Starting in the mid 90’s, after Real World had paved the way, we saw a boom in reality TV.  Big Brother, Survivor, American Idol came from this generation and have stuck around on major networks.  But when you get into the mid 30’s to 40’s channel-wise you are presented with a new type of reality TV.  The major train-wreck kind, the I want to marry a rock star, my boy friend is a tool, to the newly founded market of I’m an athlete or associate with an athlete.  I plan to dive into explore the new trend by breaking down the athlete based shows and the purpose behind them:

The Michael Vick Project:

This show aired on BET at the beginning of this year going 10 episodes.  After a sub-par comeback to the League, his PR team went about documenting the whole thing in order to try to rehabilitate his image.  The show lost steam and had little push in advertising.  Watching the first episode I could not decide whether I was supposed to like him or not, and why in the world were they interviewing his brother to back him as a creditable guy.  Does anyone remember Marcus’s actions at VT? BET maybe should have thought that through and said ‘Marcus, you go ahead and sit this one out’.  I don’t believe there are plans for a re-up for the show and for good reason…. Vick’s 2009 stat line: 6-13 for 86 yards, one touchdown, 24 rushes for 95 yards and two td’s as a backup.  Oddly his 93.7 passer rating was the highest of his career.

Purpose: Humanize him with a proposal, grave visit, family interviews, and his expression of shame!

The T.O. Show:

Why is this the main poster?

This little Gem is coming back for a second season after the VH1 quality success of the first 7 episodes.  In this show, our eyes are opened to the eccentric star that cries when you talk about his quarterback while wearing the jacket from Thriller.  This show was also a push to change the perception of a star, driven by his publicists who wanted some air time as well.  In season one, we get to see Terrell hook up with his Realtor, party it up, try to reunite with his X, and cry with his Grandma.  He loves to cry. Although, we all know Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease, this was a deliberate attempt for his TEAM to win us over. 2009 stats: 55 receptions for 829 yards and five TD’s, in a continuing decline of production.

Purpose:  To win back fans who were alienated by his odd 2007-2008 seasons.  Left us in the awkward zone still.

Basketball Wives:

Who's the Married ONE?

First, only one of them is married to a basketball player, Jennifer who’s married to retired player EricMr EdWilliams.  On the comedic side, her bio describes Eric as “…a wealthy and successful professional basketball player….” I had to look up who he played for and he was on 9 (7 teams) different rosters.  I don’t think that counts as successful, that’s like people saying Michael Olowokondi was a positive force for the rebuilding Clippers, OH WAIT his ex-girlfriend (NOT WIFE) is on the show.  I thought this show was going to be setup like a lot of the other group reality shows and we were going to see them all duking it out in some outlandish mansion that still isn’t big enough for people to have their own rooms.  Can someone explain that reality TV dilemma to me?  All the women feel they are better than Royce, the sideline dancer, ’cause NBA dancers maybe not be humans in their eyes? I don’t know, cause they way the chase jerseys just isn’t right, since they arent stalking them in college or at a night club.

Purpose:  For all these girls to stretch the money they have left. More like The NBA Hills than a reality show. The closest  show to a train wreck.

Please E! Make fantasy a reality!

Here’s hoping the  E! channel moves forward with Ben Roethlisberger’s new show “Small College Bar’s with Ben and Friends”.  Don’t tell me you wouldn’t watch!


The Bearded Guy

P.S.  The Mark,  Sorry for being LOUD


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