MTV’s Gruesome ‘Eye Candy’ Is a Solid Teen Psychological Thriller

Thrillers aren’t exactly MTV’s forte, though it’s also true that MTV has no idea what its current forte is. Its reality shows are quickly growing stagnant, and its scripted teen dramas can only be judged on an episode-to-episode basis, because they vary so widely each week. Eye Candy is the network’s newest scripted program, a cyber-centric mystery thriller starring former Disney queen Victoria Justice. Based on a novel by R.L. Stine and developed by Christian Taylor, Eye Candy aims to have (teen) viewers second-guessing their e-dating habits and online addictions. Even with gruesome visuals, the show has a tough time navigating its confusing plot, but the potential is there. … Read More

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2014 in TV: ‘Faking It,’ ‘Degrassi,’ and the Year of Realistic LGBTQ Teens

If there is one thing that the world at large is terrified to talk about but television seems obsessed with exploiting, it’s teenagers having sex. It’s something that adults — namely parents — prefer to ignore, while TV series — namely cheesy dramas — put it front and center, often in a shameless play for ratings. There are only a few stories about the topic that TV has historically deemed important enough to tell: If teenagers were having sex, the girl immediately got pregnant; virginity was put on a pedestal, so much so that losing it never just happened, but was instead an episode-long event promoted in advance. Everything that falls under the umbrella of teen sexuality tends to appear in frustrating extremes on television, and this is especially true when it comes to teen LGBTQ narratives. Traditionally, if a teenager came out of the closet, they were swiftly ostracized by their parents and peers. Teens were either strictly gay or strictly straight, with no room for ambiguity. For a while, TV had no interest in murky gray areas or sliding scales of sexual attraction. But in 2014, there were a number of refreshing programs that aimed to tell more unique and nuanced stories. … Read More

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Your Weekly TV News Roundup: ‘Smash’ Musical Heads to Broadway, ‘Girls’ Casts Shoshanna’s Parents

The television world moves so fast that by the time you learn of a show’s premiere, it could already be canceled. It’s hard to keep track of the constant stream of television news, so Flavorwire is here to provide a weekly roundup of the most exciting — and baffling — casting and development updates. This week: Sarah Silverman’s HBO pilot, Hulu gets the rights for FX/FXX shows, and Girls casts Shoshanna’s parents. … Read More

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‘The Real World: Skeletons’ Is MTV’s Latest Attempt to Reinvigorate a Tired Franchise

How do you even review The Real World? The reality show has been on for 30 seasons now, and no two are alike. Most are objectively awful. Yet this can rarely be blamed on the show’s premise — The Real World has, for the most part, stuck with its original “seven strangers picked to live in a house” format. Whether or not the format works is actually the result of the particular characteristics of each group of seven strangers. Are they “real” people who are legitimately open to new experiences, or are they empty caricatures of the reality show roles they are molding themselves to fit into? Are they genuinely interested in meeting new people, or are they just down to fight and fuck in order to become “famous” on MTV’s blog or in a GIF recap? The cast is usually the main draw of The Real World, but lately the show has resorted to more desperate measures, like last season’s “EX-Plosion” or this season’s “Skeletons.” Whether these conceits “work” is tricker to figure out. … Read More

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Watch Benedict Cumberbatch Attempt Christopher Walken, Matthew McConaughey, and Taylor Swift Imitations

Benedict Cumberbatch — who is now engaged, lest you forget — is just so endlessly charming, right? That’s why… Read More

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MTV Debuts ‘Braless,’ a Teen Web Series About Sex, Feminism, and Celebrities

If we needed any further proof that feminism has gone from being a maligned activist movement to a dominant strain in pop culture in the past few years, it can be found in Braless, the adorable new teen web series from MTV which will air on YouTube each Tuesday. … Read More

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MTV’s ‘Slednecks’ Isn’t Particularly Offensive — So Will Anyone Care to Watch It?

The film Reality (by Gomorrah director Matteo Garrone), about a provincial Italian fisherman who dreams of being on Big Brother, and keeps dreaming himself into a series of delusions that bring his life crashing down, beautifully sums up the ambiguity of the whole reality TV genre in its very title. In the 21st century, nobody in their right mind mistakes reality TV for reality. The fact of it its factlessness is no epiphany — but reality TV also shouldn’t be mistaken for fiction, either. Stripped of the woes that befall fictitious characters — as fiction is typically written to emulate reality — bracketing people, who, as real people, are prone to tragedy and tragic missteps, into lighthearted, producer-planned dramas that are confined to producer-planned sleepovers or producer-planned outings, reality TV is a claustrophobic realm unto itself of enclosed, resolvable dramas. The “reality” in it is neither “reality” nor fiction as we know it. It’s something far more stifling. … Read More

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Revisiting MTV’s ‘Fear,’ the Scariest Reality TV Show Ever Made

Generally, reality shows don’t lend themselves to the horror genre. The horror in reality programming often lies within the notion that people are actually willing to participate in them or the realization that we are actually willing to watch 30 (30!) seasons of The Real World. But true, chilling horror isn’t often explored, except in silly series like Celebrity Paranormal Project. That’s what made MTV’s Fear such a great watch: It was new and innovate in 2000 and, at times, it was legitimately scary. … Read More

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