Eight Dirty Little Secret TV Shows

REal World Explosion

I’ve been watching, but not blogging quite a few good shows lately so I thought it was time for a top ten list.  Only I only have 8 shows. So, a top eight list. Lets get right to it.

Number 8: Kim of Queens  Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on Lifetime.

Kim Gravel is the owner of The Pageant Palace.  She collects misfit girls and attempts to make them her “pageant pros.”  It’s NOT Toddlers and Tiaras.  The girls are older and Kim and her sister Allisyn  Varalla  make most of the costume choices for all of the girls.  Then pageant moms are almost as bad as the Dance Moms but there is less conflict between the moms and more berating of their own child. Kim and Allisyn are hilarious. It’s much more light-hearted than I make it sound. The major negative aspect of the show is that the “misfit girls” they pick up are obvious plants for the most part. The “hillbilly girl” is actually a pageant pro for example and is playing a part. Still, it’s a fun show to DVR and watch on  a Saturday morning.

Number 7: Dance Moms Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Lifetime

I actually do try to recap this show when I can. It has been around long enough that you have probably made a decision about it already. If you think Abby Lee is a horrible person (I love her) then don’t bother giving it a second look.  This show is one of the more “real” reality shows out there.  Abby really dislikes most of the dance moms. This season Kelly (Brooke and Paige’s mom) actually attacked Abby at an open audition for “replacements” in NYC.  Abby pressed charges and they recently went to court. It remains to be seen if Paige and Brooke are still on the show.  Meanwhile, Nia is rapidly advancing her team rank with great performance.

Number 6: Real World EXplosion  Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on MTV

My obsession with reality TV began with the very first episode of the Real World. I love people watching and this was a great glimpse into the lives of people who were at the time in my age group,  living I NYC. More than 20 years later, I can’t stop watching.  This season the show returns to San Francisco with a twist. After the seven strangers move in and start hooking up, their exes arrive to move in to the house.  There is a lesbian couple that didn’t really seem broken up in the first place. They should be fine. But the token hot head guy hooked up quickly with a brash blond as “friends with benefits” and neither of their exes is happy with the relationship.  The exes arrive in the next episode, so it’s a good time to start watching.


Anthony (pictured left) confronts a hotel manager in Alaska

Number 5: Hotel Impossible  Mondays at 10 p.m. on The Travel Channel

Anthony Melchiorri,  is a hotel fixer, who visits hotels in financial trouble and turns them around. He is a New Jersey Italian tough guy with a no nonsense approach to his hoteliers. There are often fights and tears and all sorts of obstacles to overcome.  In one show, where Anthony was fixing up a Jersey hotel that suffered after hurricane Sandy, he actually walked away from a project after learning the guy was wealthy and did not need his help. Anthony does not play.  The great thing about the show other than Anthony, is that they travel all over the world to work with hoteliers.  It’s a travel show with a twist that you won’t be embarrassed to admit you watch.

Number 4: Are You the One?   Tuesdays at 11 p.m. on MTV

I discovered this show through their commercials and thought it might be an interesting concept.  It’s a little bit Real World and a little bit the Bachelor and it actually works.  Ten guys and ten gals enter a house and live together (they currently sleep on one giant group of beds) while searching for true love.  No wait, give me a chance to explain, prior to casting, the producers matched up ten couple who they felt were perfect matches for each other. The group must all find their perfect match in ten episodes (don’t worry you have only missed two).  If they can all figure out their perfect match the group wins a million dollars. One couple bonded immediately and was selected to go to the truth booth at the end of the first show. One couple a week is chosen by the group to see if they are the right pair. So far the first two couples selected have been wrong. This means they must date someone else despite having feelings for another. If a couple goes into the truth booth and is a match they are sent to a honeymoon suite for the remainder of the show to fuck in peace. In order to win everyone must match up with their predetermined couple. It’s like ten arranged sex partners.  Trust me, this is a good show!

Number 3: Under the Gunn   Thursdays at 9 on Lifetime

Capitalizing on the success of the Project Runway franchise and everyone’s love for Tim Gunn, Lifetime has introduced a spin-off.  This time, Tim is playing the part of Heidi Klum while Project Runway alumni Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee and Nick Verreos, take on Tim’s mentoring job.  Each mentor has four designers who compete in the usual fashion.  In the most recent episode, (episode 3) the designers have all been selected and are ready for the first challenge.  While Anya and Mondo allow their designers to express themselves, Nick micromanages to the point that all of the dresses are essentially his designs.  If you like Project Runway and Tim Gunn, it’s worth a watch. It’s better than All-Stars but not as good as the original.

Todd Carmichael, Dangerous Grounds

Todd Carmichael, Dangerous Grounds

Number 2: The Haves and The Have Nots  Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on OWN

I have not really deviated that from my original view of this show here where I said it sucks.  It does suck.  So why is it number two on the list? Because I secretly have never stopped watching it. Sure the acting remains awful other than Crystal R. Fox  (Hanna Young) and  Tika Sumpter  (Candace Young) the sets appear to be made of cardboard,  the blocking is horrific and it looks like a high school stage play being filmed by an adoring parent, it’s addictive.  Once you accept that it is a really bad night-time soap opera a la Dallas,  it’s really a lot of fun. We have tragic deaths of children by a drug addicted son of a guy running for governor. The wanna be governor’s schizophrenic daughter is off her meds, living with the governors gold digging mistress while plotting to kill her law professor for raping her. And that’s just some of the problems. The show has officially crossed the line from God awful to “so bad it’s good.”

Number 1:  Dangerous Grounds   Tuesdays at 9 on The Travel Channel

Todd Carmichael travels the globe headed to dangerous locations in search of the number two commodity in the world, coffee beans.  His second season just began  and the first episode was intense. One of his clients is a chef whose restaurant focuses on local ingredients. Since no coffee is ground in the U.S.  the closest Todd can get is Mexico.  Todd heads to the state of Guerrero, Mexico.  Acapulco is a lovely tourist resort there, but the mountains of Guerrero where the coffee bean he seeks are located is overrun with militia and drug lords and all sorts of bad guys.  Todd feels pretty comfortable going with just him and his cameraman (Todd and the cameraman he calls Hollywood are often the only ones on the trip. Also several “Hollywoods” have quit.) because he has a contact who is going to help him arrive safely to the coffee farm. Problem is, his contact was murdered before he arrived. DANGEROUS GROUNDS!  Next week Todd heads to Nepal.

Are you watching any of theses shows? Love em? Hate em? These are my dirty little secret shows!  What are yours?


Filed under Abby Lee Miller, Lifetime, MTV, OWN, Reality TV

45 responses to “Eight Dirty Little Secret TV Shows

  1. Enough Already

    Dance Moms…used to watch but just became too much hostility around the children..

    Real World…have never stopped watching…for some reason, I’m hooked every season…

    Are You The One…I like..interesting concept, especially now since feelings are getting started…and no sure matches yet…

    The Haves and the Have Nots…I’m still hanging in there…after you get over the sets and filming of a low budget movie, it holds your interest..

    Haven’t seen the other shows…might check them out…

  2. steve

    Cold Justice-on fri nights, Opposite worlds-twice a week, Brain Games and Duck Quacks Dont Echo both on nat geo, You got me watching Blacklist, lots of channel hopping the rest of the time.

    • JoJo

      LOL. (admission I loved the duck quackers before the show became a media darling or any controversy, my ex husb looks just like one of them & lives JUST like them now :)

    • JoJo

      steve: I commented to you about “duck quackers” – I think we’re talking about 2 different shows – oops – I meant Duck Dynasty. (ps missed you on Coven yesterday :(

  3. Ellis Scarlett

    Are You the One is a pretty great concept and interesting show. One of my few shows I watch live. Especially now that AHS Coven is over.

    • I’m so glad y’all are watching Are You The One? When I tried to explain it I realized how ridiculous it sounds. It’s super interesting because everyone has to keep dating even after they like someone to find the right person. Already on girl is quick to try out another while the guy is like “I can’t turn my feelings off like a light switch.” Well at least until episode two. And everyone has to motivate everyone wins because they all win or lose together.

      On Sat, Feb 1, 2014 at 1:50 PM, Tamara Tattles

      • Stella

        damn it, why did I read this? I don’t need more shows, but this one sounds good!
        The RW trailers hooked me into this season, was bummed we didn’t get more of the ex’s this week tho.

        As for Dance Moms, I started to watch an episode this season and stopped after 10 mins. I can’t take their crap anymore, wish it was more about the dancing & less mama drama. So THANK YOU for blogging it, it’s less painful to read about it. :)

        Started Kim of Queens on your advice, I do like it! I was going to ask y’all whether or not it’s proper in the South for someone to tell Black people to ‘Shuck and jive’? I was floored that she said it repeatedly! lol

        Hotel Impossible sounds good, will check it out…but will skip the Dangerous one, sounds like it will give me anxiety.

        Good post, TT, thanks!

      • I don’t hear the term Shuck and Jive here much. It’ a term that basically means to lie in a clever way to avoid being caught. Like a boyfriend spinning a story to cover his tracks. Not aware that it was anything racist. How did she use it? I have a feeling she used it wrong

        On Sat, Feb 1, 2014 at 5:05 PM, Tamara Tattles

  4. Urethra Franklin

    I LOVE “”The Haves and The Have Nots”…

    Yes the production quality sucked bad last year, but it is better now. They do more outside scenes, probably on a set outside, but still looks better…. And Candice has better looking wigs now too.

    Candice, Veronica, Kathryn are my favorites.

    I love how Kathryn numbers all the husbands whores, and the fatal attraction maid is #4. I love it.

    The dialogue is a bit racier than traditional soaps, and just last week Candice put her foot on that guys crotch. And now the daughter is Amanda Bynes level of cray cray. Its getting good. Last week there was a near nude scene of Jeffrey, and I know you paused the tv TT.

    All the upper class ratchetness is balanced out with all of Hannah’s praise Jesus moments which are often.

  5. Shellbelle

    Love Kim of queens! Yes, it’s probably mostly scripted but I still like it.

    Real world- haven’t watched in many years but got sucked in by the ex part and now I’m hooked!

    Dance moms- can’t stop watching even though I know who’s always at the top of the pyramid and the arguments are always the same.

    Under the gunn- love Tim Gunn!

    • If NIA is not at the top of the pyramid next week I will SCREAM. She was fantastic in the Atlanta competition last week.

      On Sat, Feb 1, 2014 at 4:34 PM, Tamara Tattles

      • Shellbelle

        I agree! Nia was fantastic and I got a little teary at her mom, Holli, getting a little teary eyed.

      • Ever since I can remember, I get teary eyed anytime anyone wins something. A pageant, a completion, an award, Clearly I should discuss this with my therapist. :)

        On Sun, Feb 2, 2014 at 3:57 PM, Tamara Tattles

  6. Urethra Franklin

    Real World is soooo different this season. There has always been a flimsy fourth wall on RW, but it is torn down completely now because the producers are part of the show calling HG on phone, asking them questions in the confessional, and the HG even make comments about the laughing camera man. The ratchet factor is amped up this season.

    • Stella

      Yeah, I kinda like it though, makes you realize how truly weird it would be to have cameras/mics on you 24/7.

    • I love that they acknowledge the camera I think if it is going to be real then sometimes people will say, “I’ll tell you sometime when there is not a cameraguy in the room.

      On Sat, Feb 1, 2014 at 4:41 PM, Tamara Tattles

  7. Stella

    Another show I like is Double Divas on Lifetime. Their store ‘Livi Rae’ is in Atlanta, have you heard of it, Tamara? Those two ladies are a hoot, but they sure can fix boob issues!

    • I’ve heard. I need to go see how much their brars are. If I want a well fitting brar I have to go to Intimacy and pay around 100 bucks.

      On Sat, Feb 1, 2014 at 5:48 PM, Tamara Tattles

      • Enough Already

        The prices range from about 30 to 120 (for bra and panty set).. Well worth it…I’m a voluptuous girl and I need the good stuff..lol..very friendly staff..

  8. JoJo

    Other than Dance Moms, seriously I’ve never even heard of these shows. Thanks for the heads up because I’m writing the days & times of:

    “Under the Gunn” (Tim could re-thread a sewing machine and talk for an hour and I’d listen:);

    “Hotel Impossible” (forgot how much I love the Travel Channel because of Anthony Bordain – seems this guy has the same attitude?);

    “Are You the One” (after re-reading a couple times, think it sounds interesting, at least more interesting than a “Bachelor” type show – which I hated for some reason).

    Oh, and if you’re taking requests because of all the free time you have? I absolutely cannot wait for the next season of “Devious Maids” – oh that would be heaven (of course if UF would ever re-consider your radiator, that’d be just fine too should he like that one :)

    • I don’t know why this was stuck in moderation. WordPress is crazier than me lately and that is saying A LOT. Glad to contribute to your mindless TV watching! I STRONGLY recommend Dangerous Grounds. It is sort of a straight guy macho type show in some ways, but it’s like Bourdain if he were looking for coffee beans everywhere he went. I love Bourdain. Todd tries lots of local foods too and you do get a flavor of the countries he visits in ways you NEVER would as a tourist.

      Are You the One may get old but for now I am fascinated by the concept.

    • Oh I forgot to say I love Devious Maids. Not sure what they would do for a second season or even if there is one planned. And I have to unchain UF or the human trafficker people will come for me. :( He has other things he wants to pursue for now. Perhaps he will find something that strikes his fancy and will come back on his own.

      • JoJo

        APRIL 14 (Devious Maids season 2 – I tell you because I KNOW you’ve been known to change your mind, like Blacklist and Coven I think :)
        I take it you like the snark and sass from that rough Anthony Bourdain too – Top Chef is boring without him?
        “Dangerous Grounds” – I missed it the first read run through – it’s written and noted, oh boy!
        (This is about 3rd time I’ve been stuck in Moderation the past week, but never question why!)

  9. khintx

    I have been watching Kim of Queens and enjoy it very much. Kim seems to have a big heart for the girls and has lots of personality (also sister and mom). It’s not super dramatic, no cussing, no vagina waxes, and no drunks. Just a kind of sweet show. Nice for a change. kh

  10. Victoria

    Abby yells too much. Yikes. She gives me a headache. I also have a hard time envisioning her having dance experience. I’m sure she does, I just can’t reconcile that information in my brain…

    I really can’t with MTV reality shows. I have caught a few episodes of RW EXplosion, but … I just couldn’t get into it.

    Now that AHS has ended, I’d like to nominate True Detective on HBO as our new scriptured obsession. Anyone else? It’s only 3 episodes in and they’re off this week for the Super Bowl so there’s plenty of time to catch up. It has all of the mystery and intrigue AHS audiences love. Plus, it has Matthew McCaugnhey — am I alone on that point?

    • Victoria

      Scriptured = scripted*** sorry!

    • I tried to watch it the other night. I really could not follow it. Who is the guy drinking the Lone Star Beers? And are they flashing back and forth in time?

      On Sun, Feb 2, 2014 at 4:50 AM, Tamara Tattles

      • Victoria

        Yeah, they are flashing back and forth discussing a case they worked in the past. They have not yet told us why and we don’t know why they are no longer on speaking terms, either.

      • But (don’t laugh at me, you know I can’t recognize faces.. :) ) Is the guy cutting up the beer cans Matthew M’s character? And if so, that is supposed to be him YOUNGER? I don’t get this show.

  11. i do watch hotel impossible & dangerous grounds. i like the hotel one but think it’s more motel quality, in terms of most of the renovations. (a few like the nocal spa property are exceptions.) i like his designer blanche but she’s not high end. but considering the condition of most of the places they just dont have the budget for higher end work (even tho he recommends such rates).
    dangerous grounds worries me. he makes a big production out of showing us how dangerous this is for him, but what about the folks left behind he did business with? does he try to keep them safe, too? his issue often is that prices are higher because they are controlled by strongmen or gangsters, and he looks for people desperate enuf to cut him a deal independently, but i freak a little thinking they or their families will be killed after he leaves and the gangsters find out the sellers did business behind their backs.

  12. Florida Mom

    My family loves Shark Tank (teenagers 17,16,13 drop whatever they are doing to watch with us). Makes for fun discussion and business education – also entertaining.

  13. Twilly

    I sneaky love this season of Real World! I skipped quite a few seasons, but I’m loving this one. I almost wish the exes werent coming on because I really like this cast and their interaction. But the exes will definitely bring the dramzzzz!!

  14. Kaye Graves

    You were spot on putting Dangerous Grounds as number 1. Dangerous a Grounds has all the qualities that make for an informative show, danger, Todd and Hollywood make a great team and I get to learn a lot about different cultures as well as were to buy the best of coffee’s.

  15. myinfo

    I used to watch Real World for years and loved it . At least for me after the Vegas group the next shows bored me.
    Dance Moms was good but now it is boring. Just same old fights.
    Just to add;
    Honey Boo Boo is now boring and dumb.
    Duck D. Used to be good but it is so overly scripted and now it has stupid storylines.
    I do love Restaurat Impossible.

    • JoJo

      I agree with you about Honey BooBoo. I watched the whole first season on youtube just to see what all the hoopla was about. I think this is one of those reality shows that should be seen in one sitting the first time before the novelty wears off. After watching just 1 episode on TV, I though it just made them all look sad and thinking the whole world is laughing at them and not with them – not entertaining at all.
      Duck Dynasty doesn’t bother me as much since I think some of them are pretty funny and they freely admitted it’s ‘scripted’ or acted, embellishing things that really happened.

  16. Cammie

    I remember those first few seasons of Real World. As a teen I wasn’t allowed to leave the house on the weekends until my room was clean so I’d catch up on the episodes on Saturday cleaning. I haven’t watched it much since but this season looks interesting w/the ex’s, I just might check it out if I can ever turn BRAVO off for a minute, lol.

    I love the travel channel too, Hotel Impossible, Restaurant Impossible, the creepy albeit sometimes stupid ghost shows, love it!! And since I’m a huge history buff I’m totally looking forward to the new Castles series they have coming up. Dangerous Grounds looks really good too I just haven’t caught it yet.

    Are You The One, watched it a couple times & I’m digging it. Especially the crazy curley haired chick that gave it up first night out and can’t get over the dude…disillusioned people make me lol.

    Dance Mom’s never seems to be on when I’m watching tv anymore. I’ve watched the past few seasons but can’t seem to catch it this season. Probably for the best, I always feel bad for those girls, leaves me SMH and sad. There’s enough pressure as an adult anymore, dance lessons should be a fun part of childhood IMO.

  17. Thank you for the tip on Hotel Impossible. We’re quickly becoming addicted.

  18. JoJo

    Caught my first episode of Hotel Impossible last night. I think I’m going to really like it. Although this epi wasn’t where he’s involved in the fixing up of a property, but teaching owners about customer service, I still liked it.
    However, I was completely surprised by Anthony’s look; expected someone looking like Joe Giudice or Tony Soprano from the blog post :)

  19. All the housewives shows are sickeningly addicting… You know how the saying goes… It’s like watching a car accident you don’t wanna keep watching, but you can’t look away. I too follow the rhwo… Everywhere. I did the basketball wives thing a few years back but that gets so exhausting. A show you might find worth setting your pvr for is the what I like to call the gay version of rhw …. The A list New York. It’s dated but on the weeks I can’t see my gfs it gives me that taste of dirt I’m craving after being buried under my books!

  20. Drew

    Where have you seen that. “Holly woods” have quit? Sounds like the same guy And I haven’t found evidence to support this.

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