American Inventor opens phones for voting and is even more boring than usual

American Inventor aired its “finale” episode tonight, and the phone lines opened so viewers could vote for the four finalists: Ed Hall, with Word Ace; Janusz Liberkowski, with Anecia, the spherical safety seat; Francisco Patino, with the Double Traction Bike, and Erik Thompson, with The Catch, the receiver’s training pole.

Thankfully, this Simon Cowell-produced disaster is almost over. It’s really too bad ABC and the producers wasted the concept with this piece of crap. The inventions are quite interesting and revolutionary, and the judges are both confrontational and nurturing.

But for some reason, instead of focusing on the inventors or the judges, we’ve gotten a lot of nothing: voice-overs by the stupid host narrating obviously set-up shots of them walking into buildings or making fake phone calls. With Rita Cosby’s long-lost brother–the raspy-voiced, annoying Matt Gallant–as host, the show has done nothing but waste time for its entire run. Worse, the padding has gotten thicker with every subsequent episode.

Watching the show now is like reading a blank notebook looking for a single period. When the inventors actually have to do real work or make decisions, those moments are’ summarized for us, never mind the bullshit recap episodes that ABC has aired the past few weeks.

Apparently, no one working on this show has ever heard of “show, don’t tell.” And this is television! Then again, this is television on ABC, America’s most incompetent broadcast network, so it’s fitting that they’ve screwed this up.

American Inventor [ABC]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.