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Pop Rocks: Eight New Summer TV Series to Avoid Like the Plague

Yes, they are serious.
Yes, they are serious.

I watch plenty of TV, but even I have my limits. We all should. Every fall, lots of new shows tank badly. Some die a slow, painful death. Many are kept on longer than they should. But, that's the fall when networks put real work into finding the next big hit because kids are back in school and families are more apt to spend time around the flatscreen watching whatever crappy sitcom or recycled cop drama the networks roll out for them.

During the summer, it's a whole different situation. While a few networks like HBO actually try to debut new shows that have merit, most opt for running whatever leftovers that they thought might be good enough for the fall, but probably not. The end result is a lot of really unfortunate programming.

Buying Naked -- TLC, Saturdays

Whether Mrs. Alaska (true story) is buying a log cabin with her husband or two roommates are trying to find the perfect, totally furnished but super cheap apartment in Nepal (also true story), that laundry list of stuff people "need" when buying a home is normally as ridiculous as it is unrealistic. In this terrifying concept, nudists go looking for houses. One can only hope that each one comes with a big fence and blacked out windows.

It Takes a Church -- Game Show Network, Thursdays

Everybody is a matchmaker, it would seem, and the same goes for the poor bastards suckered into this reality series. Taking the show on the road, the series aims to pair up theologically matched pairs for life, love and the Lord, God help them (and us).

Partners -- FX, Mondays

Everyone loves both Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammar. I could even see how the two of them paired as law partners might work if teamed with the right series creator, but the fact this is being dropped in the middle of the summer on FX does not bode well. Let me guess: Lawrence is a wise cracking loose cannon and Grammar is an uptight, erudite stickler for the rules.

Young & Hungry -- ABC Family, Wednesdays

Has anything become more annoying than foodies trying to turn home cooking blogs into careers? It was interesting when no one was doing it, but every vegan hipster with a good kale recipe and a starter digital camera believes he can go from blog to food truck to farm-to-table bistro to celeb chef faster than he can say "locally sourced produce." In this twist, a tech startup guy (only slightly less annoying that the foodie) hires a food blogger to be his personal chef. Barf.  

Nicole Richie is back in hashtag form.
Nicole Richie is back in hashtag form.

Tiny House Nation

Turns out there is something more irritating than foodies with blogs: tiny houses. I get that everyone wants to be environmentally friendly, but when bobos try to cram themselves into a house the size of a one-car garage, I want to shake them until they come to their senses. In this show, homes 300 square feet or less are designed and built by micro-abode enthusiasts. Better title: It's a ridiculously small world after all.

The Quest -- ABC, Thursdays

Think Dungeons and Dragons come to life and replicated for reality TV. It if it is one-tenth as pathetic as it sounds, it could produce some of the most cringe worthy moments on television.

#CandidlyNicole -- VH1, Thursdays

And now we have reached the "Who in the hell greenlit these piles of dung?" segment of this list. Nicole Richie is back in a reality series that in some way incorporates her 4.4 million Twitter followers -- who are these fools? -- and even the title of the the show is a hashtag. You can send the four horsemen of the apocalypse now, God.

Kate Plus 8: Sextuplets Turn 10 -- TLC, Wednesdays

If God does indeed decide a Nicole Richie reality series is worthy of the rapture, perhaps the return of the most exploited children in pop culture history will cause him to skip it and just incinerate the entire planet in fire and brimstone. At the very least, I'm hoping he is keeping a lightning bolt handy for attention whore Kate Gosselin as she attempts to stay tabloid relevant by parading around her gaggle of almost tweens for the camera one more time.


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