Battle of the Network Reality Stars
If you can't stand reality shows then this one is probably akin to one of Dante's circles of Hell. But for unscripted-TV fans this is the equivalent of giving a junkie crack. The show combines reality "stars" from nearly every show, like Joe Schmo, The Amazing Race, Survivor and even The Swan. While it's missing the charm of the original '70s series less hair flipping makes a big difference it still includes all the silly games like the dunk tank and the obstacle course. Just good old-fashioned fun. And I think that the cast members of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, like Mike the Miz and Coral, have an advantage because they've been doing contests like this for years on MTV. But the real problem with this show is the fact that teams have to vote to evict one of their players each week. Because fan favorites like Charla and Chip's wife, Kim, are nice compared to the brute force of some, they're in greater danger of being eliminated. Why does everything have to have eliminations now? There are no tribes; no one should be getting fired here! And is it wrong that I'm actually starting to think that Survivor's most notorious player Richard Hatch is coming off almost likable in contrast to Jonathan from The Amazing Race? I almost don't even care who wins this frivolous summer show; I just think it is fun to watch. And I want to know how Trishelle, Omarosa and Bachelor Bob got to be sideline reporters instead of contestants. What special qualities do they have? Also, it is always nice to see Coral get tossed in the dunk tank, repeatedly, and for Charla prove that size doesn't matter. Angel Cohn
Last night's adventure opened with GIs sitting on toilets. Dig the symbolism. The plot: General Downer (get it?) has fresh commodes ready for delivery to the camp ("It smells like Trenton, N.J., out here!") but the trucks can't get through because a key bridge is being showered by mortar fire. Guess which squad is elected to wipe out the spotter? "If you don't want the s--t missions, don't be so good at them," Downer the bummer tells Scream. No thankless deed goes unpunished. What really smells about this big job is that they have no proof that their prime suspect who parades in full view of the troops with his wife and son is the spotter. Watching him play soccer with his boy, Angel observes that "he wants to show us he's the same as us... makes it hard for us to kill him."
Over Thereis amazing in its economy of dialogue. Not a single word seems wasted. Everyone has some unique brand of wisdom (loved Dim's Beckett reference) no matter how confrontational they are. Even Smoke, who is on a real hot streak of antisocial behavior, makes Angel the "believer" think long and hard about the line he'll cross if he pulls the trigger. Come crunch time, a heated ideological debate develops over whether the suspect should get flushed, but Scream nips that right in the bud: "What you believe in doesn't matter so put that s--t away. It's killing time." Angel, guided by Dim, clicks the safety off and takes out the man with one shot. His victim crashes through the glass, dropping a radio and binoculars. They made the right call and saved the toilets, but a wife lost her husband and a son lost his dad. S--t for everybody. In keeping with the episode's excremental theme, a great whiff of it drifted into Dim's personal life. Eddy's mom should just eat it and die for blaming her miscarriage on the boy for running away, right? Sorry. Cute as Eddy is, this boozy floozy is too easy to hate. Back in Germany, Bo continues to be full of it if he thinks he's going back into combat. That makes as much sense as him auditioning for the role of Tarzan. To paraphrase my hero Peter Cook, I'm sure the U.S. Army has nothing against his left leg. The trouble is, neither does Bo. G. J. Donnelly