Sometimes TV Guide listings can be a little too detailed. (Keep in mind that these are shows I actually like.)
In this stellar, Emmy-worthy ode to the American Dream, a young couple tours three gigantic homes they can’t afford with a list of demands that reads like War and Peace. As they explore the homes, they make several snide remarks about how the rooms are too small and how the kitchen cabinets need updating (even though they’re perfectly adequate and show no visible defects). In a pulse-pounding, nail-biting conclusion, they’ll choose one of the houses not only to live in, but to use as an ATM machine when (and if) the property value goes up.
Scientists with questionable credentials team up with a band of rednecks in a harrowing search for the elusive Bigfoot. Trudging through the dense forests of the Pacific Northwest, they attempt to capture visual evidence of the creature by tying high-definition cameras to the trunks of several trees. In the process, they obtain dozens of blurry images of deer, squirrels, chipmunks and other mundane, everyday forest inhabitants. They also spot an indentation that could either be a Bigfoot print or an ordinary hole in the ground.
Seventeen culinary professionals with badass tattoos and perplexing haircuts compete for a grand prize of $125,000, as well as the underwhelming title of “Top Chef.” Gratuitous shots of Whole Foods abound as the chefs run around like unleashed hellions to buy their ingredients. Manufactured drama ensues as the chefs prepare meals in extreme situations in an alleged attempt to gauge their cooking skills. A panel of judges sneers and makes disparaging remarks about the food — even though they’ve never had to cook in similar conditions — before telling the losing chef to pack his or her knives and go home. The remaining chefs drink gallons of alcohol and talk endlessly about their need to stay focused to win the competition.
Michelin star-winning TV personality Gordon Ramsay screams hateful remarks at red-faced chefs as they drip sweat into undercooked risotto. Then all the chefs go outside to smoke cigarettes and talk smack. The pattern repeats for twenty episodes as Ramsay belittles the chefs, disparages their food, and makes their lives a living hell. The least-crappy chef then wins a coveted job working with Ramsay full-time.
Four frat boys duct-tape Xs to the floor and wander around haunted locations in dim-green night vision while calling out malicious spirits. They debunk obvious camera flares as “not being bugs or dust particles” because dust has a marked snow-flurry pattern. Tiny sounds — such as mouse scurrying or a radiator rattling — are immediately classified as “paranormal,” and any hisses captured on audio are portrayed as a disembodied voice. The voice will be replayed over and over until the audience hears what the show’s producers want them to hear. The lead investigator will shush the others if they try to speak, but then he’ll babble endlessly about a supposed cold spot or the hair standing up on his arm. A new electronic ghost-hunting device will be unveiled that won’t work.