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Friday, May 09, 2008

Incarceration Cafe

You've heard me say a million times that I LOATHE reality TV. And I do, I really do. But I need to qualify that statement. See, to me, "Reality TV" all started with The Real World. Which inevitably turned into trash like The Simple Life and so many more atrocities. There was a quote on 30 Rock a few weeks ago that was essentially "If there's anything we've learned from Reality TV, it's that you can't keep a person with no shame down." And that really sums it up nicely. TV about idiots for idiots.

So I don't count things like Iron Chef or Trading Spaces as 'Reality TV'. I'm not going to get into the semantics of 'unscripted' vs. 'reality', but the point is, some shows have people with real talent (like the cooking shows or So You Think You Can Dance) or serve a purpose (Biggest Loser, Extreme Home Makeover). And some just plain suck (American Idol, The Hills).

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That said, my friend Tony, who's the head chef at Studio City's Tommy Ray's, just got his own reality TV series, Incarceration Cafe, which embraces both talent and serving a purpose. The series will take place (ideally) in the correctional facility where he once did time, and inmates with non-violent charges who are up for parole will get to compete in the kitchen for a job at Tommy Ray's. Pretty cool, right? The news popped up on Variety this week, so now it's only a matter of time.

Congrats, Tony!

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