As I was writing what turned out to be part one of my thoughts on Bravo's 2012 TV lineup, I realized that although I had a substantial amount to say about Jeff Lewis and his new series, Interior Therapy, there isn't much to talk about when it comes to some of the other new series' that Bravo has green lit for the upcoming year. Perhaps it's because at least two of the 'new' shows seem like shows I have either seen or heard of already. Granted, I don't expect that Interior Therapy is going to be exponentially different than Jeff Lewis' prior series, but at least there is a major difference in the concept of the show.
Whereas shows like Love Broker and Million Dollar Listing: New York, both set to premiere in March, seem too similar in concept to already existing series'. Love Broker is described by Bravo as a 'series that follows New York's most passionate matchmaker, Lori Zaslow, as she hits the streets of Manhattan searching tirelessly for soul mates for her clients.' Since at first I didn't realize that Lori Zaslow was in fact a different person than Patti Stanger (host of Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker) I was about to go on a tear about how Love Broker and Millionaire Matchmaker were the exact same show with a different name, which really shows you how much I watched any of Patti Stanger's shows.
But even now that I am aware of the fact that there is a different host, I'm still not convinced that this show is all that much different than Millionaire Matchmaker anyway. I'm willing to bet that not everyone whom is featured on Love Broker is a millionaire and I suppose Millionaire Matchmaker was not limited to New York City residents as it seems Love Broker is, but if those are the only two differences, is there really that much of a difference? I know my view on this may be skewed because I am a male and should be chugging a bottle of Dr. Pepper Ten as I say this, but I can't even picture this being interesting to women. Is it really entertaining or satisfying to watch complete strangers get matched up with other complete strangers, especially without knowing if they even last longer than the filming of the show? To each, their own I suppose, but I certainly won't be tuning in to Love Broker to find out what the subtle differences are between it and Millionaire Matchmaker.
Which leads me to the next 'new series' on Bravo's 2012 lineup; Million Dollar Listing: New York. Initially my biggest problem with this series is that it is being promoted as 'new'. Yes, technically it is new even though from the title alone we can probably expect the same type of show as the original Bravo series, Million Dollar Listing, only this time the series is based out of New York instead of Los Angeles.
I'll call myself out for being a bit picky here in my interpretation of 'new' because in reality, spinoff shows that feature an alternate location do make it different enough to warrant a new title. After all, HGTV's House Hunters International is only different than the original House Hunters because of the locations that the aspiring homeowners are looking in, yet I still enjoy both shows. Therefore, people that enjoy the original Million Dollar Listing are probably looking forward to this new installment of it, especially if they live in New York or are New York enthusiasts. I don't even have a problem with the fact that watching million- or billionaires look at real estate is very un-relatable to the typical viewer because hey, it's fun to dream big right? However after doing a little research to help prove my theory that these shows are too similar to one another or even Selling New York / Selling Los Angeles, I found that there is actually an additional twist that separates the concepts of these shows from one another. Unfortunately, that is where they started to lose me. Despite the fact that at first this seems like nothing more than another version of the original, apparently this new version of Million Dollar Listing will focus on the personal lives of the real estate agents as much as it focuses on the sales of the featured high-end properties. Joey Arak of curbed.com described the concept as being comparable to what a 'Real Housewives of Real Estate' show would be like. Joy. So I guess this is another new Bravo series that I probably won't be setting my DVR to record, but hopefully I helped to raise awareness for a show that is catered to those of you that enjoy both real estate and unnecessary, potentially secretly scripted drama.
Finally, the last new Bravo series that feels like it's been done before is Kathy, sort of. Kathy premieres some time in spring of 2012 and is a one-hour talk show hosted by Kathy Griffin that will air once per week. To my knowledge, Kathy Griffin has never had her own talk show and there's probably a good reason for that. My intention here is not to hate on Kathy Griffin, but I'm not the biggest fan of hers and yet I still feel saturated with her. I know she has a fan base and two Emmy awards for her prior Bravo Series, Kathy Griffin: My life on the D-List, and I also know that there are much worse, more annoying celebrities out there.
I'll even admit that before I go on talking about how unexcited I am for her new show, I should probably give her Emmy award winning show a chance. But alas, as renowned as her previous show was, I just don't think it warrants her very own talk show. Griffin's success as a reality show star will not necessarily translate to being a successful talk show host. Not to mention, don't we have enough talk shows to choose from? Bravo itself has Watch What Happens Live! which is a rant for another day, but late night television in general has a plethora of talk shows to already choose from, some of which are being hosted by people that perhaps don't necessarily deserve that role either. The most amusing part of Kathy Griffin's talk show so far is the fact that Bravo describes it as 'unlike any other talk shows' because this one 'will be the destination to get Griffin's thoughts on everything pop culture as she rants on the week's biggest headlines and tabloid gossip.' So how it is unlike every other talk show? If I understand this correctly, the only difference is that every other talk show isn't hosted by Kathy Griffin, right? Because every other talk show I have ever seen also features a host that rants about pop culture and the other biggest headlines of the week. I guess if you want Kathy's perspective on things, you're looking forward to this new show. As for me, I'll be tuning into Bravo this season for the shows that I'll talk about in part three of my feelings on Bravo's 2012 television lineup.
In the mean time, my advice for Bravo would be to focus on developing some more original content. You have to give Bravo credit where it is due for coming up with some of the most unique, entertaining and innovative shows to date, and I understand the strategy in producing programming that piggy-backs on the success of their former shows because they know that it worked in the past. Sometimes that strategy does in fact work, and I will talk about a show in part three that is a perfect example of that. I just feel that in most cases, I would rather see
more of Bravo's innovative show ideas that got them to where they are today, rather than a similar show with a different name.