Shows You Are Probably Not Watching But Should Be

A Sampling of Current Reality TV Casting CallsBravo is a fun network to which most all of us are addicted, but for many of us, it’s time to look for some other forms of recreational TV (drugs).  Not so much to replace Bravo, but to vary our programming a bit.  And by programming, I mean sometimes we need to let someone other than Andy Cohen (Happy Birthday, Andrew!) program us. I’ve been doing this behind your back, without sharing my dalliances on the blog, for a while now. Here are my suggestions.


If you haven’t watched STARZ since it was a bunch of movies from the 1970s, you are missing out. I love STARZ Cinema for the sheer humiliation it provides me when watching foreign films in French. (Note to my trial peeps: It’s so debasing. I love it!)My nearly complete reliance on the damn subtitles is both infuriating and challenging. Hell, I think I understand more of the Spanish ones which I have apparently learned through many years of bilingual parent-teacher conferences.  Hell, I did fairly well with Romanian in Bucharest, well at least as far as ordering beer and playing casino tables. But aside from foreign movies I am really into Davinci’s Demons an original series that is a fictional series about Leonardo Davinci’s life.  Despite the many, many, anachronisms, dreadful costuming , modern curse words and other miscalculations, overall it’s an interesting series if you suspend disbelief a bit. It’s full of sex, nudity, drugs, magic, art, war, barfights… basically everything you could want. And perhaps some things you don’t like lots of male nudity. Old man nudity. But I must say, that one guy with the one eye, is very nicely endowed. Um, not that I looked. Or paused the DVR or anything, because that would be gross. But if I had, I would report that dude should be doing porn. Allegedly. Anyway, this may be more of a guys show…but I like it.


Before I was one of Andy Cohen’s sheeple, I was ensconced in the Oprah Winfrey herd quite happily. I read her favorite books and longed for a pair of her favorite PJs. I frankly never expected that the entire massive herd would not blindly follow her right over to her new network. But we haven’t. Sure we showed up for Oprah Behind the Scenes, or whatever that was , but after that ended we left. When OWN began, Oprah believed her own PR. It’s hard to become OPRAH and not have a sense of superiority, so she began her network wanting to save us little people from reality TV ( a noble cause) and other intellectually devoid nonsense. She brought us “life lessons” replete with free notebooks for recording the pearls of wisdom and “soulful Sundays” and such. She grossly overestimated our desire for enlightenment, or at least some meaningful intellectual stimulation.  But I think she has finally abandoned all hope to save us from our lack  of intellectual and spiritual development and has jumped on the bus of commercialism. It appears that now she is fine being the new BET, if only we will find her channel and tune in. She has put most of her eggs in the Tyler Perry basket. A mistake, in my opinion.  But she has also finally given in to the sort of program she was so quick to shun previously, reality TV.

raisingThis dumbing down plan has given us two shows I actually like, Life With Latoya and Raising Whitley. Life With Latoya is an interesting peek into the life of one of the Jacksons.  It’s got a lot more of a realistic feel than most reality shows, but that could just be because we haven’t developed our BS meter to be as finely tuned as it is for a cookie cutter Bravo production. While there are a few lines per show that fall flat, like this week when Latoya met with RuPaul to discuss making a duet with him. In that meeting, she feigned surprise that RuPaul her “dear friend of 25 years” has an album named Champions after she launches into a monologue about how she wants the song to be about…champions.  But let’s overlook such things. We get to see her fear of cats and her desire to adopt children to live in her home decorated in shades of white that she is meticulous about keeping germ-free. Her constant bodyguard shadows her even on staged dates at a mini golf course.  There is plenty of Paula Abdul type crazy with a enough peeks into her reality to make the show compelling. Give it a try. As for Raising Whitley, the few episodes I have seen are actually quite good. It is about a comedian named Kym Whitley who was mentoring an underprivileged girl. She gave birth to a baby boy and took off leaving word at the hospital that Kym was to take the baby. Hilarity ensues as Kym and her group of friends attempt to raise the baby. Both shows air back to back on Saturday nights from 9-10 on OWN.

I have more options for you that I will save for another time as this post is well past the “too long didn’t read” limit for many already. So is anyone else watching these with me?  What are your guilty pleasures not on Bravo?


Filed under Andy Cohen, Bravo, Bravo Andy, Oprah, Reality Show, Reality TV

59 responses to “Shows You Are Probably Not Watching But Should Be

  1. steve

    Nat Geo channel on monday nights has Brain Games and Going Ape both shows tell how our brains and behaviours work.

  2. Nancy Jefferis

    Personally, I have been waiting for the new season of “The Killing.” This season one of my favorite actors, Peter Sarsgaard, will guest star.

    And since Kyra Sedgwick left “The Closer,” which had been one of my favorite shows along with “Southland (also cancelled),” Jon Tenney’s role had become minuscule on the spinoff, Major Crimes. His new show, King & Maxwell, is also starting soon, along with the second season of Major Crimes.

    You can tell I like a good cop drama, as long as it has characters with issues. No CSI for me.

    • I watched a weird crime show on ABC last night called The Motive they tell you in the opening the victim and the killer, the you watch as the cops try to solve the case. You are I assume supposed to be determining the motive. I was not impressed.

      On Sun, Jun 2, 2013 at 3:15 PM, Tamara Tattles

    • I miss The Closer. I do like Major Crimes and have you watched Longmire? That is also a cop show set in Wyoming. Lou Diamond Phillips plays the bar owner in the small town and helps Longmire with the reservation issues. This show is my new favorite or the cop shows. Going to miss like hell Southland. Haven’t heard of either The Killing (when is it on and what station?) or The Motive.

    • Lapetitebabette

      Nancy Jefferid, I too love “The Killing” and was thrilled to Peter Sarsgaard, one of my faves in this season!

      Don’t watch much network, with the exception of “Elementary” because I like Johnny Lee Miller.

      AMC: “Madman”. PBS: many things.

      Mostly my guilty pleasure is watching films, intelligent, well written, beautifully filmed, well acted and thought provoking films from all countries!

      Thanks to the end (almost) of the Arias trial, I can get back to my own life!

  3. Annie22203

    Lifetime. Project Runway and Dance Moms.

    • I watch those too. Dance Moms is I believe starting up the summer session this Tuesday if I read the ad right! Probably my favorite tv personality of all times. Abby Lee is just so—– so— Ugh. I can’t describe her!! Unique? Says what I wish I had the balls to say to those awful moms? I want to punch that Kathy in the throat! I mean the show is fantastic!

    • jarlath

      I stopped watching Dance Moms. It’s incredibly scripted and not in a good way.

  4. sasha

    Justified is my absolute favorite show. I can watch each episode over and over again. The setting is mostly in the hills of Kentucky. If you’re interested, try to start from the first season and go forward. Literally all the actors excel in their craft.

    • Hadn’t heard of this one. When and what station? Have you seen Longmire? That is my fav and the second season just started up a couple episodes ago. It is on I think Mondays. I will check it is on A&E.

      • sasha

        Justified is on FX and they’re showing re-runs Monday thru Friday from 9pm-1am back to back. I’m sure the times will vary depending on your location.

  5. sasha

    Life With LaToya is really good. It shows who she really is. She’s, flighty, a great singer, a businesswoman and quite fragile. I love the show.

  6. eg

    I love watching The Braxtons, Real Time with Bill Maher, TCM, Boondocks (I’m all over the place) Too Cute (animal planet) and American Greed. I proudly admit to being a “junkie”, but I do try to keep it ‘balanced’ lol.

  7. I am moving to Guyana in two weeks and am concerned about missing my favorite shows!! I know I know. Stupid. But I am. With no car and not knowing a soul while hubs is working 18 hours a day (his choice) I count on the tv and the computer for almost all of my entertainment. I am planning on doing outdoor stuff too and some exploring but it is more humid than Florida where I live now and have for thirty years and I am limited in walking due to physical disability from long ago injury. I am going to work voluntarily at a local nursing home visiting and entertaining patients. I am an RN and before I could no longer work my specialty was an Alzhiemers nurse. I miss work as I have a hyper active all over the place kind of a brain and it doesn’t rest!

    If I can no longer see shows that I enjoyed, I will have to live vicariously through you TT and all your fans commenting to find out what the heck is happening with everyone!

  8. I’m a total A&E nut. I love The First 48 and have watched it since it began.

    Longmire is in it’s 2nd season, starring Robert Taylor as the sheriff. It’s more of a cop show than a western, and I LOVE me some cowboys! He’s perfect in the role. Strong, silent, tall with long legs that look great in blue jeans, and a great hat:)

    I also love Duck Dynasty. Even though the family are all rednecks, they’re very charming, funny and sweet, with the requisite crazy Uncle Si, Willie the CEO, the nutty parents, and beautiful grandkids. It’s sort of like The Addams Family, minus the creepy house. It’s mindless fun, and never fails to give me at least one good laugh each episode.

  9. iamrealitytvlover

    Haha I love Oprah’s reality shows. LaToya is darling and I caught most of the Ryan and Tatum O’Neal saga. I tried to stay with OWN in the beginning but she had a very limited number of shows so it was all repeat. I catch LMN so will be glued to Dirty Little Secrets of the Three Whole Wonder. Army Wives is an absolute fav and of course CBS has me hooked on Criminal Minds, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, Survivor, BIG BROTHER (whoop whoop) and I will end with my to die for Olivia Pope in Scandal.

  10. I adore documentaries as well as mini series-docs like “Behind Mansion Walls.” I’m not a prime-time ABC/NBC/CBS or cable viewer and refuse to pay for the pay channels like HBO, etc., because as a single woman, I do not have that kind of $$ to throw away.

    I did see something on Bravo about a high-end consignment shop with an older lady as head, I forget the name, but I loved it. I love the consignment shop shows, because that’s exactly how I shop for clothes and accessories (I very rarely shop retail, and only for things like towels, bedding).

    • STARZ used to be cheap. I just renegotiated my lineup and contract with Dish and got it for half price or something similar. I like it because it is lots of channels with some good movies and foreign films and their original shows are getting better. If I had to choose one pay channel that would be it. In the summer I do wish I had Showtime but only for big brother after dark. Not worth it just for that.

      On Sun, Jun 2, 2013 at 6:48 PM, Tamara Tattles

    • Is it Resale Royalty you are thinking of? The older lady owns the store and has since the eighties. She has her daughters helping her and they are like in their forties? The store is in the city with the big arch. Shit. I am brain dead. I know this. I am blaming all this loss of memory on menopause. St. Louis? I’m sorry. It’s on the Style network on Sundays. I really like it and am watching it instead of HWNJ. The clothing, shoes, purses and accessories are all designer famous and about a third of the original price or less and has to be in immaculate condition or they don’t take it. I like when they are invited to *edit* some of the rich clients closets and we get to be a voyeur in how the really well to do live. One woman has a closet that believe it or not is 12,000 sq. feet!! No that is not a typo! I said twelve thousand square feet!! That is about four times plus bigger than my house. Their clothing and shoes all look immaculate like they maybe were worn once for an hour. They give the client the option of either store credit or cash for the items they choose. The credit is always about twenty percent more than the cash offered and they offer at least half and sometimes a bit more of what they are going to charge for it in their store. The clothing, everything is absolutely beautiful. LV handbags for two hundred bucks that cost over a grand new and they look new! Ah. I would be broke if I lived close to any store like that. Even on the television you can see the quality work I swear. Can you tell I am drooling here while talking about this show?

      Some of the show is about special events like their re-instated VIP events and also tonight was great. They traveled to NYC during fashion week. They were able to attend Mara Hoffmans fashion show which was lovely. But the best part was they were invited by a designer named Lela Rose to go through her closet to select some items to sell in their store! OMG this woman’s apartment was like out of the movies! Right in the heart of NYC and the views were breath taking. I could not wear the amount of clothes that woman had in her closet but she’s a designer so it was different then the other closets they usually go to. Every single thing they got was pricey even for their store they mentioned and was going to be in a specialty area since it was from the designer herself. Every dress honestly was like an individual work of art. One dress was etched with hand painted little flowers that was exquisite.

      They also on same trip met Rachel Zoe back stage who they had met on a previous trip and she was so sweet and more relaxed then I had ever seen her on her own show. I get nervous watching that woman!

      TT edit the hell out of this as it is way too long! I really love the show (duh!) I just described and got a bit carried away! Or don’t even post it. I won’t be the least offended!

      • Tobaccorhoda

        I frequently sell clothes at the Women’s Exchange, the store featured on Resale Royalty. They were even filming the last time I was there.

        A pair of my Chanel shoes is shown in the opening montage, they pulled a dress of mine for the girl who wanted to go to the Grammys, and I spotted my leather Burburry skirt they’d placed at their specialy booth downtown. So fun to see.

        It’s a wonderful store, but if you’re trying to make space in your closet, you take clothes to sell and then blindfold yourself and run out of the store before you can find bargains.

      • Pam

        Now if they would only have a furniture consignment show with a store you frequented.

  11. ned3

    BBC America – Orphan Black. It just finished but if you can find & watch it you will be blown away.

    • dmaze50

      Hi there! Tamara I read your column daily and love it, you keep me up with all the reality and other entertainment news, the Sheree Day(s) in Court has been hilarious, I feel for you girl. Anyway, I MUST cosign with your poster ned3. ORPHAN BLACK on the BBC America channel will blow you away. I love this show–it will keep you at the edge of your seat, won’t answer your phone, ignore those talking to you, hold your pee (haha), ALL THAT. I must see TV show. I’m with you ‘ned3’.

  12. Brewhaha

    I appreciate you highlighting programming on other channels. About OWN, I do not think saying it’s trying to be BET is a fair statement. There is plenty of spiritual and intellectual shows on the network, Lisa Ling’s show, Master Class and Super Soul Sunday are a few that come to mind. The few reality shows on there are more positive and tend to lean toward the docu-series style, more in line with her network’s purpose, not that of a BET or Bravo.

    • sasha

      I agree. There are so many types of programs on Own. There is something for everyone. Dateline airs there. It shows several Jodi Arias type true stories. It’s surprising how many women have stalked, planned and killed their men.. Whew!

    • I love when PR agents comment. :) O is trying to BET it up and play to the black audience. It is working so no need to deny.

      On Sun, Jun 2, 2013 at 9:19 PM, Tamara Tattles

  13. My non Bravo loves are: Rizzoli & Isles, The Glades, Dexter, True Blood, The Little Couple and Cake Boss. I watched previous seasons of Sweetie Pies. Never been an Oprah fanatic but still want her network to do well.

    At the new house we ended up getting Dish (for half of what TWC was charging, which I dropped completely last fall) and temporarily some premium channels which will be getting dropped when the free 3 mos is up.

    • Oh and I forgot I’ve watched Lisa Ling’s Our America on OWN. Awesome show.

    • Yes! Dexter is my all time favorite. Last season starts June 30th. Everyone in the show is so good. I broke down and bought all the previous seasons when they became available. I don’t have last seasons yet but will add it. I love the Little People too. What inspirational and intelligent sweethearts they are. And adopting TWO babies this season! Both little people! My daughter told me to watch True Blood as I hadn’t heard of it so I will get into that also. I really like that last one a lot that you mentioned also with Lisa Ling. You are right. It is an awesome show.

      • sasha

        Little People is a great show. I saw the preview…I’m not going to miss it. Thanks for the reminder.

    • sasha

      Satellite TV runs circles around cable and for almost half the price.

    • Katrina

      I love “The little couple” and “Cake Boss. I use to watch TLC majority of the time. I also like “Major Crimes”, spin-off of the “Closer”. Is “Sweetie Pies” coming back?

  14. Marilyn

    No one else watches Game of Thrones? :-(

    • Definitely! Since the season is one episode away from being over it totally slipped my mind. I also watch The Borgias.

    • Joan

      Yup, we are. Most of our friends do as well. It’s great escape, thrill type programming. Fantasy TV has come a long way, and GOT is a great example of this. We also watch Homeland! GREAT writing, and so not predictable. RHOF____(any of them) have become so predictable, way over the top and boring. In any case, that’s my take.

  15. Oh and another, The ReaL L Word though the network is saying if it comes back for a 4th season it’d be more documentary than reality show which is fine with me. It was another great show ruined by over production and bad scripts.

  16. terry macon

    Thanks TT you are the best I’m into OWN sundays are the best all day. I call
    It Sunday with Oprah it have been so helpful to me it is better than church
    As far as spiritual growth.

  17. The past year, I have been feeling kind of unsettled after watching HW’s. I became addicted after I was confined to ‘BedTV’ and ‘ChairInternet’. So I got premium TV and tried to spread my wings. I have always loved Mad Men (watch and rewatch every episode). Nurse Jackie, Homeland, the Big C and even Boardwalk Empire, give me something more to think about. I just cannot get into OWN, despite my Oprah Love. I find it exhausting.

    • Joan

      Ditto Charley! We started watching Game of Thrones this year. It’s a bit icky/gory at times, but we love the multi layered plot lines. Same thing with Homeland(can’t wait for the next season), Nurse Jackie, Davinci’s Demons , the Big C and Boardwalk Empire. While these are on premium cable, we felt it was worth it. Between bad programming on the networks and other channels, like BRAVO, moving more and more into ridiculous scenarios, we just had to move away. I fell in love with Homeland especially. The latest BRAVO show – Princesses of Long Island – yeesh – we barely watched 10 minutes of it.

      • Can’t get into GOT; never heard of Davinci’s Demons but will try again. The others I came to late so it was so much fun to have a plethora of episodes to watch. TV heaven because I can’t sleep at night and sleep all day (if I’m lucky). So great to have access at any time. The recent NJ’s have made me gasp….love Zoey this season.

      • sasha

        Zoey is the reason I placed Nurse Jackie back on my list of favorites.

        My daughter convinced me to watch The Slap. Talk about multi-layering. Each episode is named after and centered around a different character in the groups circle of friends or relatives. And they all connect in some way. It’s shown on the Audience channel.

      • I managed fifteen minutes! And then punished myself by reading a book instead! LOL! That has to be one of the worst new shows ever. Maybe not ever but it is up there. The girls are just yuck. Nurse Jackie is one of my favs. Been watching her since the first season. I just started watching Davinci’s Demons another excellent show. I got bored with the Big C and also Broadway Empire. Game of Thrones I haven’t watched but all my friends told me to see it from the beginning so that’s the biggest reason I haven’t tuned in. I like Ru Paul and the LOGO network at times.

  18. sherri

    Did you watch Married to Medicine?

    • sasha

      Yes, and the jury is still out on that one.

      I just read that Queen B Mariah is the Executive Producer and has hiring and firing powers. The rumor is she wants to oust Kari and Toya.

      I guess we’ll see. I’m sure TT will have the inside story.

    • eg

      I watched that one (all episodes to finale and reunion) and I still don’t get why such beautiful women feel the need to act in this special kind of “new ugly”. I realize a paycheck and ratings is the main draw, but it just seems like they sell their soul to the devil (bravo and also some other networks too) Oh well I guess it’s just me….

      • sasha

        Eg. Most of them made an effort to maintain a high degree of dignity, but that doesn’t get ratings. The people want drama. I’m sure there were a lot of retakes on this show.

      • terry macon

        Toya mouth is full of bad ugly words that alone should get her off the show.

      • sasha

        Mariah’s mom, Mariah and Quad are the worst. We know Mariah isn’t going anywhere, she’s the Exec. Dir.. She should take her mom off to spare herself more embarrassment. We can’t expect too much from Mariah. Look at her example.. a mom calling someone a dumb black blond on national TV. Wow.

      • eg

        Yes Sasha, i most definetly agree. Quad and Mariah were the worst! I’ve never encountered women who behave like that in real life and if I did I would just steer clear of them. To me the two of them were just “toxic” and Mariahs’ mom certainly did not help matters. From what I saw (and I know there’s editing) Toya was always on the defensive with these two (Q&M) Kari, I could take her or leave her…the others were just fine (and sane acting) Oh well, I’m going to try and wean myself off of these type of reality shows anyway. Wish me luck,lol.

  19. Gail

    Do yourselves a favor and watch The Borgias on Showtime.
    Yes, the acting, the actors and actresses, the storylines, etc. YUMMY!

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