Netflix’s new barbecue cooking competition The American Barbecue Showdown covers well-worn territory, but it does so well—especially with its terrific cast, including judge Melissa Cookston.
reality TV show reviews
All reality show and documentary TV reviews on reality blurred by TV critic Andy Dehnart. (Learn more about Andy.)
All three seasons of The Great Pottery Throw Down are now on HBO Max, and it’s just as charming and wonderful—and perhaps even better than—The Great British Baking Show.
ABC promised that Dancing with the Stars 29 would get a “creative refresh” and “fresh take.” But it’s the same show as it always has been—just now with Tyra Banks and terrible fake audience noises.
Netflix’s Get Organized with The Home Edit is the spiritual opposite of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, which was all about paring things down. The Home Edit is about buying more, and then arranging it to look Instagram perfect.
MTV’s 16 and Recovering, which follows students, faculty, and staff at Northshore Recovery High School in Mass., is exceptional reality television.
Discovery Channel’s Dodgeball Thunderdome was filmed this summer, putting people’s lives at risk to produce one of the worst reality competitions I’ve ever seen.
World’s Toughes Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji is an excellent reality series, frequently uplifting and thrilling, despite the unnecessary addition of host Bear Grylls.
CBS has renewed Phil Keoghan’s Tough As Nails for season two, which will film this fall. After its first two episodes, it kept improving, and its cast has consistently surprised me. Plus: great challenges!
RHONY used to be light and fun. But then Bethenny left, and so did everyone who knew how to tell a coherent story other than drunken fighting. Also: Who is Elyse and why is she everywhere?
A review of The CW’s Killer Camp, a playfully stupid show that left me with several questions, such as how the eliminated contestant is chosen to be murdered. I have answers.
Tough as Nails spends way too much time insisting its blue-collar contestants are better than other people, but once you get past that, there’s a fascinating competition with solid challenges here.
Cannonball, which is being previewed on NBC before airing on USA Network, looks like it should be the next Wipeout or Floor is Lava. It’s not.
HBO Max’s Karma mimics Big Brother’s game, except without giving its players a chance to save themselves except by random chance. It’s a waste of a beautiful location and a terrific cast, who make the show compelling even when the game design fails them.
Carla Hall is one of the three food god judges on Crazy Delicious, which has a Willy Wonka-ish set but in tone and approach, is much more like The Great British Baking Show.
Netflix’s Floor is Lava is visually stunning, with its set of gurgling lava slime, but it needs better narration, like Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool-style narration on ABC’s new game show Don’t.