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Summer 2014 Reality TV Preview

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Jun 23, 2014

After a heavy winter of stimulating programming, like "True Detective," "American Horror Story," "Walking Dead," "Bates Motel" and "Breaking Bad," it's time to turn off your noggin and enjoy one of the best gifts summer has to offer: trashy reality TV.

Sure, there is little hope for a return of the amazing train wreck murder mystery that was "Whodunnit" but there's plenty of mind-numbing shows to fill the void. And navigating through the reality TV landscape can be difficult in 2014 -- sometimes it feels like there are more non-scripted shows than scripted; but don't fear! We've curated a list of reality shows that will air this summer that you should check out.

"Big Brother 16" (CBS)

You know it's summer when "Big Brother" is on. The sixteenth season of the long-lasting reality show will air June 25 through early September. What separates "BB" from other shows, namely "Survivor," is the fact that it's live, allowing viewers to creepily spy on and interact with the players via the 24/7 live feeds. Hype surrounding the show is high, at least between fans, who are trying to guess what "BB" producers have up their selves: some sites say the upcoming season will have a blood versus water theme, where returning players and newbies will face off against members of their family.

Other rumors suggest that it's going to be "Big Brother All-Stars 2," with a full cast of former players. If that's the case, it could be a controversial season, just like "Big Brother 15," where a number of players came under fire for using racist and anti-gay slurs.

"I Wanna Marry 'Harry'" (FOX)

In its short life, "I Wanna Marry 'Harry'" was able to grab headlines with its controversial setup: A group of American girls are duped into thinking they are on a "Bachelor" style dating show, vying for that attention and affection of England's Prince Harry. But in reality, they're going on dates with an average Joe named Matt Hicks, who kinda sorta looks like Harry...maybe if you squint.

But it was revealed Thursday that the show was canceled. Only four episodes aired and the remaining episodes will be available online and on Hulu.

It's not a huge surprise Fox pulled the plug on "'Harry,'" it has been criticized for portraying American women as ditzy airheads. While some of the contestants are certainly not going to find the cure for cancer anytime soon, a good portion of them seem like they have a steady head on their shoulders, refuting the idea Fox would send them on dates with a Royal.

The first few episodes have been a delightful mess, though somewhat repetitive, kind of like delivering the same punch line over and over again, but nevertheless extremely enjoyable. It's a show you end up loving to hate, or hate for loving.

"Bachelor in Paradise" (ABC)

Think MTV's "The Challenge," which recycles former "Real World" cast members and puts them through a series of physical obstacles, but with the doucheist cast-offs from "The Bachelor" franchise. According to ABC, some of the show's biggest stars and villains will get a "a second chance to find their soul mates."

A release for the show continues: "Contestants will live together in an isolated romantic paradise and, over the course of six episodes, we'll follow these former bachelors and bachelorettes as they explore new romantic relationships. America will watch as they fall in love or go through renewed heartbreak."

There will be tears, screaming, sexy time and a lot more. The summer series won't air until August 4 but we have the latest season of "The Bachelorette" to hold us over until then. Let's hope there's no Juan Pablo though.

"Ladies of London" (Bravo)

I'm not the biggest fan of the "Real Housewives" franchise but I decided to give Bravo's "Ladies of London" a shot and wasn't disappointed. Though it's not part of the "Real Housewives" cannon, it might as well be: the show, which is two episodes in, centers around six woman who live in, you guessed it -- London. Some of them are expats who are starting a new chapter of their lives across the pond, trying to fit into the city's intimidating high society.

In the first episode, one of the women, Noelle Reno, who is edited as a gold digging bitch, wears a hat to a polo game, which is a big no-no for the other ladies. It's this subtle bitchery that makes it "LoL" amazing -- no one is throwing drinks at each other, flipping tables or face slapping; these women cut each other down with words and disparaging remarks that will stick with you for years. But remember, don't wear a hat, or you'll never fit in.

"I Slept With a Celebrity" (???)

This show doesn't actually exist yet. And maybe "I Slept With a Celebrity" will never see the light of day, for obvious (legal) reasons. But it's just something I can't help but look forward to watching.

We are in the social media age and the upcoming show, produced by Bravo's Andy Cohen, could be the pinnacle of over-sharing. The show, does not have a network yet, according to the Hollywood Reporter and it looks like Bravo may not pick it up.

"ISWAC" will air once a week and feature two guests gossiping about "their walk with fame led to a walk of shame, describing where they met, where they went and what they wore -- or didn't. A one-night stand is usually nothing to brag about, but what if the person you slept with is famous?" the Hollywood Reporter writes.

It's probably going to be really tacky, like the short-lived CW show "H8R," hosted by Mario Lopez , where TV personalities like Snooki and Kim Kardashian would confront their haters. "H8R" was a missed opportunity that hopefully "ISWAC" can improve on.


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