Yay! Want to celebrate 2014 the right way? The fifth season of "My Strange Addiction" debuts on Wed. Jan. 1 at 9:00 p.m. on TLC, and it will absolutely make you feel better about whatever bad, weird thing you might have done before you blacked out on New Year's Eve. Yes, it's possible!
Another woman is addicted to chewing dirty diapers
Big moments, homages and one important cameo are all crammed in
In many ways, Matt Smith's final episode of "Doctor Who" seemed an apt reflection of the actor's particular take on the character. The show was strikingly poignant, charming, a little sexy and yet sometimes bordered on frantic. Maybe too frantic; by the end, the show was playing so fast and loose with mythology it felt as if Steven Moffat was trying to pull a fast one on all of us.
Yolanda has a fab dinner party, but no one cares enough to behave
Here's what I don't understand about "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Every other episode or so, someone throws a fabulous dinner party or hosts a decadent weekend retreat, and for what? You can put out fine china and orchids and cute little appetizers, and you'll still get a gaggle of women squeezing one another's boobs, cackling about dead bodies ruining their scuba diving trips, whining about who got a heart on their place card and who didn't, and (in some cases) getting knock down, drag out, cheap sex in a dirty bathroom drunk. I mean, this week Yolanda should have just rounded up a few bags of Doritos, a party pack of Taco Bell burritos, and a plastic swimming pool of vodka Jell-O suitable for wrestling or inhaling. Unfortunately, instead it was peonies before swine.
Did the best group win? Or was it overlooked?
So, "The Sing-Off" wrapped up the way all these types of competition shows do -- lots of singing, some cutesy-poo skits, some guest performances (Pat Benatar! 98 Degrees!), and then roughly three minutes of actual results. In this case, the whole of the two-hour season ender was considerably more entertaining than most of these shows, simply because the level of talent on the show is so phenomenal, the judges are plenty impressive as performers, and hey, there were Christmas songs!
Plus, take this test and let Nat Geo guess your age
You know what's fun? Letting an entire television network guess how old you are! But, before we get to that, watch this promo (and, better, the behind-the-scenes explanation for how they did some of it as well as another promo at the bottom of the page) for "Brain Games," which returns for its second season next month (Mon. Jan. 13 at 9:00 p.m. on Nat Geo). Here's an exclusive look. Oh, and give yourself 15 seconds to make as many words as you can from the letters in "pay attention" so Nat Geo can guess your age range. You have your homework! Go, go!
The new girl doesn't seem to know the lingo - or her husband
Isn't cute that Cynthia has to explain to Mynique how to talk like a gay man? When all the girls howl after she cluelessly bats her eyes and says, "I don't feel red," it's a little bit like watching a new exchange student try to order lunch or the first act of "Bambi." It's not enough that Mynique has no idea how to act like an African-American woman among women; the real issue is that she isn't apparently smart enough to sit back and let the beautiful car wreck that is "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" wash over her until she has enough ammunition to jump into the fray. No, she charges in, empty guns firing away at nothing -- right up until she gets shot down.
It was a fun year in the great wilderness of basic cable
Okay, before anyone starts commenting, "What about 'The Amazing Race'?" or "This isn't a complete list without 'Survivor'!" or whatever variation you might be contemplating, let me clarify that my top 10 list of reality shows doesn't encapsulate all of the broad and varied spectrum of reality TV. For my own sanity, I've been limiting the parameters of my top 10 to the realm of basic cable (although I am thinking next year I might change the focus simply to the content itself as opposed to where you find it, such as "so bad they're good" shows or competition reality or something like that, just to keep it interesting). There is one notable exception this year, but I'll get to that in a moment.
The Oscar winner gave Barbara Walters her opinion, but is she right?
What's so great about Jennifer Lawrence? Everything, duh. This week, we saw the Oscar winner as her usual unvarnished, unrehearsed self in a sit-down for ABC's "Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2013." Because Walters' modus operandi seems to be trying to make celebrities cry or scream, the topic of weight had to be addressed. Guess what? J-Law had some opinions.
"Why is humiliating people funny?" she wondered. "And I get it, I do it too. We all do it."
This double elimination was a tough one - but was it right?
In the crowded universe of singing competition reality TV shows, one of the most easy going and, yes, fun might be "The Sing-Off." The judges know what they're talking about and somehow manage to be nice without melting into useless marshmallows (we're looking at you, Paula Abdul, wherever you are). There's no voting from home, which means the best singers (as judged by people who know) win instead of the whole show devolving into a popularity contest. The host, Nick Lachey, appears to be neither overcaffeinated nor miserable. Even the competition itself seems friendly enough (at least there's a lot of hugging). But, this is a competition show like any other in that only one can win, and that means kicking people to the curb, week after week.
The first Latino 'Bachelor' gets stuck with a vanilla cast
For a reality TV show to churn through 17 seasons, it has to change at least a little bit to hold our interest. Since the essential formula of "The Bachelor" (premiering Mon. Jan. 6 at 8:00 p.m.) can't twist too much (boy meets girl, repeat, repeat, repeat), in season 18 the ABC series will deliver a first -- "I'm the first Latino bachelor," as Juan Pablo Galavis helpfully describes himself.