Past forward: A dramatic Big Brother exit leads to finales of shows we might not miss

What happened last week, and what to watch during the week ahead:

The Past

The Forward

  • Friday
    Just watch Animal Planet tonight: Whale Wars ends its second season [9 p.m.] and Jockeys debuts its second with new hour-long episodes [10 p.m.].
  • Sunday
    Design Star [HGTV, 10 p.m.], which is a great competition even if it is inferior to Next Food Network Star, particularly in the judging, have to design rooms for kids, and actually start hosting so we can see how they do in front of a camera. Earlier in the day, What Would Brian Boitano Make? debuts [Food Network, 1 p.m.], on which he hosts dinner parties for his friends at his house. While the series focuses on him, he won’t talk about who Brian Boitano will do.
  • Monday
    Three finales tonight: Great American Road Trip [NBC, 8 p.m.] ends it road trip, so if you’ve been sticking with this show for some reason, you’re free after tonight; Dating in the Dark [ABC, 9 p.m.] tests a final group of people to see how shallow they are; and Cake Boss [TLC, 10 p.m.] ends its first season and also stops making me crave cake every time I watch. There are also two very different debuts: Out of Egypt [Discovery, 9 p.m.], which turns the study of ancient civilizations into a personality-driven show by following UCLA professor Kara Cooney as she explores pyramids and the like, and Rachel Zoe’s self-titled reality show [Bravo, 10 p.m.], which I watch only because she’s so ridiculous that the whole show seems like a farce, as if she was parodying an L.A. stylist. Die.
  • Tuesday
    The docudrama Tiny & Toya [BET, 10 p.m.] ends its first season, and I mention it primarily because Kathy Griffin told me she’s addicted to the series, although I’ve yet to watch it. At 10:30, BET spins-off Keyshia Cole: The Way it Is with Frankie and Neffe, which follows Keyshia’s mother and sister.
  • Wednesday
    ABC offers Wipeout with cars: Crash Course [9:02 p.m.], which is hosted by Orlando Jones and Dan Cortese and puts pairs of people who know each other behind the wheel in crazy courses, kind of like The Amazing Race lite. This better be a great birthday present, ABC. Top Chef Las Vegas moves to its regular timeslot [Bravo, 10 p.m.], and hopefully stops with the random immunity and other nonsense it threw out in the opening acts last week.
  • Thursday
    Indiana high schools stage expensive stage productions and compete with each other in the documentary Battle Of The High School Musicals: Guys ‘N’ Divas [Showtime, 8 p.m.]. Also on pay cable, a series of short documentary films by photographer Bruce Weber will air [Sundance Channel, 10 p.m.]. Mark Burnett’s Bully Beatdown returns [MTV, 9:30 p.m.] as part of MTV’s new block of “more insane original programming.” Watching bullies get their asses kicked is disturbingly satisfying, even if the show is really crappy.

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.