1. Dating Naked (VH1) — Premieres July 17
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For those times when buying houses in the open just isn’t enough. Dating Naked’s press release explains, if the title wasn’t clear enough, “Love and nakedness are two concepts that will be explored in a new television series. All of society’s conventions have been abolished, including clothing, jewelry, cell phones, and so on. It’s just you and me.”
There doesn’t appear to be a lot of “play” going on there—people are just naked, right? Then there’s the matter of dating, isn’ While exposing one’s torso? Awkward puns like “titillating” are the most likely outcome of this idea, even though it sounds titillating at first. Aside from that, there are dick jokes. It is also hoped that everyone who volunteered to participate in this show will be sent to prison. Even though Austin Powers-style “strategically placed objects” gambit is a good idea, it’s a shame that the producers don’t use it instead of tasteful blurring.
2. Married at First Sight (FYI) — Premieres July 8
Married at First Sight follows six people who are willing to put their romantic future in the hands of a psychologist, a sociologist, a “sexologist,” and a “spiritualist” by getting legally married to a match these experts recommend, right after meeting them. Three-legged races at the local fair are the lifestyle equivalent of teetering on the edge of a precipice.
According to reports, this show isn’t the brainchild of a group of creatively-depleted American producers, but is instead a direct translation of the popular Danish concept. In any case, Married at First Sight reminds us once again that just because another nation thinks something is a good idea doesn’t mean it should ever be replicated for American audiences ever. Is it really necessary for us to endure yet more ill-conceived marital foibles after seeing those virgins on TLC making out like a pair of beached trout?
3. Frankenfood (Spike TV) — Premieres June 22
Just because you have no new ideas doesn’t mean you have to resort to a “triple decker pastrami donut sandwich,” which is exactly what you’ll find on Frankenfood. The show promises to feature a more refined version of the “What the fuck is left in my fridge anyway” sandwich / stir fry that college students have been experimenting with for decades (you know, depending on whether that green stuff has spread to all the bread slices).
A post-cronut economy means that chefs will compete to create “the newest food craze” by combining old favorites, such as “fried PB&J fish sticks and Gyro egg rolls.” I never expected to miss the days of watching contestants eat insects and mammal genitals on Fear Factor. The “cheesecake burger,” on the other hand, is a far more terrifying prospect.
4. Jersey Belle (Bravo) — Premieres August 9
The story of a typical Jersey GirlTM (i.e., a human-shaped self-tanner held together by patterned elasticwear) who married your run-of-the-mill Southern GentlemanTM is here for those who are too lazy to pirate Sweet Home Alabama (i.e., a cowboy hat that may or may not be attached to an animate body). She’s forced to deal with the sluggish, cornpone, y’all-drenched hootenanny that is Southern Livin’TM when she moves to his home state of Alabama. In my opinion, watching this show will be as entertaining as listening to an inbred chihuahua bark at a bottle of Jim Beam or having an expedient lobotomy performed on a human being.
5. Fat N’ Furious: Rolling Thunder (Discovery) — Premieres June 23
Impastor’s premise, like this one, is clearly derived from a pun:
“Okay, Fat N’ Furious… I’ll give you that. How about a reality show about fat people taking down the corrupt corporate food system? Sexy enough? No. An eating disorder rehabilitation center that also serves as an anger management facility? Is there anything I can do for you? Okay… How about people who are overweight but still enjoy racing?”
“By the way, I think you’ve nailed it,” I exclaimed.
Even more is yet to come. “Rust Belt State of Ohio” Tommy Christmas (remember that whole “I’m not kidding” thing?), along with his rowdy Christmas Automotive cohorts, scour the state for defunct cars to be resurrected as speed demons. “It’s like they poured all of their glee into a bucket, and then set it on fire,” says Larry, the Cable Guy. It’s possible that Tommy Christmas is one of the Four Horsemen of the End Times.
6. My Wild Affair (Animal Planet) — Premieres July 16
Skinemax bodice-ripper or even OWN daytime morality play? Nope, it’s nothing like that. Although the show’s website describes “a love that has no boundaries,” it doesn’t appear to feature any kind of bestiality in any of the relationships depicted. You’ll need to watch Zoo to get the answer to that question. For those of you who want the phrase “sodomized to death by a horse” in your head, I recommend not watching Zoo. In the end, it was your own fault.)
On July 14, Seed (CW) debuts.
A sperm-predicted storyline is the premise of this show, which follows in the footsteps of The Kids Are Alright and Delivery Man. Reconnecting with his progeny after donating his genetic material is the goal of this Deadbeat Dude. A lesbian couple is also included! It doesn’t matter that sperm banks have since debunked the idea that anyone can walk in and become a donor; Hollywood loves nothing more than seeing carefree schlubs learn how to Dad, logic be damned…. To which I say: Bring on the heartwarming food fight montages and huggy life lessons! Oh, but don’t forget to call it “Seed,” because “Baby Gravy” was already taken.
7. Seed (The CW) — Premieres July 14
The best part of a magic show is watching the magicians meticulously craft their illusions, as every magician will tell you. It’s all right, isn’t it? This is what you can expect from Wizard Wars, which promises a reality competition show featuring magicians competing to create “the most jaw-dropping illusions” out of “an array of random objects,” rather than a Dragon Ball Z-style showdown between wizards from various fantasy canons (e.g. Saruman vs. Voldemort). Iron Chef-style competition with an eyeliner and dove theme. The team did a great job cashing in on their pop culture status.
8. Wizard Wars (Syfy) — Premieres August 19
A romantic comedy about a married couple. There are no other distinguishing characteristics of this show apart from its commendable raunch, as far as I can tell (and Judy Greer, who is great). But now: “suburbia,” “kids,” a “declining sex life,” even a “carpool” are all things that exist. This season, I’m going to predict some dishes that will be served as a surprise. Abed on Community (RIP) might have come up with this as a way to deal with the banality of human relationships better. Get ready for a wacky romp about a group of eccentric renegades who trade their services for money, as well as Breathing, a comedy about people who rhythmically fill their lungs with air.