Here’s your look at what’s ahead this week in reality TV—which includes 16 show premieres.
Face Off finds its first all-star winner
Face Off: All Stars reaches its finale (Syfy, Tuesday, April 24 at 9), having become a more conventional version of itself during the past few weeks. While I loved the team format, I suppose the switch to individual challenges was inevitable for there to be one winner.
I wanted more alternating immunity and elimination episodes, though; that format ended after the first eight episodes and four eliminations, leaving the last five episodes to be more typical episodes. I also wish we’d seen more of the judges taking into account work across both the non-elimination and elimination episodes.
But those are trivial complaints; overall it’s been a strong season. Though, while I’m venting: Last week, the judges decided to keep Cig for his gargoyle that wasn’t inspired by Russian renaissance architecture, but instead was just wearing a Russian renaissance building as a hat, a ridiculous gargoyle and ridiculous decision.
Also concluding Tuesday: Cosplay Melee (Syfy, Tuesday at 10), a Chopped-style one-off episode series that challenged four people to make a cosplay costume. The contestants produced some great work, but despite Yvette Nicole Brown’s fun hosting, the show kind of dragged for me, and quickly started piling up on my DVR.
Married at First Sight lets fans date its stars
Season five of Married at First Sight debuted last week on a new network, Lifetime, the show’s third network in five seasons. And this week, the show spawns its own version of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
Married at First Sight: Second Chances (Lifetime, Thursdays at 10:15) gives MAFS alumni Vanessa Nelson and David Norton a chance to date lots of people “in multiple rounds of dating and courtship,” according to the network. According to the trailer, that includes their fans: “many of their fans will share their feelings for the first time,” David says.
This seems like a great idea, capitalizing on two popular cast members who viewers are already invested in. But it also highlights the show’s increasing failure rate—only three of 12 couples are still together—and makes it seem more like The Bachelor, which is less interested in love and more interested in sustaining the franchise.
Also this week
- The Last Laugh explores what kind of subjects should be off-limits, if any, from comedy. (PBS, Monday, April 24, at 10)
- Ellen Page and Ian Daniel take their Gaycation inside the United States (Viceland, Sunday, April 30, at 10) for a special called “Gaycation: United We Stand” that looks at “the new challenges faced by the LGBTQ community under Donald Trump” and “explores how people from all walks of life are coming together, organizing and fighting for their rights under the Trump Administration.” That starts with the Women’s March and also heads to Indiana, where Vice President Mike Pence was governor, which is relevant because of things like this.
- If you’re a fan of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Netflix has seasons one through six—but they’re going away May 15, so watch now.
- Don’t expect another new theory or answers about what happened to JonBenét Ramsey in Casting JonBenét (Netflix, April 28). Instead, the documentary is about the effect of the murder on Boulder. Director Kitty Green makes the fascinating choice of telling the story by auditioning locals to play the Ramseys and others. Sundance said this “unique approach allows for all the fact and fiction of JonBenet’s case to be shared while deftly questioning the way individuals search out their own subjective truths.” Watch the trailer:
All shows debuting this week
- Vegas Rat Rods (Discovery, April 24, Mondays at 10)
- Booze Traveler: Best Bars (Travel Channel, April 24, Mondays at 10)
- Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman (Science, April 25, Tuesdays at 10)
- 48 Hours: NCIS (CBS, April 25, Tuesdays at 10)
- Backyard Goldmine (DIY, April 25, Tuesdays at 10)
- JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald (History, April 25, Tuesdays at 10)
- Reasonable Doubt (ID, April 26, Wednesdays at 10)
- Outlaw Tech (Science, April 26, Wednesdays at 10)
- Fire Island (Logo, April 27, Thursdays at 8)
- Inside the FBI: New York (USA Network, April 27, Thursdays at 10)
- Beerland (Viceland, April 27, Thursdays at 10)
- Married at First Sight: Second Chances (Lifetime, April 27, Thursdays at 10:15)
- Ginormous Food (Food Network, April 28, Fridays at 8)
- Marriage Boot Camp: Family Edition (WE tv, April 28, Fridays at 9)
- My Cat From Hell (Animal Planet, April 29, Saturdays at 9)
- Return to Amish (TLC, April 30, Sundays at 8)