Is it just us, or is tv getting more bizarre by the day? Five years ago, if you’d asked us if a show about storage facilities would be successful, we’d have yawned in your face. Today, of course, Storage Wars is just the tip of the “watch these weird people with unorthodox jobs” genre iceberg. There’s Pawn Stars; there’s Hillbilly Handfishin’; soon, there might even be Pool, Poker and Pain.
And it’s only getting bigger. The post-holiday tv lull is over, and it’s bringing even more oddly compelling programming about the world’s wackiest characters. So fire up your DVR and let these new shows confuse and amuse you.
Show: American Stuffers
Premieres: Jan. 5 on Animal Planet
The story: Take a trip to the aptly named town of Romance, Arkansas, where taxidermist Daniel Ross and his family help keep the love between locals and their pets alive — by stuffing dead animals for display. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill, trophy-moose-on-the-wall animals; if you believe the commercials, these guys make a living turning newly dead dogs into plushies. Then we all watch the owners cry in delight.
Should you watch? If you’re considering veganism.
Show: Shipping Wars
Premieres: Jan. 10 on A&E
The story: From the network that dared us to be interested in industries like antiquing and crab fishing comes Shipping Wars, an inside look into the cutthroat, action-packed world of picking a thing up in one place and bringing it to another. Airplanes! Construction equipment! Giant lawn gnomes! These independent shippers will stop at nothing to feed their lust for oversized object transportation.
Should you watch? If Storage Wars is your thing, Shipping Wars is the next logical (albeit troubling) step.
Show: Bayou Billionaires
Premieres: Jan. 21 on CMT
The story: The Dowdens were just another Shreveport, Louisiana, family until they discovered untold wealth in the form of a natural gas reserve on their land. Now, they’re ready to try the finer things in life — and letting us watch. See the family hilariously attempt to join a country club! Watch side-splitting antics like hiring a personal trainer! And get this — these folks even think they can invest this newfound cash of theirs! Like real businesspeople! What a riot! (It’s funny because they’re poor, y’all.)
Should you watch? If you’re a proud member of the 1%.
Show: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
Premieres: Jan. 16 on NBC
The story: If you ever watched Punk’d and found yourself wishing someone would have a heart attack, Off Their Rockers is the show for you. Don’t get us wrong, we love comic legend and living meme Betty White. And we are genuinely curious to see her team of “sassy septugenarians who are hip, sexy and ready to party” wreak havoc on the streets of Ancientville. But we’re pretty sure this show boils down to one thing: making fun of innocent old folks who are just trying to offer us a Werther’s Original.
Should you watch? If you love Golden Girls but hate the elderly… so, probably not.
Show: Extreme Couponing All-Stars
Premiered: Dec. 27 on TLC
The story: Of all the reality shows that could’ve gotten an “all-stars” spin-off, this is the most socially irresponsible. TLC has taken extreme coupon-ers — slightly unhinged people with tenacity, Asperger’s-like attention to detail and obsessive, competitive tendencies — and entered them into a head-to-head shopping tournament for the title of “America’s Best Super Saver.” It’s like Supermarket Sweep meets The Hunger Games.
Should you watch? If you like your 5-cent Hamburger Helper with a side of bloodlust.
Source: Miami New Times