Monday, May 10, 2010

An Amazing Race Catfight

Yet another TAR season has come to a close and it ended with quite a bang.

I'm not sure why others felt it was a really lousy season (from most that I've spoken to) but I thought it was a decent enough season. Sure, there were some obnoxious personalities (hello: Caite, Brandy, Jeff/Jordan, the alleged "detectives"), but that's part of the fun of this type of show - not just racing to get to the pit stop first but also dealing with each other.

Here's a brief recap of the finale:

Dan and Jordan squeezed in between Caite/Brent and a sleeping Jet/Cord to "claim" second spot in the lineup for tickets at the airport, even though they arrived six hours later. What an asswipe move. But that, along with a plea to be moved up to first class, got them out well in front when the plane from Shanghai arrived in San Francisco ... and it was a lead they would hold all the way to the pit stop. Cord and Jet ran a good race, but took a little too much of a casual attitude with some of the tasks instead of playing to kill (so to speak). Caite and Brent were practically out of it once they arrived in San Francisco with thing after thing happening to them - leaving their backpack with money inside in a taxi cab, getting the one cabbie in San Francisco that didn't understand English, and basically spinning their wheels throughout.

In the end, it was Dan/Jordan who breezed to an easy win with Jet/Cord in second and Brent/Caite well back in third.

I thought the challenges were interesting in this finale. The funkadelic posters of each of the teams were a great touch as they had to remember who were eliminated in what order along with the non-elims. Liked the Lucasfilms Star Wars roadblock where each of the teams had one person wearing a body suit with sensors and the other person directing their partners using a virtual reality game on a monitor. Nice touch at the end to have each person spin in order to decipher the message directing them to their next clue. Would have liked to see more of the Coit Tower rappelling up and down, but saw little of it.

In the end, there was a nasty little catfight between Brandy and Caite after Brent/Caite ran up to the pit stop, passing by Brandy who just stood there with her arms folded. Caite is still a big-time twerp and a spoiled brat, but Brandy was way out of line with her squawking at Caite after Phil commented that there were others who weren't happy that Caite was the only female in the final three. To her credit, Caite said "Well, I'm the one up here and you're not."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Are You Lost Yet?

Or-- Lost 666

Why 666? ABC's "Lost" is in its 6th season (heading for a big finale). There are approximately 6 hours left (depending on what is measured as an hour). NBC's "Lost" only lasted 6 episodes. Hey, wasn't that a reality show? Why, yes, it certainly was. It premiered at the same time as CBS's "The Amazing Race" and quickly turned out to be a not so amazing race, an exercise in begging one's way around the world in order to reach the Statue of Liberty, but it must be admitted that the first 20 minutes or so where the players actually were lost were interesting.

ABC's "Lost" owes more to CBS's "Survivor" than CBS's "Amazing Race" or NBC's "Lost," so hey there's another reality show connection there. Want another one? A long time ago in Japan they had a sort of amazing race show which started with 1,000 players and slaughtered most of them until only one winner got back to Tokyo. There was also this thing called "Eco-Challenge" which had teams racing across land and sea, serious injuries like sucking chest wounds and players simply disintigrating for various reasons were great sport in that one.

So, let's ask the question, who do we think is going to win ABC's "Lost" (besides ABC)?

The premise was simple, an airliner on its way from Australia to California crashed on a mysterious island, 71 people and a dog and a ghost and an unborn baby survived the crash. Fortunately most of the living survivors were extras, fortunately since they started dropping out of the game almost immediately. One guy got sucked into a jet engine in the first few minutes, it was gnarly. Seth Norris, the pilot, was the next to buy it, killed by a monster. Some other characters showed up along the way, we can dismiss most of them as extras as well. Okay? So who are the players? The important ones I mean.

Already eliminated. Christian Shepherd, I mean he was dead to begin with, that was a gimme. Died along the way: pilot Seth Norris, marshall Edward Mars, Boone Carlyle, Shannon Rutherford, Michael Dawson (who previously had escaped but came back, I suppose technically he should be presumed dead), Charlie Pace, Mr. Eko, Ana-Lucia Cortez, Libby Smith, Nikki Fernandez, Paulo, Daniel Faraday, Charlotte Staples Lewis, Ilana Radzinsky, Danielle Rousseau, Alex Rousseau, Tom Friendly Ethan Rom, Martin Keamy, Naomi Dorrit, Leslie Arzt, Scott and Steve. Juliet Burke. Speaking of bizarre, Juliet somehow survived suicidally triggering a nuclear explosion, dying decades later from injuries from being crushed under rubble. Oh, John Locke is also dead, the current John Locke is an amazing simulation. Sayid Jarrah also died but was resurrected somehow, personally I think that means he's eliminated (ghost tribe was one of the worst twists ever in "Survivor").

The following players managed to escape the island and not come back: Walt Lloyd, Aaron Littleton Austen (born on the island), Eloise Hawking, and the Kwon baby (conceived on the island). They are eliminated. The following dummies managed to get off the island but came back: Jack Shephard, Hugo "Hurley" Reyes, Sun-Hwa Kwon, Kate Austen, Miles Straume, Richard Alpert, Charles Widmore, Ben Linus. They get the Darwin awards for being too stupid to win. They are eliminated.

So, who does that leave, our potential winners pool?

Claire Littleton. But should she win? She got on a plane when she was eight months pregnant, think about it.

Frank Lapidus. Yeah, he left the island and came back, but unlike the others who came back his return was purely by accident, not intentional. He loses points, though, for not turning his plane around and kicking off the dummies who were returning intentionally.

Desmond Hume. He got off the island but was brought back against his will. Really strange guy, though.

James "Sawyer" Ford. The ladies love this guy, don't see it myself. He's tried three times to get off the island, by raft, helicopter and submarine. The raft blew up, but he loses points for having intentionally gotten off both the helicopter and submarine.

Jin-Soo Kwon. Poor guy, the island experience has been a real nightmare for Jin, couldn't even speak the language at first, separated from his hot wife, never seen his daughter, almost killed with Michael.

Cindy Chandler. You show up one day for work, end up surviving with tailies then get kidnapped by others and forced to be a babysitter.

Emma and Zach. Because the others kidnapped them but then got tired of babysitting.

Bernard Nadler. Nice guy, retired from the game though, just gave up trying to get off the island.

Rose Henderson-Nadler. Retired, was never really into the game anyway.

Vincent. Pretty much the only one who can survive on his own, even survived being in with the luggage, and they wouldn't let him on the raft! They really could have used a dog on that raft.

My vote is for Vincent! How about the rest of you?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs Villains - Episode 7 Picks

After much pondering, many cups of coffee, and many, many more margaritas and glasses of wine, reviewing previews, vidcaps, spoilers, inside information, and our vaunted early broadcast reception facilities in Nova Scotia, ACME has concluded that this week's episode will unfold as follows:

The Villains will once again trounce the Heroes in the Reward challenge, sending Rupert into the pit of despair.

However, in the Immunity challenge, Colby rises from the dead (or at least the "sucky Superman in a fat suit" zone) and rallies his troops to a much-needed victory to avoid having to reduce their already scarce numbers.

The pre-TC camp drama will all be at the Villains camp where many surprising events will emerge to provide some shockers at Tribal Council:

Russell will continue searching for another Hidden Immunity Idol
... he will not find one... at least not yet.

Russell and Rob's distrust and enmity will erupt in camp, testing loyalties and tearing what had been a cohesive tribe apart.

This will result in what may be the most surprising turn of events as they go to Tribal council...
Rob and Russell will have a confrontation that will result in the stunner...
Coach will be torn between his loyalties to both Rob and Russell, and unable to choose between two masters will cast a meaningless "rogue" vote narrowing Rob's 5-3 numerical advantage to a mere 4-3, and sensing how close that makes it, Russell will plant a "Russell Seed" in Jerri's mind, causing her to flip sides and Rob is voted out in a shocking 4-3-1 vote.
Rob and Russell will conclude that their best chance to win in front of the jury is to face each other, and will agree to vote out Parvati as Russell and Rob become a new formed secret alliance!



To get our real boot pick scenario, click-hold and drag between the two "Rob and Russell" lines above to reveal the "invisible text" between them.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs Villains Episode 6 picks

With apologies to William Shakespeare...

Double tribal, oh what trouble!
Who's in danger, on the bubble?
Scheming Russell, such a snake?
Will Russ, on Rob, his vengeance take?
Is Colby on the chopping block?
Or will James' knee his alliance rock?
Or will an ally feel the sting?
And see their chances take to wing?
Will Tyson's loyalty cause him trouble?
Parvati's flirting burst her bubble?
Dourble tribal, oh what trouble!
Who's in danger, on the bubble?
Russell's idol comes to play.
For Parvati, it saves the day.
Votes are split and with Rob immune,
His new Amber pays the piper's tune.
Tyson takes the walk of shame.
Then Villains dine to watch the same.
As Heroes now must air their trouble
And by their vote, complete the double.
JT and Rupert make it moot
And vote Sir James a mercy boot.
So there you have it, my good friends.
That is how this week will end.

Monday, March 15, 2010

U-Turn to Oblivion

One of the things I most love about The Amazing Race, it's an actual competition. Cross the finish line first, you win. Of course a lot of things can happen along the way, you have to make decisions and live or die with the consequences, but in general the better talented more adept teams come out ahead.

Last night was not a prime example of TAR, not even a standard or typical episode. It had some amusement, The Red Baron spent all afternoon buzzing France as Carol and Brandy continued to gripe their way around the world. Still, it was a short leg (pardon the phrase), not much to it.

And in the end the team that was eliminated, Joe and Heidi, suffered not from a bad decision of their own, or bad luck, or even Joe's swollen knee. They got U-Turned, something the producers came up with to make lackluster legs a little more interesting, nothing else. Kind of a shame but even the best TV shows are, in the end, just TV shows.

This season will probably get better and better from here on out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Surprise Boot?! A monkey could do it.

Our little monkey says James hurts his knee. James doesn't like losing. Have you heard?

So the Villians win the combined Reward Challenge and Immunity Challenge. We'll see if bananas are a part of the reward.

Now about that boot...

...the Pride of Williamsburg.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs Villians Episode 4 -- ACME Sez...

A wee limerick with this week's picks.

The Heroes are physically strong
So the reward is theirs for a song
But IC has them puzzled
By the Villains they're muzzled
And Cirie gets idoled. So long!

Requiem for a couch potato...

Hat tip to dabo for the couch potato pic.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Amazing Race -- The Cowboy Way

This season's Amazing Race is shaping up to be a fun season.

I'm becoming a big fan of the "cowboy" team of Jet & Cord. Going in, I didn't expect to have them on my "favorites" radar, figuring they'd be annoying, but their easygoing style (contrasting with the at-each-others-throats conflict we always seem to see from teams every year) and sense of humor, even poking fun at themselves, has won me over. The fact that they're running one hell of a good race is gravy. Sure, the Gsucho roping roadblock played to their strengths (after all, they are rodeo guys), but on the previous leg, the creative solution to the bus problem, getting a jump on those who stuck to the more "direct" routes, showed some smarts. I think these guys could win... they've got the strength to deal with the physical challenges and have shown they're not just "dumb hicks". 

Another favorite team is "Team Big Brother"... Jeff & Jordan. As a Big Brother fan, I already had an affinity for them as likable and fun-loving people. They've proven to be pretty good competitors, too, but a disturbing habit of not always reading the clues carefully could prove to be their downfall if they do it at a time when it could cause them a major delay, or even a time penalty. I hope they stick around a while, because they're fun to watch with their kidding banter, but I expect that they'll be long gone by the time it gets down to the final 3 teams sprinting for the finish line.

Another team that I've taken a bit of a liking to that I didn't expect to like is Brent & Caite. That they're billed as "dating models" was the kind of red flag that usually puts me off on a team right off the bat. But they've taken on a bit of the "underdog" edit, starting with other teams, upon realizing that she's a former Miss Teenage South Carolina (yes... THAT Miss Teenage South Carolina...) started mocking her among themselves and to other teams. Jeebus, people! OK... the girl had a televised "Deer in the headlights" moment that's become a viral internet classic. That was two frigging years ago! Let it go... get over it.
This past episode when their start got delayed 3 hours when they woke up sick and puking their guts up in the hotel due to food poisoning or something (Dammit! I told you not to drink the damned water!). They looked like they were going to be doomed right from the start, but after getting treatment at the local emergency room, and being dehydrated from the morning's expulsion of inner liquids, they battled back and wound up reaching the pit stop in 7th place. That's a bit more grit than I'm used to seeing from "model" teams.

I think I'm going to enjoy this season as it plays out.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Icy relations

First off, it seems trivial talking about today's huge gold medal between the U.S. and Canada without first giving our thoughts and prayers to those suffering in Chile after that 8.8-size earthquake hit yesterday. Our nations must provide aid and helping hands to those people in dire need. It surely won't be the last catastrophe and I'm hoping 2010 doesn't go down in history as the Year of the Earthquake.

All the way up the Pacific coast from Chile, an outstanding Winter Olympics prepares to close shop for four years, but not without first settling some serious stakes in the men's gold-medal hockey game. This is Canada's game and surely it will be watching to see whether Crosby and co. will claim yet another gold for the Maple Leaf. On the other hand, Americans see shades of "the Miracle on Ice" in this team and will no doubt be rooting for the Stars and Stripes to stick it to "America's Hat" in their sport on their ice. If the U.S. wins, it should lay claim to Vancouver Island and demand Canada cedes it to the U.S.

U.S. goaltender Ryan Miller has clearly been the story of this hockey tournament so far, but if Canada gets ahead early like it did against Russia, Miller's story ends here. Roberto Luongo has looked better than Brodeur and I think the energy of the home crowd will energize Canada to take this game. Canada will put a lot of traffic in front of Miller, so we'll see how the U.S. back line holds up.

I'm predicting Canada winning 4-3 after withstanding a late U.S. flurry. Either way, it should be a doozy.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Randy Man Can

Heh, got to give credit to the Randy man, he walked out without a word, the old grump.

Probst had a very good blog entry this week, wherever it is, but concluded with a stunningly dumb

At Least They Got The Vote Right!

Do they ever really? The Villains avoided the traditional slaughter of eyecandy which is a hallmark of Survivor, I guess we know how Jeff feels about that. And in doing that and getting rid of the old grump, who at least is an open and honest old grump who couldn't make a friend to save his life, they kept around...

A delusional maniac
An egotistical saboteur
A couple of hangers-on
Two evil witches
And Boston Rob.

And, well, you can fill it in yourself. I suppose had they gotten rid of Russell they'd never have a chance of finding the hidden, you know, machete.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs Villains -- Our picks for Episode 3

Reward belongs to the Villains

All of the competitors will "play dirty"

Nobody will play a hidden immunity idol this week

Devious Russell will stir up trouble and dissent again

Your Heroes will finally win an immunity

|__ And the bootee this week is...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Confessions of a Sports Junkie

Hello, my name is Thumper and I'm a sports addict.
What's that, you say? This isn't a 12-step meeting? Bummer... because I've got it bad!

I've been a pretty typical sports fan for a long time, following my favorite baseball and football teams and taking in the occasional basketball or hockey game.This in addition to personal participation in bowling leagues for many years, and 13 years as a player/manager of a company softball team.

Before long, the telltale signs began to emerge...
Season tickets for football games of my alma mater.
Then came half-season tickets for baseball, followed shortly thereafter by season basketball tickets for my old college. Along the way, I also took in assorted hockey, volleyball, baseball, and softball games.

It wasn't long before the truly alarming symptoms began to emerge.
I discovered fantasy sports.

It started harmlessly enough with a fantasy baseball league with some online friends. In the ensuing years, that branched out into football, basketball, hockey, soccer, NASCAR, and, so help me, golf!

This past football season, I had teams in 7 fantasy leagues. Made the playoffs in 5 of those, and took 2 championships. Pitchers and catchers have only just reported for spring training, but I'm already enrolled in my first fantasy baseball league. I suspect many more will follow.

Then there were the tournaments, NCAA March Madness, World Cup soccer, and the Olympics.

Ah, yes... the Olympics! I've been hooked on those games for a long time too. Both summer and winter games. I will watch just about anything that fits into the sports competition category: All the aforementioned sports, plus track and field, figure skating, skiing (both downhill and cross-country, and a mildly sick fascination with biathlon).

The sign that I've finally gone over the edge was the realization that I have become a hardcore fan of...
... curling! Yep, curling... that bizarre variant of shuffleboard with brooms on ice that's always dominated by the Canadians. Already twice this week, I've sat up until 2:30 in the morning watching tape-delayed curling matches... couldn't pull myself away.

... on the plus side, at least I haven't gone nutso for team handball yet.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs Villains - Episode 2 Haiku Picks

Villains rewarded
Immunity is their prize
Stephenie departs

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Heroes? Villains? Wowza!

As I'm sure you've heard, the new season of Survivor, which premiered a few hours ago, features a heroes vs. villains theme. They have selected twenty past Survivors and dubbed half of them heroes and half of them villains. Here's the list:

JT Thomas - Survivor: Tocantins
Rupert Boneham - Survivor: Pearl Islands, Survivor: All Stars
James Clement - Survivor China, Survivor: Micronesia
Tom Westman - Survivor: Palau
Colby Donaldson - Survivor: Australian Outback, Survivor: All Stars
Stephenie LaGrossa - Survivor: Palau, Survivor: Guatemala
Sugar Kiper - Survivor: Gabon
Amanda Kimmel - Survivor: China, Survivor: Micronesia
Candice Woodcock - Survivor: Cook Islands
Cirie Fields - Survivor: Panama, Survivor: Micronesia

Coach Ben Wade - Survivor: Tocantins
Tyson Apostol - Survivor: Tocantins
Randy Bailey - Survivor: Gabon
Rob Mariano - Survivor Marquesas, Survivor: All Stars
Russell Hantz - Survivor: Samoa
Jerri Manthey - Survivor: Australian Outback, Survivor: All Stars
Courtney Yates - Survivor: China
Danielle DiLorenzo - Survivor: Exile Island
Parvati Shallow - Survivor: Cook Islands, Survivor: Micronesia
Sandra Diaz-Twine - Survivor: Pearl Islands

If you missed the first episode, you missed a lot. Go find it on Hulu or at the CBS website or ask your friend to show you his DVRed copy. Cuz this was a great beginning to what could be an excellent season.

During the first challenge Stephenie (remember her? the last member of the doomed Ulong tribe from Survivor: Palau?) dislocates her shoulder and Rupert (arrgh! the pirate!) breaks his toe. Stephenie, the tough chick that she is, had them relocate it and she's fine. Rupert's toe was taped to the one next to it and he's determined to keep going. Now, there's not much you can do for a broken toe, but that doesn't mean that sucker won't be aching. I think Rupert's going to have a hard time lasting 39 days. Also in the first challenge, Sandra (Ms. I'll-vote-for-anyone-as-long-as-it's-not-me) proves she belongs on the villains tribe by playing dirty and unhooking Sugar's top thinking that will make her focus more on her modesty than winning. Best moment of the whole show was Sugar racing for a point for her team topless and turning around and flipping two birds at Sandra. And all that was before the first commercial break!

Later, we're treated to a possible showmance in the works between the original Survivor villainess Jerri and the crazy "dragonslayer" Coach. Seriously? Coach and Jerri? Fan fiction couldn't have come up with that pairing. Coach is also totally man-crushing on Boston Rob, who has already managed to reference his wife twice. (I think a drinking game could be based around the number of times Rob mentions Amber. And maybe add in every time Rupert's insecure nerdiness comes out. And every time Jerri cackles... I could go on and on....) Back to the man-crush.... Rob almost gets Coach to climb a tree 50 fifty in the air to retrieve some palm fronds. Palm fronds? Come on. I mean, if there were coconuts, maybe, but risking one's life for palm fronds? Coach, surprisingly, chickens out.

You have to give Boston Rob credit though. He made fire without flint. Aside from BB using his glasses in the original Survivor, has anyone ever done that? I seem to remember there was maybe one other time. But still - give the boy from Boston some credit - that was an amazing feat.

Russell is up to same game plan again - making alliances with everyone. (Although we didn't see him burning any socks this time.) Not surprisingly Danielle (who? why is she here?) falls for it. Also, not surprisingly Parvati sees right through him. I have to think Parvati is someone who could again go far. She's smart and knows how this game works.

All of these Survivors were playing the game from day one. James and JT seal an alliance with a handshake. And then JT and Tom hook up since as winners, they figure they have to go against each other at the Final 2 for either of them to have a chance of winning. Of course, Tom and Stephenie are allied too. Will the four of them create one strong alliance? Cirie and Amanda are more cautious with each other, clearly leaving their options open. Interestingly, Tom and Cirie both recognize the other as a major threat and float the idea of voting each other out. But in the end, it's the sweet sad Sugar who gets the boot. She was the weakest link, no question about it, but at least she had her moment at the Reward Challenge.

I can't wait til next week!

Survivor: Heroes vs Villains -- What we think will happen -- Episode 1

ACME will be posting our picks for the Survivor boot each week. Be advised that this weekly post can, and probably will, contain spoilers, so with that knowledge in hand, forge ahead if you wish. As the old saying goes: "Don't go if you don't want to know"

Our picks will probably be in line with pretty much every other "spoiler" board out there, since this season has been pretty thoroughly spoiled and vetted. Every now and then, we may take our own slant on things, and will always attempt to present our opinions in as humorous and entertaining a manner as possible.

So... if you haven't already wandered off because:
A. You don't want the show spoiled and you really don't want to know
B. You've already seen the picks from other boards and were hoping to see something different here
C. I've bored you senseless and your ADHD has sent you on a random journey across the internets
Here's ACME's prediction for what happens on Survivor this week
Spoiler space

With a 2-hour premiere, there will be, unlike nearly all previous premiere episodes, a Reward challenge. It will take place right after the "Apocalypse Now" opening sequence. It will be fierce and physical, resulting in injuries (reportedly a broken toe and a separated shoulder) and lots of blurred body parts due to nudity (I'm waiting for the "Director's Cut" uncensored DVD myself...).
We believe the Heroes tribe will be victorious here, at least partially due to the naked nymphet.

The two hours will not only allow for the inclusion of a Reward Challenge, but will also provide time for "filler"... introducing us to the cast of characters, all of whom we've already seen in previous seasons, some now for the third time! (Why the hell don't they do this for the regular seasons when we're trying to get to know 16 to 20 complete unknowns? Mark Burnett... if you got my memo, please make this a regular feature of the season opener!). We will also be treated to more scenes of Russell's obcessive quest for hidden immunity idols. Will he find one? (I dunno...) Will the veteran players be as casual and clueless about his furtive searching? (I doubt it...)

Immunity will be another multi-stage challenge involving (stunner!) puzzles, and we believe that this time, the Villains (MuHAHAHAHAHA!) will take the ugly immunity idol back to camp.

As for the boot, that will, of course, come from the ranks of the "Heroes". They will have a number of plausible options to consider with a couple of weaklings and two injured players to pick from, but we believe that their choice will be...

... but first some entertainment!

... so there you have it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Heroes" Season Finale

In addition to "Reality" shows, many of us also love regular TV shows... particularly some of the serialized "quirky" shows. One of those that I enjoy is "Heroes".

This season's finale of "Heroes" aired last night, and I find some of the storylines very interesting... possibly tying back to "alternate timeline" stories from past seasons.

One involves Sylar's seeming transformation from psychotic killer to an empathetic good guy... as he put it last night, a hero... and his observation that "it felt good" might indicate that the change might take. That the transformation took place at the hands of former arch-enemy Peter might tie back to a story thread from a couple seasons back when Peter sought out Sylar to acquire his power-gathering skill in his quest to save the world.
The Sylar he encountered was very different from the one we had come to know... he was merely Gabriel, a mild-mannered husband and father living out what appeared to be a normal life. That was incongruous at the time, but now feels consistent with the "New Sylar" after his mind meld with Peter. I can actually see this guy renouncing his powers and trying to blend into normal society.
One thought that's been rattling around in my head is that in that alternate timeline (possibly one that derives from the current storyline) Sylar actually does reform and settle down as Gabriel. The intriguing thought I had was that his future wife might even be Claire! (after all... his son in that earlier storyline was blonde...). In recent episodes, their paths did seem to be intertwining more, and if his redemption is legit, could be something to watch for down the road when the next season cranks up.

I can hardly wait!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Food... Now THAT's Reality!

When we think of "reality TV", the first thing that comes to mind is "Survivor", the granddaddy of them all, "Amazing Race", "Big Brother" and similar competition formats.

One "reality" genre I've recently become a big fan of is the assortment of food and dining related shows on the Food Network. A particular favorite is "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives", where we go on a road trip with host Guy Fieri searching for unique and tasty food in unusual places. The funkier the better. As the title indicates, the focus is on the kind of places you might stumble across on an actual cross-country road trip, assuming that you're going "old school" and driving the back roads rather than zipping past on the Interstates, and are taking the time to actually sample the local flavor of the towns most drivers blink and miss.

Favorites are classic diners with their shiny machined aluminum interiors and neon lighting, the handful of remaining drive ins, some still featuring carhops on roller skates, and an assortment of other funky places under the catchall category of "Dives". Some of my favorites have been the dives that feature hamburgers that make standard fast food burgers seem like you're eating cardboard by comparison, and the little mom-and-pop ethnic food joints where you can get handmade tamales, falafel, perogies, or whatever other comfort food you might have grown up with in your old 'hood.

I've made an effort to check out the places featured on the show that are within reasonable driving distance from me, and Guy hasn't steered me wrong yet! I've added a couple of great burger dives, a diner, and a classic roadhouse grill to the rotation of my favorite "dine out" joints.

Someday I may just try a coast-to-coast "Route 66" run, and plan my stops around Triple-D recommended eateries.

I'm salivating already!

The Food Network also offers a range of cooking competition shows that can be a lot of fun to watch, but that's a topic for another day.

Friday, February 5, 2010

ACME enters the world of blogging

ACME has been around, primarily as a "Survivor" fan and spoiler group since October 2001, riding the crest of the wave of the reality-TV spoilerverse that followed on the heels of "Survivor" bursting onto the scene. For much of that time, we had a public face where we posted our musings (the late website) that faded into history last year.

Now, we're getting back into the public world through the magic of blogging.

The interests of our members is much more diverse than it was way back when we started, encompassing most of reality TV as well as numerous fandoms for regular TV (such as Lost, "24", Alias, As we get up to speed, ACME members will be sharing their thoughts on these and other areas of the entertainment world. I hope you'll find it entertaining.