Because of sweeps, it's a little bit of a lull in reality TV land the past few weeks, since a bunch of shows are either about to end (American Idol, Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, ANTM, Amazing Race, Celebrity Apprentice, Hell's Kitchen) or just about to begin (like: the Bachelorette, So You Think You Can Dance, Real Housewives of New Jersey, Jon and Kate Plus 8 Plus 2, among others). So here's a partial list of summer reality TV shows starting in the next month that look promising from a feministy angle.
--Obsessed: A new A&E show about people with anxiety disorders, like panic disorders, OCD, and hoarding. Given the stereotypes of OCD sufferers as female, this should be intriguing! Plus, I've already admitted that I'm slightly ashamed of how much I like voyeuristically watching hoarders on TV. (debuts May 25)
--Wipeout: Intrepid contestants run a brutal obstacle course, and a woman's never won (I'm not counting the episode where they pitted fit female cheerleaders against 40 something male couch potatoes in the Super Bowl episode). I can't wait! (ABC, May 27).
--Next Food Network Star and Top Chef Masters: I'm always intrigued at how gender roles break down on these food challenge shows -- it's always a woman "cooking to show my kids to live their dream" or egotistical men shouting at people. Next Food Network Star is basically the same show as Top Chef, but on the Food Network (obviously), and starts June 7, Top Chef Masters is basically the same show as the Food Network's The Next Iron Chef (established chefs compete) but is on Bravo and starts June 10.
--NYC Prep: Gossip Girl meets the Real Housewives -- Bravo follows six kids enrolled at various new York private schools, drama ensues. I don't actually know if I'm going to be able to watch this show, I have a hard time with high school shows -- but there's no denying there's going to be some verrrrry interesting things to say about this. (Bravo, June 16).