Netflix’s first reality competition series, Ultimate Beastmaster, arrived today. While it owes a lot to NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, it turns out that the genius part of the show’s business strategy turns out to be its best creative move, too. The draw here is not Sylvester Stallone, who appears in the trailer and the introduction, monotoning his way through some scripted lines before evaporating, but rather… continue reading
Tim Gunn agrees: Project Runway Junior is the best Project Runway. And its second season—which began its conclusion last night on Lifetime—hasn’t changed that at all. This is a talent competition that is everything a talent competition should be: challenging, joyful, emotional, and all together wonderful, a celebration of art and struggle. From Tim Gunn to the edit, the contestants are treated… continue reading
Science Channel’s MythBusters: The Search is looking for new MythBusters, but the real fun comes from something other than the competition.
Love Survivor’s brutal challenges? Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge offers little more than well-shot physical challenges, and that’s its strength.
A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath is a compelling series that enlightens with emotional, painful stories from those who’ve left the church.
GSN’s latest talent competition is Window Warriors, which challenges retail display merchandisers to create windows for real-world brands.
Animal Planet’s new series Ocean Warriors picks up where Whale Wars left off, following not just Sea Shepherd, but others who work to save the oceans.
Antarctica is an abstraction: nothing but miles and miles of ice, inhabited only by sea life and the occasional expedition. That was my conception of the seventh and southernmost continent on our planet before I watched Continent 7: Antarctica (National Geographic, Tuesdays at 10), which quickly expands what Antarctica is, showing it to be a place full of life—and not just… continue reading
A review of American Horror Story: Roanoke, which attempted to satirize reality TV twice with “My Roanoke Nightmare” and “Return to Roanoke.”
A review of National Geographic’s new series Mars, which alternates between actual documentary footage in 2016 and a fictional 2033 trip to Mars.
A review of VH1’s mostly pleasurable, though somewhat stilted premiere of Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, a playful talk show on a kitchen set.
A review of Showtime’s The Circus, which follows Mark Halperin, John Heilemann, and Mark McKinnon on the campaign trail, and shows how the media makes news.
Lifetime’s Project Runway: Fashion Startup may be a version of Shark Tank, but it’s one that does some things differently and succeeds as a result.
Networks increasingly want celebrity names attached to reality shows, but LeBron James’ absence from his show Cleveland Hustles shows how pointless that is.
Logo’s Finding Prince Charming, the gay dating show, could have done something original. Instead, it cast a boring bachelor and badly copied The Bachelor.