TLC’s Shalom in the Home, Honey We’re Killing the Kids debut tonight

TLC debuts two new self-help, feel-good reality series tonight starting at 9 p.m. ET. First, there’s Honey We’re Killing the Kids!, which follows Dr. Lisa Hark as she scares children and their parents about their crappy eating habits. She does that by showing kids and their parents “a frightening look at the possible future faces of their children” using a computer, TLC says. Then, she “works with parents to reverse course and give their kids a healthy diet and active lifestyle.”

At 10 comes Shalom in the Home The series stars Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, and in each episode he “helps families overcome their thorniest problems” over a 10-day episode. The Rabbi shows up to homes across America in a high-tech trailer that serves as his office and own personal NSA, as he watches the family’s interaction through hidden cameras. Then, he sets about trying to fix their problems, sort of like a non-secular version of Dr. Phil married with Judge Judy. In a column describing his new series, he says that, as a society, “we focus far too much on peace in the world at the expense of peace in the home,” and this is his attempt to fix that problem. And it’s clear that this is his show more than it is the family’s.

The first family he tackles is in the process of divorce, and the kids are going crazy. He tells the Philadelphia Daily News, “In this first show, you find all the important problems — fidelity, teenage sex, divorce, adultery, absentee father. We try to deal with the problems holistically, though, and that is the uniqueness of the show. In most family shows, they try to solve one problem, but you can’t fix one end of the family if the other end is broken. You have to do lots of things together.”

The Boston Globe’s Matthew Gilbert says Boteach is “judgmental,” “self-righteous and manipulative in his hunger to restore peace.” The Arizona Republic’s Bill Goodykoontz says the series “rises above the usual level of this kind of thing for one reason, and one reason only: the show’s ‘star,’ Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.”

Shalom in the Home and Honey We’re Killing the Kids! [TLC]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.