Reality Rundown: Real Housewives Of New York, Real World St. Thomas, Bering Sea Gold & Flipping Out

I’ve been following along with the Real Housewives of New York this season, but I don’t think I’ve been enjoying it. There’s just nothing else on now. The women are currently in St. Barths pretending to be friends. LuAnn slept with some dude but doesn’t want anyone to know. To hide this, she’s made up ridiculous lies that not only sound silly, but don’t match up to the facts the other women actually now. It’s pretty funny seeing her face when the dude shows up at the part the next night…and Sonja has sex with him. I’ve grown to like Carole, but I really wish she’d stop wearing clothes for kids, it makes her look desperate. Aviva is just too much. She loves stirring the pot when it has nothing to do with her, but when it’s her thing she freaks out. I get the idea that she has a very specific idea of what friendship is and these women don’t live up to that, but YOU’RE NOT REALLY FRIENDS! It’s a TV show, get over yourself. These broads don’t care that you came to the island, that it was very difficult for you or that your husband brought you there. Ramona’s Ramona. She’s reality TV gold for lots of people, but her schtick wore off for me a season or two back. I still find Sonja’s desperation unnerving. She’s a beautiful woman, but seeing her fall over herself to go after dudes is pretty gross. I felt bad for her when Aviva went bonkers on her. Lastly, we have Heather. My opinion of her changes as I go, but I don’t think too negatively of her. She seems to just be sitting back and wondering what the hell is going, which I can understand. This might be the last season of RHONY for me, don’t know how long I can keep up with these ladies.

This one will be even quicker. I realized something while watching this week’s episode of Real World St. Thomas: the editing has really screwed my perception of how this cast related to each other. All the previous episodes made me think that none of these people really liked each other. Trey was screwing with Laura, Marie was screwing with Robb, Swift got into it with LaToya (who seems to just want to be on TV) and then Brandon who just kind of hangs out. This episode saw Brandon getting kicked off for doing coke at a party with a girl which is fine, whatever, but it showed that these kids all actually do like each other. I know the drama is what drives ratings, but it would also be nice to know this cast actually dug each other.

Discovery really has done an amazing job of taking a job like mining and turning it into a gigantic TV franchise. I watched the original season of Bering Sea Gold which involved people on boats going out into the Alaskan waters and either digging or sucking up rocks and filtering them to get gold out of it. I’m not sure why it’s there, but it is, apparently. This new season ups the ante by doing all that stuff UNDER THE ICE. Swimming underwater with ice above me is one of my personal irrational fears, so there’s that bit of anxiety going on. The crews are also made up mostly of people who were on the first season who bring along their personal issues (daddy issues, unrequited love, lack of money, etc.). The third crew is actually all newcomers who don’t really know what they’re doing, so all that together should make for an interesting season. Not sure if I’ll be able to fit this one in my schedule with the new season starting, but we’ll see. I’m sure I’ll catch up when they do one of their mandatory marathons on the weekend.

Flipping Out is another returning favorite. I should hate Jeff Lewis, but I don’t, even when he’s being an obvious, sneaky jerk as he was in the season opener. It was pretty clear to me that Jeff was looking at the house he was building as the place he would settle down and raise kids and he kept making changes and holding things up because he’s not ready for that. To make up for it in his own mind, he skips all that and just buys another house without talking to his boyfriend at all. I thought that was pretty cold, even for him. I really don’t know how a guy like that could have a longterm relationship, especially a romantic one because that act has got to get old and quick.

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Reality Rundown: American Ninja Warrior, Real Housewives Of New York & Final Offer

As the weeks and days roll on towards summer, the more and more reality shows keep popping up as the regular scripted shows take their summer hiatuses. Today I’ll be talking about two fairly new shows and one that recently got a new network. Did I hook you? If so, read on. I defy you to find someone my age who doesn’t love at least the idea of American Ninja Warrior. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, contestants face a series of physical challenges on an obstacle course to get to the end. The series starts off with regional qualifiers and, so far, each episode seems to shine the spotlight on those locations. All of this earns the contestants the chance to go up against the king daddy of all obstacle courses Mount Midoriyama. The show used to be on G4 and started off as a Japanese competition before we co-opted it.

I first discovered the show when Spike did a marathon in one day of a whole season. That version found the regional winners going to a camp where they trained for the finale. I’m not sure if that’s going on this time or not, but we’ll see. I’m really glad the series is on NBC so I can watch it on a regular basis (and in HD when my TV’s working). I do have a few problems, though. First off, the very first episode was two hours long. That is just way too much of watching most dudes fall down and almost hurt themselves. It seems like they shortened them down to an hour after that, which is fantastic. The factor that still bothers me however many episodes in we are is that way too many people make it through. Obviously, getting to the very end of the course gets you in, but you can also get into it by getting further in a shorter amount of time than other people. That just seems like too much. Do we really need all those extra people? It’s not like we’re going to remember who these people are after six weeks of qualifiers. Ah well, I still like watching somewhat regular people doing amazing things.Longtime readers will remember that, in seasons past, I’ve written in great detail about The Real Housewives Of New York. I just don’t have it in me anymore, but I did want to say a few things about the fifth season opener which aired this week on Bravo. Man, this show makes you work to like it, doesn’t it? First off, the dismissal of cast members Kelly, Jill, Alex and the new one from last year who clearly didn’t know what she was getting herself into, was strange. I’ve seen a few transitions on these shows, but they usually flowed from an episode or a reunion or were at least explained in some way. Not the case here. Heck, Alex and Jill were OGs and now they’re just gone. I should note that I don’t actually like Jill or Kelly, and will not miss them, it’s just strange that they’re gone all of a sudden.

Which brings us to the new ladies. Ramona the lunatic, gross Sonja and haughty LuAnn are now joined by author and widow Carole, sunny business woman Heather and one-legged mom and wife Aviva. The three new women seem like a ray of sunshine and, at one point, are sitting around a table wondering about the batty broads they find themselves surrounded by. Unfortunately, it looks like they will fall prey to the bitchy beast that seems to come with being a Real Housewife for some reason as the season progresses if the “coming up this season” video is to be believed. I’d actually rather just watch these three mix with the deported Alex instead of the ones that did make the cut. I find LuAnn unbearable, Ramona completely out of her mind and Sonja just sad in every way imaginable. If literally anything else I was even remotely interested in was on at this time, I’ll be switching over to that.Another show that seems to want to make it difficult to like is Discovery’s new one called Final Offer. It’s basically a fancier Pawn Stars. People bring in their treasures to an overly swank and “cool” warehouse somewhere, show them to a quartet of people who will offer them money to purchase the thing and then the person has to decide who to sell to. BUT, they have to take the offer in the room, it’s not like you get to see all four and THEN make your decision. Set-up wise it’s pretty interesting, though I think I’m losing my patience for shows where people don’t understand that they’re selling their thing to people who are going to turn around and sell that thing, meaning they need to make a profit. Coming in and saying that this would sell on eBay for $5K and wanting that much is silly because 1) they’re not going to make any money if they give you $5K and then sell for that same amount and 2) if you think it’s worth that much, just sell it yourself!

The show is difficult because both the sellers and the buyers are hard to like. One guy bought a signed baseball five months ago and wants to flip it for way more money. He winds up succeeding, but he’s kind of annoying. A lady who looks like a more uptight mom from the Partridge Family and her serial killer son come in to sell this jewel-encrusted gold thing. They act all tough, spouting off prices in the millions and then sell for far less. Bullshit posturing is boring pretty much all the time, right? Maybe I’m crazy, but I like seeing interesting people getting a good deal for the things they have. I guess for that, I’ll have to go back and watch Antiques Roadshow reruns with my inlaws.

Reality Rundown: Real Housewives Of New Jersey, Saw Dogs & Next Food Network Star

After writing about Shark Tank, The Devils Ride and the suspiciously missing Real World, I kept thinking of more and more reality shows I wanted to say a few quick things about. This time we’ve got The Real Housewives of New Jersey, a show I used to blog about pretty consistently but have changed thoughts on greatly in the past few seasons, Discovery’s Saw Dogs and Next Food Network Star. Let’s jump in, shall we?

There was a scene in the most recent episode of Jersey Housewives where, after Teresa’s daughter freaks out about cheating at a bunch of games in the yard (huh, wonder why the word CHEATING is such a trigger for her, Joe), Caroline’s daughter Lauren essentially lays out my thoughts on the current situation: why can’t we stop inviting all these crazy people to our family events and just have fun as a family? After four seasons of crazy, I’m all filled on up Teresa’s particular brand. She’s clearly incapable of seeing the world from any perspective but her own skewed one and it feels a little sad to continually see her try to make reality (and reality TV) bend around her to her will to form her life.

I’ve said before that I’d be perfectly happy watching a series about just Caroline and her extended family, but even that doesn’t sound like the most appealing thing at this point. Is anyone else sick to death of hearing Lauren talk about losing weight while seeing her do things that will not help her in any way? Lazily slapping golf balls with her dad and hanging around a kitchen just isn’t going to cut it. This episode in particular seemed PACKED with her bitching and honestly, who cares? Losing weight sucks, either do it or don’t, but stop talking about it either way. The rest of them are fine, I’m glad to be done with Jacqueline’s daughter for the time being, she’s just awful, and I like Kathy and her crew enough, same with the Gorga’s, but I’m starting to think the bloom is off the rose on this one. And, no Bravo, I don’t need more “housewives” shoehorned in, starting over completely makes the most sense to me and still give Caroline her own show!

And now for something completely different, we’ve got Discovery’s Saw Dogs, a show about chainsaw carvers who make beautiful pieces. Some of my favorite reality shows are the ones that follow artistic people who use their talents to sell pieces and the process they go through in first figuring out what to do and then doing it. The fact that this job even exists is amazing to me, let alone the fact that these guys are so damn good at it. In one marathon a few weekends back, I saw them make an amazing tree house, a giant eagle and plenty of other amazing things.

My only problem with the series is that they have a Chumlee. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it comes from History Channel’s Pawn Stars which features a¬† spacey character of the same name who seemingly has no business being anywhere near the job. If it were a regular TV show you’d just assume this is the goofball people keep around to make or bounce jokes off of, but in reality you’re constantly thinking, “Why don’t they fire this idiot?” In the case of Saw Dogs, the Chumlee is named Ryan. He looks and acts like a Will Ferrell character which is odd in its own right, but then you add in the fact that he’s not great at his job (he ran the forklift through one of the barn walls) and bitches way too much for an apprentice and you wonder if he’s there because he was really there or because the producers wanted a Chumlee. I’m more in favor of the natural method, but even if it is a set-up, there’s enough coolness going on to keep me coming back for more.

Lastly I want to say a few things about The Next Food Network Star that I didn’t say over on my food blog Monkeying Around The Kitchen. First off, while I like the idea of switching the format up — three teams with Food Network stars talking them through the challenges with the bottom two going into a room with FN execs and trying to keep themselves in the game assisted by their team leader — it feels like the show is spinning its wheels a bit. The challenges I’ve seen so far have been great, but doesn’t it seem like there’s an awful lot of fat this season that’s just waiting to be trimmed? I bet if you watched just the first episode, you could probably make a list of the first five or six people who will be let go with a pretty darn good level of accuracey. Sure, it’s possible that one of them will really find a place to shine, but I highly doubt it.

The other huge strike against the show is the length. Does it really need to be 90 minutes? Worse yet, those last 3o minutes go up against Mad Men. I don’t think there’s a show I would watch instead of MM. I know people out there are exactly the opposite, but it also seems like these episodes are padded like those guys who train attack dogs. Do we need to spend so much time not only showing everyone’s everything, but also laying it on so thick that you really don’t have a choice but to understand who’s being thrown to the wolves about half way through. At the end of the day, the show is more boring than it has any reason to be. I highly recommend following Alton Brown on twitter, though, if you are a fan as he has some excellent behind the scenes commentary during the airings.

Reality Rundown: Shark Tank, The Devils Ride and Real World

Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote about TV, hasn’t it? I admit, I get a little burned out after being on the computer all day and don’t always feel like sitting under my laptop while enjoying the evening’s mindless entertainment. With the regular TV season coming to an end, expect a lot of reality series’ to pop up as well as summer series’ on networks like USA and TBS. But, there are a few ongoing series that my wife and I have been watching and even a few that we’ve been enjoying. Here’s a few of the reality shows we’re digging right now.

My wife and I stumbled onto Shark Tank because we’re old and lame and don’t do anything on Friday nights anymore. The show, which is on at 8:00PM on ABC, features a panel of sharks (ie very rich people who are looking to invest in new ideas/business/products) hearing presentations by inventors and deciding whether they want to invest in them. In addition to showing off some really interesting advances, the show captivates us because of the way people make their decisions. It’s easy to say that many of them are outdone by their greed, they don’t want to trade away a certain percentage of their idea for some money and solid backing by people with zillions of more connections in the biz, but I think there’s more to it than that. If you spend all this time and money working on a project, it really becomes your baby and you don’t want to just hand it over to someone else. But, that’s what you usually need to do to put a dent in whatever industry you’re trying to break into. After watching a good deal of episodes at this point, it’s funny how my wife and I can kind of see the Matrix. If someone comes in asking for a lot of money and a low percentage offer, you can just tell they’re not getting that deal. There’s also a clear correlation between having a good product that you’ve started selling and the sharks’ interest. If you come in with a great idea, but zero sales and want a lot of money? Kick rocks, kid. It’s super interesting, love this show.

I’ve also become fascinated with Discovery’s The Devils Ride, which follows the exploits and inherent drama found in a motorcycle club. I’ve only seen the first episode so far, but I was immediately absorbed. This is kind of the perfect reality show because it’s not corny and it also shows viewers a world most of them have never seen. It certainly helps that these people have an air of violence around them, you never really know what’s going to happen. Additionally, there’s a good deal of political and dramatic elements going on in the club itself (the elements that would make this an interesting series, not just a reality show). In the first episode, the guy who started the club and has been the president since inception stepped down and gave the job over to the vice president. So, there’s a lot going on there that has surely been explored in the episodes I haven’t seen just yet. It’s on Tuesdays at 10:00PM EST and I just realized I missed it again last night. Boo. On a fun side note, I was in a fraternity in college and it’s really interesting how similar the set up between that organization and this motorcycle club are. I was VP myself, but I didn’t get a cool patch.

Lastly, I want to talk about a show that’s not actually on. Why am I not watching a new season of The Real World right now? Traditionally speaking, a new RW immediately follows a season of The Challenge. For instance, the DC series ended on March 31st, 2010 and Fresh Meat II premiering a special preview that night and then the first full episode on April 7th. This year, though, The Challenge ended (back in April) and yet there will not be a Real World until the June 27th premiere of the St. Thomas season. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a much bigger fan of the Challenges and would be fine just watching those every few months, but Real World acts as a really good cast member generator. Has anyone heard about why they decided to do this? I did notice that MTV kicked off a lot of new shows directly following the last Challenge including The Pauly D Project, the new Punk’d and the unbearable I Just Want My Pants Back. Maybe they were trying to leave room for those series’ to do their thing? Who knows. Actually, if you do know, let me know in the comments, I’m very curious.

Last Night’s Shows, Today: Real Housewives Of New Jersey Season 3 Reunion Part 1

I look back on the pair of posts I wrote about this third season of Real Housewives Of New Jersey and cringe. Because I’ve been following Teresa’s exploits for two seasons before this and generally liked her, even given her bouts of ostrich like avoidance and dim bulb moments, I automatically sided with her when presented with the conflict between her, her sister-in-law Melissa and her cousin Kathy, who happened to join the RHONJ this season.

I realize now that, whatever has happened between Teresa and her brother, she’s completely unable to see how her actions have made things worse. Absolutely nothing she does is wrong and she never sees where anyone else is coming from. That was made abundantly clear during last night’s reunion. The season finale ended with the women reading Teresa’s cookbook which was filled with insults flung at the other women, which was the first topic at the reunion. Teresa explained everything away as a joke (“You know, ha ha?”) even though she’s never actually displayed even the remotest sense of humor. Ever.

I can see how some people would think the first part of this reunion was a “pile-up on Teresa” kind of thing, but it seems like she’s pretty much burned all the bridges she had on the show. I trust Caroline as a good judge of character, so when she said she wanted to be out of friendship with Teresa two years ago, it was a pretty eye-opening experience. Also, as you can tell by the picture above, Jacqueline didn’t show up and is possibly off the show now. See, they’re filming season four right now, so whatever happened between everyone and Teresa will be on next season, which is interesting because we’ll be able to see it, but annoying because we’ll have to wait until that season airs to see what’s happening!

With all this in mind, I’m wearing thin on the concept of Jersey Housewives. If they got rid of Teresa, I think I’d be fine with it because she’s basically taken the bitchy, manipulative spot previously held by Danielle and that’s not what I like about the show. I initially liked the extended family/friend feel of things, but that’s clearly ruined and will be even moreso during the fourth season which will make us relive all this petty nonsense while also showing us what happened. It’s kind of a double edged sword for me because I’m both sick of the nonsense and ridiculously curious. I’ve been saying this for two seasons now, but just give Caroline her own show and we’ll live in that world for a while. Heck, they introduced Greg this year, he could just sit around making comments and I’d be happy.

This Will Be My Last Season of Real Housewives Of New York

Sweet merciful crap, I think the second–and mercifully last–half of the Real Housewives Of New York Season 4 reunion was one of the most annoying bordering on infuriating 90 minutes of television I’ve ever put myself through. The waves of pomposity and petty, mean girl nonsense washing out of my TV were reaching tsunami levels. The worst part? Not that I won’t get those 90 minutes back. Not that it’s like watching adults cluck “I’m rubber, you’re glue” for a combined three hours. Not because it actually made my brain hurt when they were trying to shout over each other. No, the worst part was that I actually used to like (some of) these women. I actually caught a Season 2 rerun a few weeks back and it was shocking how nice and normal these people were. Sure, Ramona’s clear alcoholism was there early on as well as Kelly’s third grade mentality, but it was all toned down so much more. I’m not sure if they were hiding their craziness from the cameras or if the cameras and the ensuing fame wound up feeding what was already there like Seymour the man-eating plant. With no one left to care about or even root for and rage being the only emotion I feel at the end of each episode, I’m done with the season.

But before I bow out, I’ve got a few things to say about each woman and how they’ve each contributed to my dislike of the show overall. But before I do, I’ve got to say that the set-up of having the blondes on one side and the non-blondes on the other was a bad move. Watching them toss insults across at their frenemies or whatever only to then turn to their fellow mean girls, laugh and give little high fives about their sick burns was skin-crawlingly awful. They also all have this tendency to not listen to whoever they’re talking about, throw out pointless jabs at one another and ask for proof about claims followed immediately by said evidence and then brushing it off as inconsequential while also making a huge deal out of their own perceived sleights. It’s awful. Okay, now on to the rundown.

Cindy. Man oh man, what a waste of space. A more humorless woman I’ve never seen on television. At first I liked how she seemed to be the “man on the street” persona of the show, but the fact that she never ever got a joke or did anything productive or interesting aside from starting drama with people pushed her into my mental dustbin which is a shame because a single woman with two young twins should be interesting. I appreciate her not wanting to put up with Sonja’s nonsense about social levels or whatever, but taking a call in the middle of breakfast? Classless. Oops, don’t tell Alex I used the c word.

Speaking of Alex, she’s easily my favorite. I would definitely watch a show with just her, Simon and their two kids, even though it would border on pretentious. However, her incessant need to be the righter of wrongs this season got old, quick. I like that she’s found her voice, but she needs to learn how argue down and dirty like these awful specimens of humanity she’s surrounded by. LuAnn is MEAN and doesn’t listen to anyone, you can’t just roll into a restaurant and expect to lay out how she’s been mean. She’ll just make fun of your shoes or your skin (super classy) and walk away.

Ugh. LuAnn. I used to like her. She should have been likable to some extent this year considering she just went through a divorce, but not a chance. Hurling insults with a smile and while putting on some bullshit French accent still makes you a bitch. Not admitting to being mean compounds the issue. Saying you’re not trying to school people on manners after literally writing a book on the subject is just ridiculous. How do people like this exist? She’s so completely out of her head or reality that it would actually make me sad if she wasn’t such an awful awful person to watch. Also? Totally a weekend mom.

Speaking of moms, where were Kelly’s kids this season? Okay, enough of that segue. I’d say Kelly’s the worst, but, really, most of these women are so uninteresting, mean and bad in their own ways, that you can really pick your flavor of haughtiness. Kelly’s always been a head-in-the-clouds kind of person on these shows. That episode I mentioned seeing from a while back happened to be the one where she told Bethenny she was on one level and Kelly was on a higher one. You could see her strange view on life back then as well as her complete lack of real world view. How many times did she tell someone they were being weird as if that’s the world’s greatest insult? How many times has she commented on Alex getting red? This is a woman we saw lose her mind on camera last season and yet never owned up to any of it. I really think she has the mentality of a child. She believes what she wants to, ignores everything else and just wants everything to stop being weird and not nice. Also, did anyone else notice that she didn’t really have any of her own storylines this season? Everything was a lunch with someone else or piggybacking on other peoples’ drama. That’s odd, right?

I have no good way of connecting Kelly and Sonja. Maybe they didn’t even have a scene together. Ah well, whatever. Sonja’s the closest thing the season has to a character you can root for. She’s gone through a divorce, she’s having money problems. She’s also the one who told Cindy there was a pecking order and continues to make a fool of herself by not wearing parts of her costumes and doing awkward burlesque shows. Don’t get me wrong, I do think that older women can be gorgeous and beautiful, but when they try to throw it in your face at every single moment, it reeks of desperation. Otherwise, she was okay. I wouldn’t want to watch a show about her, but she could be the wacky neighbor who comes over every now and then.

Ramona fits a similar bill, though should would be the character that embodies irony in every sense of the word. She’s stand there talking about how someone else has a drinking problem with downing another bottle of her signature pinot grigio at 10:30AM or explaining how much she trusts her husband as he flirts with the delivery boy in the background. I mean, seriously, does anyone think she’s not an alcoholic? Doesn’t everyone have at least an inkling of a notion that Mario’s fooling around with someone? She tries to play it all off as wacky and fun, but I’m not buying it. Her daughter clearly has a strong desire to be with her parents, though they’re not around. She absolutely never listens to anyone or apologizes for anything (even a simple slip of the tongue). What redeeming qualities are there? I got nothing.

And finally, Jill. Blech. The way she carried herself through this reunion was appalling. Whispering little jabs to LuAnn, tossing fourth grade insults at Alex and Ramona, getting upset when talk of children came into play and yet attacking Ramona’s parenting and even going after Ramona’s marriage (that’s something for snarky bloggers and Tweeters to do from behind a wall of anonymity. All of this would be bad enough, but after a whole season of Jill being Jill, I’m just done. At the beginning of every season she talks about how much she’s changed which she echoes at every reunion only to be followed by a montage of her being awful. She then follows that up by saying she likes who she is and doesn’t want to change. Which is it? Have you changed or haven’t you? Just pick one and stick with it.

A lot of people–including some of the Housewives–will blame editing for the way they’re portrayed on the show, but I’ve never bought that excuse. The cameras pick up what’s there. The editors might mess around with the timing and the regularity of those moments, but they’re there. I’m sure they all have their good moments and aren’t horrible people, but that’s what I’ve been shown and I’ve had enough. There was a time when the show was built around the relationships these women had either as friends or business associates. They didn’t always like each other or get along, but there was enough realness to hold onto as a viewer who isn’t only in it for the trash factor. With all that, I’m out. Good luck with next season, but I won’t be watching.

Last Night’s Shows Today: Eureka, Warehouse 13 & Real Housewives Of New York

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these LNST columns. I’m still watching as much TV as ever, but I’m just not writing about it as much. I guess that’s because a lot of things are in reruns, I haven’ caught on to a lot of new shows and I’ve found other bloggers who write about the shows I like far better than I (and for actual money). Last night was a unique experience though as Syfy launched what looks like a pretty solid line-up of sci-fi themed, hour long shows. I only watched two of them, though because I’ve got to get caught up on my Housewives. Yes, I realize how sad that is.

EUREKA (8:00PM, Syfy)The missus and I lucked out and got completely caught up on Eureka‘s current season a few weeks back. Syfy was running a marathon and we tuned in exactly at the place where we left off during the previous marathon. Last night’s episode was the premiere of the second half of this season (yeah, it’s confusing). If you missed out, this whole season has revolved around Jack, Fargo, Allison, Jo and Henry dealing with a trip to the past that changed the present. This particular episode didn’t deal with that too much, instead focusing on Fargo and Zane accidentally launching themselves into space and everyone else trying to get them back safely. It’s a real “anything that can go wrong, will” story that shows off how good the Eureka writing staff is at playing within in their chosen genres. I’m still on the fence whether not getting into the greater mythology was a mistake or note. On one hand, it’s a kind of season opener so it might make sense to go light on the continuity, however, it’s not a season opener but a mid season opener, so why not jump in with both feet? I’ve got high hopes for the rest of this season. I’m guessing the Big Five’s big secret will start leaking out all over the place and am curious to see what the writers do with that.

WAREHOUSE 13 (9:00PM, Syfy)I didn’t write about it on the blog, but the last season finale for Warehouse 13 was pretty epic. While each episode that season had a solid monster of the week-type set up with Pete, Myka, Artie, Leena and Claudia tracking down artifacts that cause all kinds of havoc while also building on an overarching story. Things got pretty crazy at the end of the season with the world at risk and Myka quitting the Warehouse. The missus caught me up on that because I forgot most of it, so I was pumped for the premiere. And it turned out pretty good. I can’t really explain the episode because I missed a few of the details regarding the specific artifact, but people were getting killed and the Warehouse 13 crew–including new member and walking lie-detector Aaron Ashmore from Veronica Mars!–figuring it out. Of course, they run into Myka in her new day job and she SPOILER winds up rejoining the team with Ashmore staying on as well.

I did have one geeky problem with the episode though. The beginning is kind of ridiculous. Ashmore gets introduced as a New Jersey fed trying to figure out why a rock and roll museum is shooting lightning all over the place. Turns out Jimi Hendrix’s guitar is inside and causing the commotion. Claudia has to screw in his tremolo and whammy the guitar so it stops. My problems were two fold. First off, this whole scene just had a generally silly tone to it. The museum looked like a few pieces of clothes and a rack of guitars placed in an office building’s hallway. The dialog also got a little too inside baseball with Claudia geeking out when fire and lightning is literally inches away from killing her. Even worse than that, though, was the fact that Claudia picked up a normal right handed guitar to play. The problem with that is that, while Hendrix did play a right handed guitar, he flipped it over, switched a few parts and actually played it left handed. So, when she puts the guitar–which is not encased in anything by the way–over her shoulder, it’s normally right handed. If you’re going to throw around years and tremolos, you damn well better get all the details right. Just saying.

REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK (10:00PM, Bravo, rerun)Because the missus and I were out of town from Thursday evening until yesterday afternoon, we missed a lot of our regular shows, including Real Housewives of New York and New Jersey. As such, when I saw that these reruns were starting at 10, I passed up on Alphas, but will probably catch up on it at some point this weekend. Quick funny story, I was in the living room watching RHONY while my wife was in the bedroom feeding the baby and watching Alphas. She was disappointed when she came out and I was watching Bravo.

Anyway, I’ve become enthralled with Brian Moylan‘s Housewives posts on Gawker, but figured I’d toss out a few observations of my own (I haven’t read his post(s?) on the most recent episodes. Anyway, the juxtaposition of Ramona dragging her daughter Avery to a burlesque store (which is really a sex store, right?) played up against Jill’s daughter Allie explaining to her that she’s taking a sex class (a pretty popular class at every college, if I remember correctly) and wants to be a sex columnist for a magazine (snicker, good luck with that honey) was amazing. This episode should have probably been called “Ramona’s a bad mother” because after emotionally traumatizing Avery at a sex store, she then meets up with her for lunch and asks if she can make some calls while they eat. Avery explicitly tells her mother that she misses her and wants to spend more time with her parents and Ramona completely brushes her off, later saying that Avery is constantly calling her and her husband to find out where they are and looking annoyed while doing it.

There’s some other junk with mothers and daughters, including LuAnn–who’s become the most insufferable of the ladies by far–teaching her too-hop daughter to drive out in the Hamptons. It must have been a fluke when both of them were in the same county at the same time, so they made the best out of it. There’s also a bit where the Countess’ producer–who happens to look exactly like Tintin–plays her new song for her. It’s awful as you might expect. I hope that guy never works for legit people ever/again.

The rest of the episode revolves around Sonja’s burlesque party (which is why Ramona was in a burlesque store earlier). Most of the attendees didn’t seem to know what burlesque really was as it looked like a messy mash-up of Victorian, steampunk, circus master (Mario) and vintage Clockwork Orange thanks to Kelly. I am absolutely a one hundred percent heterosexual male, yet anytime Sonja smushes her lady bits into a supposedly sexy and far too revealing outfit and starts prancing around, I get a little sick in my stomach. She does not got it, she should not flaunt it, she just looks like a sad old lady looking, nay BEGGING for attention.