Light Mode

FOX Reality Based TV Shows

At FOX, beating a dead horse should be considered an Olympic event. They’ve gotten very, very good at it.

First we had Cops, a suitably kick-ass series that introduced us to Reality TV. Later, we found out what happens When Animals Attack, as if we didn’t already know. We then stomached FOX’s Temptation Island, yawning, unsure how long this trend might continue.

For FOX, it goes on and on and on.

- Advertisement -

Two new reality-based series are debuting on FOX and its flagship network, FOX Family – and that’s not exactly good news. Whereas competing shows on other networks – such as CBS’ Survivor — offer compelling entertainment week to week, FOX’s new twosome, The Scariest Places on Earth and Boot Camp, fall short in both conception and execution.

The Scariest Places on Earth

Network: FOX Family
Airing: Nightly at 9 p.m. ET through Fri., Mar. 31. Afterward, airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET starting April 6.
Premise: Good ol’ American families are challenged to spend a night in the world’s creepiest locales. For some reason, they do.

Actually, this series is not seriously flawed – it’s simply ironic that a network called FOX “Family” would air scenes of youngsters having the hell scared out of them. Now that’s wholesome entertainment.

Cameras follow daring families shacking up in such locations as haunted Civil War plantations, haunted Scottish castles, haunted burial grounds in Maryland – everything but haunted Burger Kings, but then again, that could turn up. Each family is ordered to conduct experiments measuring the locations’ paranormal activities, which provides the bulk of each episode’s intrigue: how does a typical American family know the parameters of metaphysics?

If anything, the show is an excellent educational tool. The background surrounding each location is truly fascinating – and disturbing. Stories of tortures, madmen and poltergeists paint a grim picture of each destination. Again, maybe not your traditional family fare, but damn interesting.

Boot Camp

Network: FOX
Airing: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET
Premise: Contestants (16 of them) endure eight episodes of harsh treatment by real drill instructors to win a $500,000 prize.

- Advertisement -

Now this is some basic stuff. One contestant takes home a half mil for proving they’re not a total wuss. And it’s not even set in Australia.

FOX’s Boot Camp is really just an afterthought: only eight episodes, half the jackpot as Survivor and no bona-fide hotties. Just another reality series FOX execs are cramming down our throats. However, some of the physical duress these “recruits” endure is without question intimidating. From mountain climbing challenges to obstacle courses to laser labyrinth exercises, these contestants are certainly well tested. However, earning $500,000 for completing such tasks seems a bit over-the-top. Didn’t they used to simply give you a badge and let you go home?

FOX should be commended for churning out diverse ideas for such shows as Scariest Places and Boot Camp — they just don’t need to show all of them.

- Advertisement -