As summer sets in and I feel the need to lighten my TV-viewing load, I find myself casually and occasionally watching shows that both boggle my mind with their pointlessness and intrigue me with the bizarre and neurotic behavior that comes along with their casts.

Aside from my weekly summer regulars like Entourage, Hidden Palms (can we say O.C. wannabe?), and The Starter Wife (which I don't quite love as much as I had hoped to), I feel like I've wasted years of my life getting caught up in the disaster that is Reunited: The Real World Las Vegas. Now, for any fans out there who have dedicated themselves to the alternate universe that is The Real World, you have to admit that this was a pretty genius idea on MTV's part. Bringing back this rowdy crew for another round of late-night shenanigans in The Palms Casino was sure to start fires and force uncomfortable exes to cohabitate. It's only the second week and Irulan is already crying in hysterics about having dinner with Alton. And Arissa man, don't mess with her! I'm not sure what Trishelle has going on with that platinum 'do but I find myself diving back into this cast that first caught my eye five years ago. Sin City indeed.

Now, I won't go into the unmistakably crazy folks on Bridezillas again, because I think I unleashed enough energy on that topic the first time around. But I will comment on E!'s The Girls Next Door, where planning weddings aren't exactly a common activity (even though Holly is nudging Hef to start ordering the invitations). Talk about another universe. Forget The Real World and explain to me how these girls feel good about dressing their doggies up and planning Fourth of July parties - isn't there more to life? Plus, I get the heebie jeebies anytime one of them smooches Hef. Moving on.

A show that gives me a different skin-crawling feeling is Man vs. Wild. While I think this concept is very cool, and I love all things Discovery ( Planet Earth changed my life!), Bear Grylls is insane. Not only does he put himself in situations where he could be killed, but he keeps doing it even after terrible things happen along the way. (OK, so that might be because he has a contract to do the show, but still.) He's eaten turtle blood, eggs straight from the nest, full toads, a snake roasted on a stick, zebra meat - I'm talking, dig-your-hands-in-the-carcass meat. He's climbed up onto an iceberg, stripped down to his birthday suit and done push ups in the snow to get his blood flowing. He's suffered 24 hours of sickness after sipping some bad water in a thunderstorm. Bear, are you serious? I applaud you, but I also think you're out of your mind.

Other shows I briefly catch clips of are The Simple Life Goes to Camp (I only last about a minute before feeling bad for the campers), Criss Angel: Mindfreak and So You Think You Can Dance (or should I say, for some of the auditions, So You Think You're A Circus?).

As I enjoy summer's vacation from heavier shows like Lost and Heroes, I think I'm better off using this time to learn from TV - perhaps a few more cooking tips from the Food Network or animal facts from Bindi the Jungle Girl - rather than subjecting myself to the noise of Las Vegas or the useless redecorating in the Playboy Mansion.

What are you watching while you wait for Fall TV?