Until the class-action suit check finally arrives from the makers of that indubitably finite Neverending Story movie, there's false-advertising courtroom cash money to be made from Fox's new reality tripe, Paradise Hotel. Check your Webster's and find out if "paradise" is a tropical resort populated by self-absorbed cretins, scheming bimbos and narcissistic gym monkeys. That's Fox's new spin on the tried and oversaturated Temptation Island, Big Brother, sex-roulette format.
Three weeks in, the microcosmic "drama" is escalating and the voyeuristic titillation is nearing soft-porn levels--last Wednesday's episode featured a Bacchanalia-lite kissing orgy. As for the male participants, in the words of Charla, a vacant, babybird-skinny female guest, "They're all Backstreet Boys." Even the Backstreet Boys needed an ugly member, and in Paradise that's Dave's job. The equine, jug-eared marketing consultant arrived in week two and quickly ruffled some feathers by daring to have his own overinflated ego--an affront to the catalogue-model sensibilities of the other guests. After an arduous week in paradise, one of the camp's genetically fortuitous members felt compelled to break the news to a flabbergasted Dave that his face didn't fit. All dogs may go to heaven, but it seems paradise is just for the bitches. (Matt McNally)
9 pm Mondays and Wednesdays on Fox.
Doggy Fizzle Televizzle
Doggy Fizzle is the most racially charged TV show since Archie Bunker sat his ass in his special chair in the 1970s. This variety program featuring G-Funk progenitor Snoop Dogg airs, surprisingly, on MTV, a network whose concept of risk usually consists of showing a Christina Aguilera video before 10 pm. Doggy Fizzle feels more like HBO. Skits, such as a recent one that parodied the goopy Black History Month profiles that clog the airwaves during February by presenting the biography of the man who created the terms "cracker" and "honky," are sure to make great right-wing radio fodder. So be it. It's hard not to watch Snoop teaching a class of recent immigrants about the dangers of whitey and misguided police crews without reflecting that, underneath the hijinks, the best humor always aggravates the sore spots. Snoop's website says the show is looking for a bar- or bat mitzvah to crash. Please invite me, too. (Caryn B. Brooks)
10 pm Sundays on MTV, with many repeats.
This new show swiped from England is positioned as a sort of Celebrity Jeer Factor. I know what I want to do this summer is bet on who can retrieve a stick from a pool faster--a dog or Todd Bridges of Diff'rent Strokes. People--go outside and play. There are fields to run through, moons to chase and a certain river waiting for you to skip stones on its back.
Premieres Sunday, July 13, on Fox.
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
Bravo is like, so gay. This is the first of two homo shows (the second is Boy Meets Boy, to air later in the month) from the dramatic cable channel. Queer Eye unleashes five style queens on a straight guy to make him over. It kinda sounds very 1980, especially in an era when there's a term--metrosexual--for straight guys who primp as much as gay guys and there are gay guys trying to pass as gruff truckers on every street corner in Portland.
Premieres Tuesday, July 15, on Bravo.