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Tue, Jul 25, 2017 03:39 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
'Dog Eat Dog,' 'Amazing Race' top summer reality shows

by Cletus R. Turner

Martin County Bureau



Dog Eat Dog has returned to NBC.

To be honest, I’ve sort of missed it. This is a great reality show, and, as you know, I am no fan of reality shows. Dog has contestants get together for the day doing various stunts so that they can get to know each others weaknesses. Once that is accomplished, the show is taped. The group votes who they think will not be able to do the challenge. Once that person is chosen, he or she does the stunt. If they succeed, they get to choose someone to knock out of the game. If they fail, they go to the “dog pound.” There is a twist though. Once the show has whittled down the number of contestants to one, that person must match wits with the people who are in the dog pound. The “winner” chooses the person they want to answer each question. Once a person answers a question, they don’t get another question. If the “winner” is able to stump the panel, then they get $25,000. If they can’t, then the panel gets to share the money.

Sound like fun? It really can be. When you have contestants that are egotistical and they lose, it is so much fun. They talk crap and just enjoy themselves and I happen to like that.

Plus, sometimes the underdog (no pun intended) wins and that is great too. What sets this show apart is the stunts. Last year, I got to watch someone try to get a platform to sway back and forth far enough to get flags placed all around the platform. The group chose a girl who probably weighed 90 pounds soaking wet. So, naturally, she was at a disadvantage from the start. To the surprise of everyone, she moved quickly and was able to get the platform to lean much faster than the group expected. She was able to complete the challenge and chose to get rid of the big, brawny guy that had laughed when he chose her. Revenge can be a good thing. Problem is, the whole thing came full circle because she was the one who was the “winner” and had to outwit the panel. Who should be the one to beat her? The big, brawny guy who answered a question that most people would have believed he couldn’t.

That is what makes great television. When someone does something they aren’t supposed to be able to do. Breaking down stereotypes is a wonderful fringe benefit to a show. Dog Eat Dog will be on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on NBC.



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The Amazing Race is back for CBS. Another reality show that can sometimes be rather entertaining. You have ten pairs of individuals who must try to work together to not be the last person across the finish line each week. The reason? The last group or pair is eliminated. This season boasts not only the requisite pairs with “love trouble” we also have to clowns. No, not two guys who are just crazy, we actually have two CLOWNS from the circus. Of course, they are not in their makeup, but it does sound like fun.

So far, Steve and Dave, two air traffic controllers from Chicago, are in the lead; Chip and Reichen, a married couple from Los Angeles, are in second and Kelly and Jon, an engaged couple from Miami, are in third.

Who should win? Who cares, sometimes just getting to watch two people explode is great. Yeah, as they say goodbye to their 15 minutes of fame, they say how much they love each other, etc., but when they are in the heat of the game, sometimes it is great fun to listen to them tear each other a part.

Even more fun is seeing different locals, how each of the groups fare when they are confronted by foreign countries. Language and culture barriers are always interesting to me. Last week, the groups were in Italy. Looking at Venice (and seeing it in the Italian Job) made me want to visit that lovely country even more. Sadly, I don’t think the groups actually got to see the locale, but at least they were there.

I like the show, even if it is a reality show, simply because it can change and evolve. Unlike most reality shows, this series can go anywhere and let the contestants do almost anything. That is certainly entertaining and fun.



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Notes from the couch:

Sometimes reality is more scary than television. Take For Love or Money for example. Rob Campos is a guy who gets to pick from a group of women who he will “date.” Like The Bachelor, the only difference is the winning woman gets a million dollars. Now, Campos wishes he had never heard of the whole mess. It seems that Campos got in trouble while he was part of the real-life JAG, the military team that helps prosecute military personnel accused of wrong doing. Campos was honorable discharged and the mess he got into, trying to assault a woman while drunk, never had public charges filed. Also, he neglected to tell both the law firm he now works for and NBC about the incident. No word from NBC, but the law firm, has given him the big heave-ho. After his drunken actions on Tuesday’s episode, you have to wonder how long NBC will stay the course on this one.

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