When do you know you’ve reached the bottom of the barrel?
By all standards of measurement, one would have thought that we touched the bottom in 2000, when Fox’s “Who Wants to Marry A Multi-Millionaire” joined one reluctant bride to one faux-millionaire in holy matrimony. As they awkwardly slow-danced to Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply,” ladies everywhere thought to themselves: “Maybe being single isn’t quite so bad.”
Or perhaps we hit bottom in 2004 when Fox served up extreme make-overs, plastic surgery style with “The Swan.”
Or surely we hit bottom with last year’s “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader.” I mean, it’s one thing to be ridiculed by Alex Trebek on “Jeopardy,” but it’s quite another to get dissed by Jeff Foxworthy in front of a bunch of nine-year-olds.
But truly, when looking at the summer television schedule, I think we’ve arrived at the bottom. Here are a couple of shows (which I swear I am not making up) that are set to make their debuts this summer:
• Celebrity Circus (NBC): The C-list meets Cirque du Soleil as “celebrities” like Joey Fatone pursue their dreams of fire dancing and tightrope-walking. I am totally in favor of more celebrities running away and joining the circus – but I don’t really want to watch it.
• Game Show In My Head (CBS): In this new show from Ashton Kutcher (the mind behind “Punk’d”), contestants are sent out into the “real world” wearing an earpiece through which they’re given messages to do crazy things in public. If I want to watch people who think they’re hearing voices do crazy things, I just walk down Market Street.
• I Love Money (VH1): Get this – a reality show about the former “stars” of reality shows. Totally original.
• The Baby Borrowers (NBC): Remember when you were in high school health class and you and a partner were given a “baby” to take care of as if it were your own? This show is just like that – but the baby is real and belongs to someone else. No good can come of this.
• Mobile Home Disaster (CMT): Bill Engvall hosts this program that gives home makeovers to deserving folks in trailer parks. Why not just give them real houses?
Suddenly “MILF Island” doesn’t seem all that far-fetched…