VH1 has the most excellent programming ever. Aside from legitimately cool shows like Best Week Ever, Where Are They Now, Movies that Rock and their actual music stuff like blocks of videos, Top 20 Countdown and 100 Greatest, they have become kings of train wreck reality programming. As many of you know, I am a huge sucker for reality t.v. While I love my scripted shows, I have a giant soft spot for "unscripted" shows as well. My favorites are the classier of the genre, like Amazing Race and Biggest Loser, which tend to focus more on some kind of wholesome competition/goal/team thing. But there is something about these trashy, train wreck shows that basically focus on the FAIL of the cast that draws me in. I can't believe there are people who actually go out and behave this way on t.v., whether it's their "real" personality or not. It's mesmerizing, to see what people put out there.
New this year on VH1:
- Celebrity Rehab Sober House (which I haven't seen yet, but come on, if it's anything like Celebrity Rehab it can't fail but be train wreckingly awesome)
- Rock of Love Bus (Bret Michaels and his third try at finding his soulmate from among a bunch of trashy drunk whores)
- Confessions of a Teen Idol (a group of former teen idols move in together to talk about their train wreck lives and their desire to be famous again, and which includes among others, Adrian Zmed, Christopher Atkins, two dudes from Baywatch and Eric Nies, formerly of the first Real World and subsequent Mtv Workout show The Grind)
And the show I am watching now, Tool Academy. Which is the most unfailingly awesome of the new shows, in which a bunch of party animal jackasses' girlfriends nominated them for Boyfriend Improvement Camp, aka Tool Academy. The best part? The guys think they are competing for the title of MR. AWESOME. The realization that their girlfriends (and the rest of the viewing world) think they are a bunch of tools in need of serious intervention is only marginally tempered by the fact that the winner gets $100k.
Right now, the entire group of Tools plus their beleagured DTMFA* girlfriends are watching the Tools' candid confessional interviews, in which they brag about their exploits and how well they have their girlfriends trained and how much they cheat on them and in which they show their disrespectful, asshat, tool-y base natures. My god, these guys are serious tools and deserve all the beatdown they get. I cannot believe any of these women claims to love these guys.
Also awesome about this show is that when they do interveiws with each guy, they put his name up and below that, they put what kind of tool he is. For example, there's Rob: Power Tool (the biggest jackass of them all), and Matsuflex: Naked Tool (a stripper, that's his stage name), Josh: Tiny Tool (a little dude), and Tommy: Slacker Tool (jobless). Much in the same way that other shows call their contestants "bachelors" or whatever, this show consistently calls the guys Tools. As in, "Will the three remaining Tools please step forward?" AND THEY DO. They respond to being called tools, and have even begun to self-refer as such. I can't explain the awesome of this.
There are also apparently team challenges, like today's, where the girl has to build a bed and the guy has to read her the instructions and is unable to physically assist her. One of the girls is praised by the show therapist for "redirecting" her boyfriend and getting him to focus on the task at hand when he starts jackassing for the camera. The girl does this by saying, "Brian, can you focus on this now instead of being a tool?" This is what counts for good communication on this show. Snerk.
At the end of each week, one guy will be declared too toolicious to improve and will be expelled from Tool Academy, at which point his girlfriend will have to decide if she wants to break up with him now or later. And the way they're expelled? The host says, "I'm sorry...you're just a tool." Hee! It's also pretty priceless that some of them still think they're somehow still competing for the MR. AWESOME title, while others have realized that getting expelled means they're the biggest, faily-est tool in the cabinet. Or, as Joey: Cold Hearted Tool puts it upon his non-expulsion this week, "I may be a tool, but at least I'm not the Grand Poobah King Tool of 'em all." I can't wait for more episodes.
*DTMFA = Dump the motherfucker, already. Thank you, Dan Savage. Seriously, not a single one of these guys deserves the girl they are with, let alone ANY girl at all.