If you've missed "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" since the first season ended, take heart. Not only is the show back for an oddly timed Halloween special Sun. Jan. 6 at 9:00 p.m. (upcoming specials include a Thanksgiving-themed show Sun. Jan. 13, a clip show Sun. Feb. 10, and a Christmas special Sun. Feb. 17), this latest episode features a very weird highlight -- Mama's mayo phobia. Yes, she's afraid of that staple of redneck cuisine, mayonnaise. Watch this clip to see her personal struggle. With mayo. Also of interest? The family debate over whether or not mayo is a form of meat.
Before we get started, a real moment with the chefs. Sheldon sharpens his knives every day. Stefan applies wrinkle cream every day. Discuss.
Anyway, Padma welcomes the chefs to a Quickfire Challenge with Master Bladesmith Bob Kramer. He makes custom knives that sell for $500 an inch. So yeah, you're not picking up any of these at Williams Sonoma anytime soon. To prove they're worth the money, Kramer demonstrates that he can cut an inch-thick knife with a single thwack. Holy crap. These would be great murder weapons for the discerning serial killer.
Last week, we saw Kenya and Walter end their tortured (and possibly fictitious) relationship in dramatic fashion, a tragic (or, depending on your perspective, richly deserved) car wreck to wrap up the gals' trip to Anguilla. Or maybe we just thought we saw that, because apparently, it ain't over 'til it's over, and the fat lady has yet to sing. Oh, she's gotten naked and flapped her flabby nether regions at a strip bar with many of her toothless friends, but we'll get to that later. Anyway, no singing.
So, the designers walk down Fifth Avenue (or, as Josh calls it, Fifth Ave, which makes me want to smack him to death with a designer purse) and end up at Elie Tahari's flagship store. Their challenge is to create a "wow" ready-to-wear look that can retail at $500 to $700. The winning design will be sold at all of the Elie Tahari stores and proceeds will go to Save the Garment Center. Mondo won this challenge last season. No pressure.
Can't wait another minute for the third season of "Downton Abbey"? Really, the first episode airs Sun. Jan. 6, so it's quite unrefined to get that keyed up. Consider drinking some tea or something. Luckily, knowing how high strung we Americans are (not so high strung they couldn't hold off on broadcasting the season here more than three months behind its U.K. air dates, but whatev), the powers-that-be have posted ten minutes of the first episode on Facebook. As you might have guessed, the place is buzzing about the long-awaited nuptials of Matthew and Mary, but that doesn't mean there isn't drama and an ominous sense of foreboding.
Before we get into the issue of The Proposal That Never Was, we might as well address the fact that the world wideness of the Interweb is crackling with the suggestion that the whole relationship between Kenya Moore and Walter Jackson is (gasp!) fake. Quelle horreur! How could a reality TV show present something that isn't 100 percent true? That was, yes, manufactured for our entertainment? I'm having a touch of the vapors, I tell you! Someone fetch me a fan!
Actually, if this is true, it would be a huge relief. Walter seems so thoroughly bored as Kenya flutters and twirls around him like a psychotic Disney princess that I want to believe she's humiliating herself on national television for a greater goal than a crappy ring and a bad marriage. If she's doing it for money and a book deal like every other woman on these shows? Well, then she's just one of the gang!
This year, like so many years before it, was overflowing with reality TV. But, amidst the usual screaming Housewives and singing competitions, a new niche really took hold in a substantive way. Yes, 2012 was the year of redneck reality, and just as you might expect, it's something you either love or hate. I'll admit that I veer into the love end of the spectrum pretty often (and a few of these shows even made my top ten). Some of these shows do tend toward exploitation, but more often they capture something sorely lacking in so-called reality TV these days; people who don't appear to be acting. It turns out a little reality in our reality TV can be compelling. Go figure.
The time has come to say good-bye to Vinny, Pauly D, Sammi "Sweetheart," Mike "The Situation," Ronnie, Jenni "JWOWW," Nicole "Snooki" and Deena… except for spin-off shows, cameo appearances on sitcoms, future reunion shows and God knows what else. While the "Jersey Shore" cast doesn't seem to be fading into the background anytime soon, there was still a poignancy to the final episode. And, yes, some infantile pranks and pointless fighting and the death of a defenseless duck phone, but poignancy nonetheless.