Could you handle the truth?

February 29, 2008

Moment of Truth is a new gameshow in the US that is getting attention both due to great ratings and rivetting content. Based on a Columbian format, the game involves one contestant being asked a series of questions that they need to answer yes or no to. Prior to appearing, they’ve taken a lie detector test involving hundreds of questions and they have no idea what will be asked once they hit the stage.  The questions get tougher as the amount of prize money builds.  Significant people from the contestant’s lives join them as the show progresses.

This excerpt is from the third episode that aired this week in the States.  The contestant is Lauren Cleri and her husband is the guy in glasses.  According to the show’s official site, the next question that Lauren would have faced had she continued was ‘Do you think you are your parents’ favorite child?’.  But that probably doesn’t matter anymore… 

Clear your schedule and settle in for 10 mins of viewing that will make you feel dirty and superior all at the same time: 


The original series was pulled off air in Columbia after a contestant had to admit to hiring a hit man to bump off her husband.  Channel 9 are developing a local series so that Australia doesn’t miss out.  Can you imagine Aussies signing up for this?


For their 100th show, the Mythbusters are putting some legendary MacGyverisms to the test.  No idea when this is airing here, so click the link for an extended preview.


In 2004, US television channel TBS delivered Sex and the City to those households not blessed with HBO. However, due to the strict censorship guidelines for a mainstream broadcast, the risqué language and sex scenes had to be re-voiced or edited out. Apparently this resulted in a show that included more Charlotte, the same amount of Carrie (who hardly cursed and was never naked), a less caustic Miranda and hardly any Samantha. Take a look at the TBS promo to see what could have happened if SATC had started on network television.

Now that mega broadcasters NBC and CBS have embraced the uber woman with Lipstick Jungle and Cashmere Mafia, both networks are dealing with satisfying the desires of the SATC audience while being strategically draped in many layers of beautiful clothes.

The mythology behind these shows both being commissioned at the same time goes a little like this. Candance Bushnell (the original Carrie and real-life columnist who started SATC) phoned Darren Starr, the guy who launched her onto the small screen, to say that her latest book Lipstick Jungle was being turned into a new TV show. There was an uncomfortable pause before Darren admitted to already having his own new female-centric show happening. So now we have two shows inspired by one and I can’t help but wonder, will either survive?

Channel 7 in Australia have bought Lipstick Jungle and no air date has been set. The pilot opens with the mandatory aerial shot of New York City and quickly introduces us to the trio of gal pals lead by statuesque Brooke Shields. Five minutes into the episode, Victory, the fashion designer, has received a bad review after launching her new autumn line. Her response? ‘This business is hard, I need a cupcake.’ Re-visiting the first series of Sex and The City delivers equally cringe-worthy moments (remember the staged vox-pops and Carrie talking straight to camera?) and Lipstick Jungle MUST get better, because NBC has ordered a further six episodes to make a full 13 week season in the wake of the writer’s strike.

Like the US, Cashmere Mafia has aired here first, and was the 9th most watched program last Wednesday night. Although I spent the entire pilot willing Lucy Liu to break out some Charlie’s Angels moves in pursuit of her promotion, the overall package appears much closer to a grown up version of SATC. Miranda Otto is mesmerizing as the jilted woman. The men in their lives are good people. And even though I have very little idea what any of them actually do for work, it is something to aspire to in that only-in-tv-land kind of way. As yet, only seven episodes exist with no mention of a return to production, so enjoy it while it lasts.

The one major improvement common to both clones is in the wardrobe department. SATC’s wardrobe diva Patricia Field made an incredible name for herself and has a store in Manhattan and an online boutiquewith a few random designs, but who could fit into SJP’s clothes or would want to? Various web links identify items worn on both Lipstick Jungle and Cashmere Mafia, with many able to be sourced in mainstream stores. Which is good because if we have to give up sex, we may as well shop.

Much has been said about both shows and it is unclear whether either will be embraced long term. Although it is a little disturbing that the one written by a woman included that cupcake line.

Jimmy Kimmel’s response to Sarah Silverman’s Matt Damon video is awesome. Click here to see it.

Let’s hope this feud lasts forever.

You were all so excited about HOT TUB RANKING that I wanted to let you know that someone has invented the perfect place for the at-home audience to watch it from.

Click here to see what I mean…

Back To Reality

February 19, 2008

With the writer’s strike in the US coming to an end, there’s a huge sigh of relief regarding the return of scripted series. However, no matter how many dramas return, alternative programming will continue to be a force to be reckoned with, both on the screen and in the real world…

The top 20 contestants on So You Think You Can Dance Down Under want us to know that they’re nothing like those Idol-reality-sellouts. They must have cooked this up while they lined up to audition, got critiqued and whittled down by the judges and now survive each week according to phone votes from the viewing public. One finalist said, “I don’t think it’s all going to get to us, because this is just an honour for us. And dancers work together…I don’t think singers are the same.” Of course, that will be proven when the winner shares the $200 000 prize with their new best friends.

French reality stars are also generating press for new reasons. Three former Temptation Island France contestants mounted a lawsuit, arguing they should be paid as employees for their duties performed in front of the camera. In the landmark ruling, the French courts agreed that without the offer of prize money, extended hours of body shots and pashing strangers did constitute employment worth $40,000 each. Since the verdict, a European radio station reports that 45 further former contestants have now sought legal advice.

The country that brought us the term wardrobe malfunction is launching a new show that will get the FCC bubbling. Battle of the Bods is the US version of the UK’s subtly titled Hot Tub Ranking. This reality competition takes five women and asks them to rank themselves in order of attractiveness to match the rankings of a panel of blokes watching from behind a one-way mirror. With ever-increasing stakes and ever-decreasing wardrobes, the women rate their assets; best smile, best legs, best butt etc. The more times they accurately predict their ranking, the more money they win. In a final act of liberation, the women decide which of the five is the prettiest overall and then fight over the remaining four spots, ultimately deciding who will get the dreaded number five spot.

Take a look to see how truly life-changing being a reality tv contestant can really be – no one could script this.

This is a brilliant summary of what we clicked on worldwide during 2007 with numbers that TV networks can only dream of.

Check it out here.