Mikefleiss_texaschainsawpr_240On balance, it’s hard for me to argue that receiving a couple hundred cable channels is a bad thing. I may only watch a fraction of them, but it’s nice to know that if I wanted to get tips on refinishing furniture or watch a Premier League match, I could.

The flip side, of course, is that all these hundreds of channels need new programming to feed them. That’s where things get dicey.

Take (please) two announcements from the cable-verse in the past couple of days. TV Land, which is diving into boomer-centered reality shows to augment its I Love Lucy and Cheers reruns, has greenlit a "cougar" dating show from The Bachelor producer Mike Fleiss (who’s already doing a version of his old WB show High School Reunion for the network, focusing on 20-year rather than 10-year reunions).

The as-yet untitled show will have a group of younger men vying for the affection of "a sexy and accomplished mature woman" — the Cougar. It was probably inevitable that this show would come along — heck, NBC took a stab at it last year with the 20s-vs.-40s dating show Age of Love — but that doesn’t make me feel any less icky about it.

For starters, there’s that term, which I know is supposed to connote a wily animal stalking her prey but for me tends to conjure up images of bad animal-print clothing and overly done fingernails. If you’re an older woman who prefers the company of younger men, good on you. But given the history of The Bachelor — and, let’s face it, pretty much every other televised dating show — I doubt what we’ll get from TV Land is a searching examination of the dynamic between the parties.

(You would also think that, once you reach a certain age, the desire to make a spectacle of oneself on television would dissipate. Guess not.)

The cougar show makes me a little queasy. But nothing like Hurl.

Hurl comes to you this summer from G4, the folks who tell you how to beat video games and show Arrested Development reruns. It’s a game show that combines competitive eating with physical competition — downing a plateful of hot dogs, then riding a mechanical bull, for instance. Last one still holding his (and I have to believe it’ll be almost exclusively dudes competing) cookies wins.

Now, I love me a good puke scene as much as the next guy, and we on the Zap2it crew are kind of fascinated by competitive eating. But an entire show in which the point is to make people ralph? Pass.

TV being TV, I’m guessing we’ll hear of equally silly ideas for shows in the not-too-distant future. But can you envision yourself watching either of these shows? Or are they just skeevy enough to make you curious?

Posted by:Rick Porter