First Ever Reality Awards
MTV's handing out awards only for its own reality shows? Wow. And it's not actually a real awards show with a red carpet, an audience full of celebs, etc. It's just two young emcees I've never seen before, offering up canned banter as they introduce clips of MTV personalities accepting their awards on tape. Bummer. Oh well, at least the clips were silly fun and the categories even sillier. Winners included Carmen Electra for Most Pause Worthy Female, and Katie and Veronica from Real World/Road Rules Inferno for Best Knuckle Up. (They fought topless, then "made up" in their acceptance clip with the now obligatory girl-on-girl kiss. Yawn. That scary Veronica girl oughta be voted most likely to be incarcerated 'cause she's clearly got anger-management issues.) Oh yeah, and Inferno's cussin' Coral was rewarded for her trashy mouth as Best M*F*. But how could Nick Lachey from Newlyweds win Biggest Hissy Fit, yet lose Most Important Shirtless Male to that Inferno goon who calls himself The Miz? What does that nickname even mean? And how could they give the Spit-Swappin' award for best kiss to Wildboyz Chris Pontius and Steve O, who committed borderline bestiality by making out with animals?! Argh! The joke nominees aren't supposed to really win. Never mind, I'm taking all of this far too seriously...

Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy
I didn't wanna watch this, gentle readers, but I've gotten enough cranky reader e-mails to give it a sampling. So based on this episode, I gather the point of this show is to transplant women into other families' homes so they can be disgusted by how the other half lives? The swapping of blond Californian Samantha Pilek and white-trash frump Lisa Bowers was quite disturbing. Lisa felt the Pilek family wasn't "close" enough and tearfully complained when they didn't want to be nice to her, but seemed oblivious to the fact that she'd alienated them instantly. Her rude, bossy, shrill approach was all wrong. You'd think she'd be glad there was a maid to do her housework for a change! And what was with Lisa guzzling beer and sake at the sushi restaurant? Even worse, she started criticizing Mr. Pilek on his parenting in front of his kids. Meanwhile, Samantha was, of course, more likable — and not just 'cause she's prettier than Lisa. She had a more positive, gentle approach to acclimating with the Bowerses who, by the way, are a living case study of America's obesity problem. Could you believe how Mr. Bowers said he'd been complaining to Lisa for three years about "bringing crap [from the supermarket] into the house"? Please. From the looks of him, most of it went directly into his tummy! And the way he dissed his son's bowling skills was just plain ugly. Why do some fathers feel the need to turn fun family outings into blood sports? No wonder his kids are (literally) eating their hearts out. The kids are paying for their dad's low self-esteem. The silver lining to all this is that most families watching this show are probably more like the Bowerses than the Pileks. Maybe if some of their bad habits are mirrored back on them, it'll inspire positive change. Anyway, thank God for...

Summerland
...where the WB child stars are beautiful and so is their fantasy guardian Lori Loughlin. Everyone is gorgeous, with straight blondy hair (even when they awaken at 5:52 am), not an ounce of excess body fat and lots of time to worry about their romantic troubles. Even Sarah, Braden's girlfriend who lives in the mental home! She looked awfully put together for someone at an institution that denies patients makeup and hair products, though...

The Player
OK, so UPN's doing a ghettolicious version of The Bachelorette in Miami. I'm down with that. Every other network is doing reality rip-offs, so why shouldn't they? I liked that several of Dawn's hunky suitors were not Caucasian. That's a refreshing change from most monochromatic dating games, which usually include one token black guy or girl who's voted off fairly early on. However, it's telling that Dawn — an Italian-American model who acts like J.Lo — is the star, while Ananda is just one of "the girlfriends" helping her choose guys. Could even UPN (which targets much of its programming at African-American audiences) be afraid to cast a black bachelorette?

Here's a Thought: UPN should have cast Camille McDonald from America's Next Top Model instead of no-name model Dawn. And not just because she's black and beautiful. The Player's producers clearly wanted a diva who can size up the men with a critical eye, then dis and dismiss 'em. That bitchy Camille is perfect! Plus, using a memorable castoff from Top Model would've been a smart way for UPN to capitalize on its most successful reality TV franchise. Like ABC's Bachelorette and NBC's For Love or Money, they could've transplanted an already popular reality ho into a new show, rather than try to interest viewers in a totally unknown ho. Ya know?

Nip/Tuck
Popular alert! That's ex-WB starlet Leslie Bibb playing Naomi Gaines, the model whose pretty face was scarred by the slasher rapist. Good for Naomi for talking sense into that sad, crazy Bobbi Broderick (Jill Clayburgh). I too have known some spoiled folks who need their "problems" put in perspective for them at times. These youth and weight-obsessed people like Bobbi need to do charity work for the poor. Imagine the good they could do if they spent as much energy on loving others as they do hating themselves. (Note to self: Practice what you preach, Daniel...)

The saga of Ava — the evil seductress/life coach played by Famke Janssen — just gets juicier and weirder, doesn't it? I liked how Julia freaked out at Ava about robbing Matt's cradle. It's about time Mrs. McNamara — who doesn't appear to have a job to occupy herself — got seriously involved in her son's life. Up to now, she's been a rather lousy mother. Julia needs to get her head out from under her skirt and be more like the parents in those PSAs for Partnership for a Drug Free America, who grill their kids on where they've been and what they're up to. Of course, Julia is the queen of denial. (Did she really need a paternity test to confirm that Matt is Christian's son, considering the resemblance?) Looks like poor Sean will be the last to know, though it's hard to feel much sympathy for him. The vain idiot thinks he's having a midlife crisis now? Just wait till he finds out The Big Secret...

P.S. What is up with Ava's son, Adrian? He keeps making amorous advances toward Matt, which is truly wrong 'cause that's his mama's boy toy. Like when he tried to kiss Matt or when he suggested they do you-know-what together poolside. Still, this embarrassed viewer couldn't help but think, "That's hot." (And if you read last week's column, y'all know exactly what I'm saying!) Amusingly enough, it seems like Seth Gabel, who plays Adrian, is channeling Ryan Phillippe circa Cruel Intentions. Or any of those B-movie pretty boys who say lines like "You're boring me" when someone shies away from their randy hands.

P.P.S. This Ava/Adrian sitch got me thinking: It's a good thing my single mom and I never had the same taste in men. Can you imagine? Ewwww!