Let me begin by saying I'm not a fan of reality TV. Not saying I've never watched it before - because who among us doesn't like a good train wreck now and then? Watching other people make idiots out of themselves is a fantastic way to prop ourselves up, especially when the boss says, "Oh, by the way, stop by my office tomorrow around 5 and make sure you bring your keys."
My idea of reality TV is a sporting event or some kind of competition. (Other than WWE! Sorry, peeps. While I still believe in Santa Claus, I do not believe you can hit a man over the back of his head with a metal folding chair several times and not cause a little dain bramage.)
It's bad enough we have to be subjected to bitchy, high-maintenance, self-absorbed housewives from different cities across America, but now we've got athletes joining the ranks to put their already media-saturated lives in even sharper focus for us all to observe.
If you're a follower of the genre or just a sports fan, you know by now that the latest to bring the cameras into their already public, public life is Chad Ochocinco. That's right, the man who's never met a camera or microphone that wasn't his best friend has gone from the gridiron to the dance floor and now the bedroom floor (or is that the kitchen floor?).
Point is, I don't think Ocho minds what floor it is, because he's got some business to conduct and that business is serving himself up to one or several lucky ladies for his next act. Yes, get your DVRs and Tivos ready, boys and girls, because "Ochocinco, the Ultimate Catch" is on the air. Who needs an online dating service when you got a TV network that will throw some cake at you (aka $$) to go out with a bunch of women who are hoping to be the next or first Mrs. Ochocinco?
What's not real about that, I ask you?!
The Ocho has clearly parlayed his Dancing with the Stars success into big wave of TV momentum for himself, but I'm just trying to figure out when he's get'n in some reps catching something other than lingerie being thrown his way. I don't see Carson Palmer on set zipping 10 yard curl routes between takes on the show.
The folks at VH1 apparently believe that the Ocho can deliver some solid summer numbers they can sink their teeth into. I'll say this for Ocho - he's earning his money. The 11 episodes were shot in just five weeks, so it could run from July (dog days of TV and sports) to September as a lead-up to football, where Chad is still scheduled to appear unless he gets a movie deal. Hey, don't rule it out. Tom Cruise's latest flick has been trashed and let's just say those films slated for Mel Gibson to play in are looking for a leading man.
Here's how it all works. They began with a field of 85 ladies that was quickly trimmed down to 16. (That gives a whole new meaning to those speed dating setups.) In typical TV setup, the 16 finalists are from four regions across the country - four from the East, Midwest, South and West; gotta keep those Nielsen numbers balanced, baby! The field of 16 is then set in a tournament style bracket and as he goes on double dates with them the field keeps getting cut down until one baby momma gets the coveted #85 championships Ochocinco ring.
In keeping with the whole numbers theme, let me just say that Ocho had nine scores last season for the Bengals. I think there's a very good chance he'll hit paydirt even more often for the crew at VH1, though we're not likely to see any of his made for TV "scores". Now if that doesn't ooze must-see TV, I don't know what does (forgot about The TO Show - Season 2).
That's right... I hadn't even touched on that ratings monster, The TO Show! Show is so big, they gave it a second season. I am not lying. I am happy to report, however, that neither of these incredibly deep and thought-provoking shows cleared the Cable Top 25 ratings. In fact, Spongebob Square pants put a solid beatdown on both of them.
However, the shows will continue, because they did apparently rate very highly with the coveted 23- to 29-year-old male and female with IQs under 15 category. So fear not, my little sponge heads - neither of these TV gems will be cancelled before they make their full run.
And if all of this wasn't reason enough to be excited about TV viewing, you'll be happy to know the same folks who brought us these award-winning programs are reportedly talking to Ricky Williams about starring in his own reality TV show. The Cheech and Chong movie classic "Up in Smoke" is protected by copyright laws, so Ricky and the producers will have to come up with their own name. I'm thinking about submitting the name "The Ricky Williams Show - Black Gold".
As for me, instead of the Ultimate Catch, I'll watch Deadliest Catch or some solid movie classics like Fletch, Old School or Anchorman and if things get really bleak in the weeks leading up to football season, I'll even subject myself to re-runs of that local classic, The Eric Byrnes Show.