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Posts from: April 2011

Taking on Tyson: gorgeous, boring, should have been a one-off documentary

Animal Planet should be commended for the ambition of Taking on Tyson: a beautifully shot series about Mike Tyson’s actual, real-life love for pigeons. Unfortunately, the series was boring, sometimes excruciatingly so, never mind repetitive, and its six hours should have been condensed into one 90-minute documentary. The fact that this quasi-review is being published …

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Craig Gilbert calls HBO’s American Family film “fallacious”; Louds paid by HBO to stay quiet

HBO debuted its film about the creation of An American Family, but the series’ producer has called the film’s plot fiction–and as usual, reality is more interesting and complicated. While the performances in Cinema Verite were strong, and the actors looked surprisingly like their real-life counterparts, I was somewhat disappointed by the film, which was …

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Bethenny Frankel sold Skinnygirl liquor for $120 million, says her show has one or two more seasons

Six years ago, Bethenny Frankel first came to our attention as a contestant on Martha Stewart’s version of The Apprentice. Three years ago, she first showed up as a cast member on The Real Housewives, which both she and Bravo each almost rejected. Today, Bethenny has taken her fame from the Bravo series and turned …

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An intelligent conversation about race emerges from Phillip’s craziness on Survivor

On Survivor Redemption Island, Matt and Mike may have won the first three-way duel, making its loser, Dave, the first member of the jury, and Julie may have been voted off, but the episode was entirely about Phillip, the former federal agent whose spiral into odd behavior reached a new low tonight, when he turned …

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Danielle Staub, Jake Pavelka, Heidi Montag reality series: opening a restaurant with Big Brother’s Mike Malin

The reality series starring a bunch of unlikeable reality stars has been revealed, and despite the fact that it stars Danielle Staub, Jake Pavelka, and Heidi Montag, it is not about reviled reality TV show villains. Instead, those cast members will be opening a restaurant in West Hollywood together for VH1’s Famous Food, a show …

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Viewer votes may be adjusted to correct for Idol voters’ bias toward singers with penises

Paul McDonald’s exit last week on American Idol marked the first exit of a male from the finals this season, unless you count Casey Abrams, who was saved by the judges. But considering that and the fact that a woman hasn’t won in three seasons, the show’s producers are considering adjusting the vote somehow to …

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Photojournalist and documentary filmmaker Tim Hetherington killed in Libya

Tim Hetherington, who filmed the Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo, was killed today while photographing the conflict in Libya. He was 41. He had been actively posting to Twitter, and yesterday, wrote, “In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.” Human Rights Watch’s Peter N. Bouckaert told Vanity Fair, “Tim …

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Idol, Apprentice had much more product placement than Amazing Race, yet it feels like the reverse

Last month, eight of the 10 shows with the most product placement were reality TV shows. This is unsurprising, but it is surprising is that the product placement in the shows with the most brand mentions were actually less obvious than shows with significantly fewer instances of product-whoring. American Idol had 208 brand mentions, while …

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