s answer to Jurassic Park meets Lost; it’s Terra Nova. The show initially throws viewers into the dark and dank year of 2149, where Earth’s life as we know it is threatened by pollution and overpopulation. Upon discovering a rift in the space-time continuum, scientists are forced to send selected families 85 million years into the past, where they can begin afresh in a colony constructed smack bang in the middle of the prehistoric era. Following the lives of the Shannon family, the show delivers an outstanding look at the dangers that can lurk in a world ruled by dinosaurs, and nods its head to Lost, as the colony becomes increasingly threatened by mysterious inhabitants co-existing with them in the Cretaceous period.
Raising Hope is a comedy that centers on James “Jimmy” Chance. He is a lost 23 year old man who is put in charge of an infant daughter (the product of a one night stand), which came as a surprise to him when he was granted custody of her. The mother was accused of murdering many of her past boyfriends and is given a death sentence for her crimes. Jimmy and his eccentric family are given the task of raising Hope. Jimmy lives with his housecleaner mother, silly pool cleaning/gardener father, and amusingly senile grandmother played excellently by Cloris Leachman. The family has trouble supporting themselves, much less a new adorable mouth to feed. Jimmy’s life is further complicated by the huge crush that he has on local grocery store clerk Sabrina Collins.