A disclaimer: It's said that the sum is only as good as its parts, and considering that this Tuesday is all reality, all night, don't say I didn't warn you...
Big Brother 5 I'm officially disgusted: This fifth installment's big twist, Project DNA (Do Not Assume), is that two of the contestants are half-siblings who have no idea the other exists. Sweet-natured cowboy Michael and tattooed, blue-tressed Jennifer (aka Nicomus, daughter of the moon) actually share the same father, a fact that Michael catches on to after hearing Jennifer's last name his biological dad's during a chat by the pool. (Am I the only one who saw this coming the moment I saw these two? They don't exactly blend in with the rest of the comely crew.) After he grills her about her (their) pop, he realizes that they're related and then decides not to share this revelation with his long-lost sister because he feels this new bit of info might jeopardize his chance at winning the money. Apparently, although blood may be thicker than water, no bond is greater than the one between a young man and cold, hard cash. Hey, she is only his half-sister.
Last Comic Standing After watching Ant bully and belittle the other comedians before bombing during the head-to-head competition with Gary, I only have one thing to say: [Gleefully, to the tune of the Pink Panther theme song] "Dead Ant, dead Ant, dead Ant, dead Ant, dead Ant, dead Ant, dead Ant..."
The Village Commercial In this spot for M. Night Shyamalan's latest spookfest, an ominous voice intones, "Nothing can prepare you for what lies beyond 'the Village'." I may still be an NYC newbie, but what's so scary about SoHo?
Blow Out Sure Jonathan Antin is an egomaniacal schizophrenic rat bastard on roller skates who regularly torments his salon staffers, but I found it kind of hard to hate a guy who makes a house call to a cancer-survivor client to personally deliver a wig that looks just like the head of hair she lost during chemo. Until he terrorized stylist wannabe Kim during her hair tests, that is. I get nervous and keyboard clumsy just looking something up on the Internet for a co-worker who's standing in my cube, so I can totally empathize with Kim for getting the shakes as her boss literally breathed down her neck as she snipped away. Only difference is I can hit the backspace button if I screw up.
Outback Jack Is there a cash prize awarded to the girl Jack chooses? Is Jack's alter ego, Vadim Dale, some kind of secret billionaire? Because if the answer to either of these questions is no, I just don't get why these high-maintenance her highnesses are fighting over this dude instead of trying to get their aerobicized fannies on the next plane back to civilization. Yeah, it may be a jungle out there in the singles scene but at least the only snakes you encounter there are the cold-hearted (vs. cold-blooded) ones and I can safely say that a lizard has never once peed on my leg.
Amazing Race 5 As you have probably guessed by now, I'm just not a very big fan of reality TV. How many times can we watch greed-based alliances form and crumble (Survivor, Big Brother) or vapid inebriated twits hook up in hot tubs and instantly declare "true love" (Bachelor, Bachelorette, Average Joe)? That said, I am so hooked on this show! (To my friend Sara, I'm sorry I didn't listen to you sooner.) How could you not love a show featuring bowling moms giddily riding zip cables, bickering couples, a little person and her featherweight cousin hauling a 55-pound side of beef, bickering couples, a military dad who soldiers on despite a knee gash that requires 25 stitches only 20 feet into the first mad dash for clues, bickering couples, hijacked airport shuttles, bickering couples, plane-itinerary twists, bickering couples and the anti-Probst, Phil Keoghan? Oh, I'll be watching, if only to see those obnoxious "ondelay" twins (who obviously learned the little Spanish they know from Speedy Gonzalez cartoons) "vamanos." Daniel R. Coleridge is on vacation. Today's column was written by Rebecca Peterson.