Archive for March, 2012

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Exes, Week 8 Power Rankings

“That’s one of the dumbest moves I’ve seen in Challenge history…” —TJ Lavin

 

“Robin is actually doing exceptionally well: She hasn’t totally freaked out and she’s not crying yet!” —Mark

 

One of the biggest factors determining whether or not a reality show contestant is well-liked has to be how entitled he or she seems. Players who come into the game acting as if they are somehow owed a pass to the finals come off as spoiled, whereas audiences will root for anyone if they feel he’s earned his keep.

Compare, for example, Camila and Paula in last night’s episode of Battle of the Exes. When C.T./Diem announced their decision to send Dunbar/Paula into the Dome—a puzzling decision that even TJ criticized—Paula took it in stride and didn’t complain, even though it pitted her against her new beau Ty. Dunbar was a little confused, but only because he didn’t understand the logic behind the move. Continue reading

Against Brackets

There is nothing better than March Madness. But like all great things, March Madness gets exploited in the name of some stupid shit. And the ubiquity of various pop culture brackets every March is one of the most annoying trends.

This year’s bracket du jour is Grandland’s “tournament” of characters from The Wire. On paper, I should love this, as it combines two of my favorite things: March Madness and The Wire. And while I’m always in favor of conversations about the greatest television show of all-time, I was only mildly pleased by Grandland’s bracket—and not just because of the huge flaws made by the committee.

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Monday Medley

What we read while Joseph Kony stood up to his cyberbullies…

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Exes, Week 7 Power Rankings

“You should be, like, a psychologist.” —Diem, to Ty

 

“Are you sure this isn’t racist?”—Emily, about to perform in blackface

 

 

Well, that was a really good episode of Battle of the Exes. At least, until MTV decided to cut it off before Ty and Emily’s Dome opponent was revealed—a classic move by Challenge producers in their most exciting episodes. Leading up to that, though, the episode had a nice duality, with the heartwarming story of C.T. and Diem, the challenge’s winners, contrasted with the depressing tale of Ty and Emily, its losers.

With shades of Breaking Bad, the episode began in medias res, showing scenes from the fallout Ty and Emily’s fight before flashing back to Two Days Earlier, when it was C.T. and Diem who were dealing with the fallout of a recent fight. Diem explained that, in the three days since the blowout featured in last week’s episode, she and C.T. have not spoken or even so much as looked at each other: When one of them enters a room, the other leaves. Continue reading

Monday Medley

What we read while Rush Limbaugh called us way worse stuff…

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Exes, Week 6 Power Rankings

Let’s make things interesting: The Power Couple will get $2500… and I will personally give you a pat on the back.” —TJ Lavin

 

Diem: “Wow, I’m excited for this one. The money’s cool..”

C.T.: “The pat on the back is cool!” 

Like Rivals, the most compelling relationship of this season involves C.T., but unlike Rivals—when C.T. and Adam seemed to follow a slow but steady path toward reconciliationBattle of the Exes has not renewed or repaired C.T. and Diem’s relationship. Throughout the season, they’ve been perhaps the most distant couple. They’ve rarely shared any scenes together, and when they have it’s usually been to talk about how they haven’t been talking.

It doesn’t take a degree in psychology to figure out that why: Unlike most of the other couples, they hadn’t seen or spoken in years, and unlike the other relationships in the house, this one was really important to both of them. Since they’ve been mostly polite to each other, and they haven’t lost or won a challenge yet, they haven’t had a lot of screen time; but based on their confessionals and brief interactions (and, of course, knowing C.T.’s history of dealing with anger), they’d always seemed one wrong word from being at each other’s throats. Continue reading

Post 1,000! We Rank Our Rankings!

We Did It!

NPI has made it to 1,000 posts. Can you believe it? That’s 1,000 posts, only a few hundred of which have been collections of links, one-sentence jokes, or reviews of commercials! Somewhere in there we actually had substantive arguments about political and legal theory, the value of film criticism, and candy. We’ve chatted about college basketball, the World Series, and the BCS (oh so much about the BCS). We’ve reviewed all kinds of television, from reality shows on MTV to HBO dramas to teen soaps on ABC Family.

But, of course, NPI wouldn’t be NPI without rankings. And so to commemorate our 1,000th post, we’re ranking our rankings. To keep it manageable, we limited the list to the collaborative rankings. We also threw Josh’s ranking of the Bill of Rights in there (John S and Tim’s ongoing rankings, respectively of Bob Dylan songs and everything in history, being incomplete and therefore ineligible). What was our result?

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