Hey there, reality people! Did you miss me? After Jaslene posed her way to the title of America’s Next Top Model (told you!), Jordin became the newest American Idol and Andy (smartly) chose to walk off into the sunset with Tessa, I have to admit I got a little reality burned out and needed a little reality break. After all, I thought I’d take a little summertime breather. Silly, silly me. Before I knew it, pirates were invading, I started thinking I could dance, and I found myself taking a little snoozer on the lot. Nice and rested from my reality respite, I’m back now, and I’ve got your run-down of June’s most notable reality fare.
Hell’s Kitchen (FOX)
Premiered: Last night
Hide your knives – Gordon’s back! A new group of over-confident chef hopefuls take to Hell’s Kitchen for a typically horrendous first night’s service that results in no fewer than two people crying (is Gordon softening up?!) and upwards of a dozen eggs being massacred. I’m no Julia Child, but frying an egg?! I’m not convinced half of these people should make it past episode 1, but I’m interested to see more of what Eddie and Melissa can do.
Should you watch? You’re f***ing right, you f***head!
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (Bravo)
Premiered: Last night
Oh Kathy, how I love thee! For your third season of attention-grabbing tricks, you’ve come up with the terribly brilliant (or is it just terrible?) plan of dating your way off the D-list. I’ll back you up with the Prince William option, but K-Fed? Birkhead? Time to examine your head, my dear. Whatever the crazy situation – from performing at Carnegie Hall to appearing in a Redken “industrial video,” Kathy and her crew always manage to have a gay old time.
Should you watch? D-efinitely
American Inventor (ABC)
Premieres: Tomorrow night
The second season of ABC’s Simon Cowell-created reality competition for inventors premieres tomorrow night, giving another batch of creative entrepreneurs a chance to make their dreams a reality. Judges this year include George Foreman, co-creator Peter Jones, Pat Croce and Sara Blakely. What Pat Croce has to do with finding the next big million-dollar idea is a mystery to me – one I’m not sure I care to watch a whole season in order to decipher.
Should you watch? Only if someone invents a product as awesome as a lean, mean grilling machine.
Top Chef & Top Chef: Season 1 vs. Season 2 (Bravo)
Premieres: Tomorrow night!
If you get a little tired of Gordon’s Hell’s Kitchen tirades, find delicious refuge over on Bravo. The “No. 1 food show on cable” kicks off its third season tomorrow night with a special episode featuring four contestants from each of the first two seasons competing head-to-head for a prize of $20,000 to the winner’s charity of choice and those all-important bragging rights.
Next Wednesday, Top Chef heads to sunny Miami to introduce a new group of chef hopefuls. Joining Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi and Gail Summers on the judging panel is Queer Eye food guy Ted Allen.
Should you watch? Dig in!
Fast Cars & Superstars (ABC)
Premieres: June 7
They sound like a branded version of Jesse James and his Old West gang, but the Gillette Young Guns are actually a half-dozen of “stock car racing’s most talented and popular drivers,” who will teach some celebrity types to drive real fast. Taking to the track are Jewel, William Shatner, Tony Hawk, Baywatch alum Krista Allen, rodeo champ (and Mr. Jewel) Ty Murray, former NBA star John Salley, former QB John Elway, WWE’s John Cena, Serena Williams, volleyball player and model Gabrielle Reece, surfer Laird Hamilton and former NFL head coach Bill Cowher. ABC says, “In each episode, viewers will watch celebrities train with a Gillette Young Guns driver. The show will culminate in a one-hour finale where the celebrities will be coached from the pits by their Gillette Young Guns instructors and compete against each other during a time-trial race.”
I’m sure her hubby is a perfectly nice guy, but I really want to see Jewel wipe the track with him – and then bust out in a celebratory yodel.
Should you watch? Give it a chance; it might pick up some speed!
Last Comic Standing (NBC)
Premieres: June 13
I’ll preface this by saying that watching people try to be funny nearly makes me break out in hives, so I’m not the best person to judge the new season of Last Comic Standing. I will say, though, that replacing dopey Anthony Clark with Bill Bellamy is the first step to improving NBC’s “lively laughfest” (their words, not mine). Other NBC-scribed phrases tripping me up include their oddly broad goal of finding “the funniest new comedian in the world.” The world? Um, ok. Stops in London, Montreal and Sydney cover the WHOLE WORLD element before the live-audience shows begin and America’s votes decide who will win $250,000 and his or her own half-hour comedy special on Bravo.
Should you watch? Don’t make me laugh.
Premieres: June 17
WE’s matrimonial prevention series returns with a new season of all-new horror-show brides. If these chicks don’t make you want to be a Zen bride, nothing will!
Should you watch? Season 4 and zilla winner!
Age of Love (NBC)
Premieres: June 18
Hosted by All My Children alum Mark Consuelos, this new dating series sets out to find a love match for tennis star Mark Philippoussis. In the neverending quest for new twists, Age of Love’s lovely singles include seven women in their 40s – given the offensive nickname of “Cougars” – and six “Kittens” in their 20s.
Should you watch? Philippoopooo is no Lieutenant Andy Baldwin
Shaq’s Big Challenge (ABC)
Premieres: June 26
Shaq and his “dream team” of experts set out to inspire six obese middle-school kids to adopt a healthier lifestyle. A good idea — hopefully one with a great result – but the show pushes it with its goal to “expand [its] scope to develop and implement a wellness program fore the entire state of Florida.”
Should you watch? For better weight loss inspiration, wait for The Biggest Loser (premiering in August)
Hey Paula (Bravo)
Premieres: June 28
Kicking off with back-to-back episodes, this seven-episode series gives an unfiltered look at Idol’s leading lady, taking viewers inside her business, prankster, public and personal sides. Also introduced are hairstylist and best friend Daniel; publicist Jeff; wardrobe assistant Kylie; and “kids” Bessie Moo, Chomps, Thumbelina and Tulip. The feel-good Chihuahua stuff is all well and good, but what about the parts of Paula that really get people talking?!
Should you watch? Give us the gritty goods, and we’re in.
Which of these has you most excited?