Better Call Saul is about to begin airing the second half of its final season. I originally intended to use the break as an opportunity to do an all-encompassing review piece on the first half of the season, and was initially excited to put my thoughts to words as I followed each episode week to week.
However, my excitement faded as I followed the social media chatter about the series. Part of what I love about live television is hopping online after the latest episodes and finding other enthusiasts to chat with. I learn a lot from these strangers; sometimes I don’t like a scene that they found engaging, and they help me see what I’m missing, or I find a line of dialogue inoffensive but through another’s perspective, learn that it could have been better. There are always those special episodes that everybody seems to come into agreement on, but on the average week, there are both good and bad things to be discussed.
The recent Better Call Saul discourse has not been like this, at least not from what I experienced for nearly two months. Instead of discussion, I mostly found an odd form of gatekeeping. If someone didn’t like how an episode played out or how a story was going, there seemed to be more attempts at proving the person wrong than there were attempts to see that other point of view and engage with it.
A large portion of the audience has been unsatisfied with some of this final season, and the overwhelming majority of replies I’ve seen has been unbecoming of genuine discussion. Instead, threads critiquing aspects of the show tend to follow with comments like this:
“Not every show needs explosions or action to be interesting.”
“The people complaining are the same people who binged through the show in two weeks so they could watch Better Call Saul cross over with Breaking Bad.”
“Not everyone has the attention span for Better Call Saul’s slower pace. It isn’t Breaking Bad, what did you expect?”
All three of the comments above refuse to engage with any actual criticism of the series. It’s all deflection and subtle jabs at the criticizer that they “just don’t get it.” I’ve been watching Better Call Saul from the beginning. I’ve routinely enjoyed it more than Breaking Bad precisely because of the way it uses relationships to push drama and not violence or explosions. “Chicanery” has stuck with me a good bit more than any Breaking Bad episode. But according to a large portion of Better Call Saul’s fanbase, my opinion can be dismissed because I think Better Call Saul Season 6 has terrible pacing.
Of course, not every discussion is like this, and sometimes if you scour the comments you’ll be able to come across a thread that actually engages with a criticism, but routinely the top comments, and even the top threads in general, reward dismissal of criticism. I’m not sure what has inspired this attitude towards dissenters, perhaps that’s research and an article for another time. Despite all of this, I’m hoping this article will encourage those who disagree with me to engage in a real discussion about both the flaws and successes of Season 6.
Now, time to dive into why Better Call Saul Season 6 has poor pacing.
What is pacing in storytelling? I like to think of pacing as “story momentum.” In general, pacing is a rollercoaster (a tired analogy but still a good one). You want a mix of ups and downs at the right places to maximize the emotional impact of your climax. Too many ups? The climax won’t feel strong enough or will get lost in the haze. Too many downs? The story may feel uneven when it suddenly reaches its climax, and the audience may not feel the story has “earned it.”
However, the rollercoaster ups DO NOT REPRESENT ACTION. They represent major story beats – plot reveals, character twists, emotional payoffs. The downs do not represent a lull in action; they represent areas of your story ripe for world building, exposition, and character development.
With this in mind, slow pacing is NOT poor pacing. I’ll repeat that periodically to try to cut off any reactionary retorts of “it doesn’t need explosions to be good, some of us LIKE taking time with the characters.” Slow paced shows can build tension and dread in unique ways, give us deeper insight into characters’ minds beyond their actions, and provide particularly powerful climaxes thanks to their careful approach to build up and anticipation. This does not, however, mean that every show (or every season) that utilizes a slow pace is automatically good. Season 6 of Better Call Saul, through its first seven episodes, in my opinion, has poor pacing. There are four areas in particular I want to explore to explain this perspective.
I’ll start with the simplest – Lalo Salamanca and Gus. Lalo’s storyline reaches a peak at the end of Season 5 after the Gus’ failed assassination attempt, and this new peak led to some real momentum for Lalo’s Season 6 storyline as he headed out to search for evidence against Gus. How would Lalo react to this new situation, and how will this betrayal affect him?
Lalo was absent from the following episode of the season, which I feel was a great storytelling choice because it let us see how Lalo’s mere continued existence affects Gus. Gus is on high alert, fearful that Lalo is coming after him, showing us a slightly different side of Gus, and this works. It provides a small lull from the momentum while keeping Lalo’s plot dangling in the mirror, giving the story a sense of weight and inevitability.
But then Lalo remains absent, and Gus remains fearful. There are no further character aspects being explored for several episodes. This isn’t “slow pacing,” this is a halt. The rollercoaster has stopped because the characters have stopped. No progress is made in Gus’ or Lalo’s stories.
Some may say that Gus hiding a gun in the lab or Lalo discovering the lab’s existence is story progress, but I disagree – it’s plot. We already know Gus is paranoid and prepared, and while it is essential that we see Gus hiding the gun in the lab (or at least, I assume it’s essential, but only time will tell), it doesn’t actually move the story of Gus’ paranoia or fear forward. It’s not bad that we see this plot develop, but what did we learn about Gus through this plot that was new? Why couldn’t this have happened in the same timeframe that we saw Gus’ paranoia earlier in the season? Or perhaps an alternate version where we actually focus in on how Gus’ fear of Lalo is affecting his work at Los Pollos Hermanos, and therefore threatening his cover? That would have been something new, a new storyline that doesn’t move the plot forward at all, and would maintain the wonderful slow pace the show can excel at.
Lalo’s storyline suffers in the same way. When Lalo finally reappears in Germany, nothing new has been learned about him since he disappeared. The plot moves along and he finds a clue to lead him to the lab, but his interrogation of Werner’s man Casper? Absolutely useless in terms of the story. The audience gains nothing from seeing Lalo interact with Casper. The episode doesn’t even show the interrogation; the show just assumes in the next episode that the audience will believe Lalo got what information he needed – which already could have been assumed when Lalo found Werner’s ruler.
Perhaps one would argue that by showing Lalo’s journey, it legitimizes the lengths he’s willing to go to take down Gus, and it leaves us without the ability to question how he discovered the lab (remember when Bruce Wayne suddenly got back to Gotham in The Dark Knight Rises with no explanation and everyone talked about it for years?). Showing Lalo go after Casper avoids that pitfall. However, I disagree that this is necessary in this scenario. I’m happy to hear a counterpoint, but for me, the hunt for Casper is just an extra, action-packed episode of material that doesn’t materialize into something new, and to reiterate, pace-wise it doesn’t matter that Lalo gets an action scene here because action scenes are not necessarily story momentum. (Also, now that I’m thinking of it, Lalo totally pulls a Bruce Wayne and just randomly gets to Germany and back with no explanation as to how, so why is that information unnecessary but the Casper stuff is???).
Next is Mike, and this one is short and sweet. Why oh why oh why are we seeing Mike watch over his granddaughter and make small cutesy talk with her about stars? We have seen sweet scene after sweet scene of Mike and his family – is there really nothing else to this man? Why is this repeated? I wish the pace of Nacho’s storyline at the start of the season would have been slower, as extending his time even just one more episode might have provided Mike with a bit more to work with. Perhaps then we could have avoided this retread, as scenes that provide us information we already know halt the beautiful slow burn Better Call Saul has provided.
On the other hand, Howard’s scenes halt the momentum to show us information we DON’T need, and unnecessary information can be just as damaging to your pace as repeated information. When Howard’s wife snubs his crafted-with-love latte, I felt a huge wave of disappointment. All I saw from that scene was an over-the-top attempt at garnering Howard some sympathy before his demise. It was clear and shameless audience manipulation, and I am comfortable committing to this stance because of the lack of context. We don’t actually know enough about Howard’s situation for this sympathy to be gained naturally, so the scene has to go out of its way to tell us how we should feel. Howard’s wife snubs him, but what if Howard was a huge jerk to her? What if she is dismissing him this way because of something awful she did? How can I feel bad for Howard without knowing what exactly happened?
This took me out of the story because the scene was so meticulously designed to garner sympathy for the man without doing any of the real work to set Howard up to earn it in this context. Howard has earned enough sympathy through the rest of the show already – we don’t NEED more, and if the writers felt Howard needed more then they should have worked Howard’s personal life into the story more naturally in the past. Remember when Howard was devastated from Chuck’s death in Season 4? That was great! New facets of the man were revealed while complicating his relationship with Jimmy. It pushed him forward to make specific decisions, and continues to influence his perspective on things (even being alluded to in his final scene). Does the reveal of a failing marriage do any of that for Howard? What does it accomplish?
What particularly bothers me about this is that the show had a perfect opportunity to have its cake and eat it, too, without resorting to blatant audience manipulation. Part of what makes Howard’s demise so harsh and affecting is Jimmy and Kim’s lack of foresight. They never considered anything beyond their personal perspective regarding Howard, and I feel the reveal would have worked much better (and more naturally) if we learned about his marriage issues at the same time Jimmy and Kim did. Giving the audience secret insight into Howard’s life that Jimmy and Kim didn’t have undercut the moment he told them, because we can’t react alongside Jimmy and Kim. We also would only have had Howard’s perspective to rely on, with no risk of being influenced by a wife who is so incredibly detached from her husband that the only explanations are that she’s totally heartless or Howard did something to deserve it.
Perhaps she’ll be important moving forward, and the real purpose of the scene was to establish that Howard’s wife now knows about Jimmy’s involvement, but throwing this scene in just for sympathy and establishing future plot-points is closer to strapping on the seatbelt than it is to moving smoothly around a couple of turns. It’s clunky, and while potentially establishing plot, the scene of Howard’s failing marriage does nothing to change his character and does little to shift audience perspective of him in a way that couldn’t have been accomplished just as effectively, if not more effectively, with less scenes dedicated to it. And who knows, maybe those scenes could have been used to give Mike a slow, character based scene that doesn’t involve loving his granddaughter.
And finally…the scheme. The plot of Jimmy and Kim’s scheme is fine (if personally a bit uninteresting to me, which isn’t a flaw), but the execution fails in two ways that hurt the pace of the season.
First, and a clear running theme of the season – Jimmy and Kim do not develop much as characters during each of the meticulous steps of the scheme that we see. Sometimes a lack of development can be good pacing, such as in Season 4, where Jimmy’s lack of development is the point of the story. That isn’t the point of the Season 6 story, though, and Jimmy and Kim’s characters stand still for multiple episodes while the scheme is being put into action. For those who feel that seeing all of these actions take place over multiple episodes (instead of one or two) serves the story, I ask which parts of these characters changed or grew during these scenes? What character attributes that may be examined moving forward (such as their arrogance) are being reinforced in a way that could only be achieved by seeing so many steps over so many episodes?
Second, the scheme is hidden from the audience. I can see why this decision was made, particularly after hearing from those involved with the show that they feel, “[If the plan goes wrong, you should explain it first. If it goes right, you don’t need to.]” I agree with this theory to an extent, but each story is different and requires different approaches. In this case, because the scheme against Howard lasts for so long, the lack of information ends up creating a lack of tension, and tension is particularly important to maintain when telling a slow-burn story like this.
If we don’t know what the plan is, we don’t know what needs to go right nor what can go wrong. This can be fun and beneficial at first, as trying to get the audience to piece together the scheme is a great way to increase engagement. Personally, I’ve never been all that into figuring out plots like this, as I’m more interested in how plots affect the people involved. Not knowing what can go wrong leaves me guessing at what’s happening instead of feeling dread or panic with the characters, and as the story continues with no clear sense of stakes, trying to piece the puzzle together just isn’t enough. Eventually, it passes the point of intrigue in not knowing what can go wrong because we don’t even know what happens when things go wrong. What will the consequences to Jimmy and Kim be if they fail? Will they end up in prison? Get someone hurt? What are the stakes? Without these stakes, there is little story within this plot. We have Jimmy reluctantly asking Kim about the plan, Kim’s amazing question to Jimmy, “You think we’re wicked?”and then a long halt before Kim eventually turns her car around.
And Kim turning around and abandoning all pretenses that she’s doing any of this for the greater good – excellent. Kim and Jimmy literally getting off to Howard’s demise (one of the grossest things I’ve ever seen) – excellent. The result of this scheme is one of my favorite stories the series has ever told, and it seems most fans agree. In fact, I saw a ton of posts from both sides praising the climax of the story.
And yet, of course, I saw lots of posts about how all the naysayers were wrong and this is what happens when you trust the show. I disagree. Better Call Saul did not justify its pacing choices with the the mid-season finale, and therefore, the pacing issues in the first half of the season remain. How you get somewhere matters just as much as where you end up, and I fully believe the first six episodes could have built to this climax even better than it did.
Not everyone agrees, but a lot of people do; many who are fans of the slow-paced, character based show that is Better Call Saul and are trying to hold the series up to the standards they personally feel it isn’t meeting. The first half of Season 6 is poorly paced. Disagree with me, argue with me, and let’s discuss, because I love Better Call Saul.
(P.S. Despite the disappointing discussion surrounding Better Call Saul, the memes have been absolutely top tier. I haven’t seen so many creative and uniquely specific killer jokes about a series since the 00’s.)
‘Berlin’ Is the ‘Money Heist’ Spinoff We Never Knew We Needed
Berlin is the Money Heist spinoff we never knew we needed… but we’re so glad it’s almost here.
Since Berlin (Pedro González Alonso) was hands-down the most captivating (and problematic) character in the Spanish heist drama, fans always wanted to get to know more of him, especially after he sacrificed himself in the season 1 finale for his team, largely due to his terminal illness, redeeming himself in the process.
Quickly rising the ranks as a fan-favorite, the writers kept Berlin’s spirit alive in the following seasons via flashbacks, noting that he always had a hand in the planning of the heists, even if he wasn’t around to see them through. And it became more and more clear that there was an unsatiable thirst from audiences to explore additional parts of the character’s origin story; thus, a prequel to Money Heist focusing solely on Berlin’s prior escapades only made sense.
As seen in the later season of Money Heist, or La Casa de Papel, Berlin garnered even more intrigue when his son, Rafael (Patrick Criado) joined the heist. The former Electronics Engineer from MIT is Berlin’s prodigal son, whose only request was not to end up a thief like his father, also drew attention after entering a relationship with his father’s wife, Tatiana. It’s a lot to unpack, clearly, but it’s also proof that there was nothing boring or mediocre about Berlin’s life in the slightest, at any point.
So, again, it warrants a spinoff that digs even deeper into this complex, charismatic, and morally questionable character we’ve all come to love.
When he joined the Professor’s group in the series, he was already one of the most seasoned robbers of the bunch, having a plethora of experience mapping out and executing heists of ranging scales.
With Berlin: Money Heist, we’re not only going to get to see one of those previous heists in action, but we’re also going to get a sense of the man he was before attempting the biggest heist in history, which made him the beloved criminal we’ve come to know.
Capitalizing on the love already established for the series—one of Netflix’s most popular shows of all time—the prequel finds Berlin, in all his glory as Andrés de Fonollosa, the mastermind behind a heist targeting the biggest auction house in Paris to steal €44 million.
The series trails the planning of a new heist as he recruits his crew: “Michelle Jenner (Isabel) plays Keila, an eminence in electronic engineering; Tristán Ulloa (Fariña) goes into the skin of Damián, a philanthropic professor and Berlin’s confidant; Begoña Vargas (Welcome to Eden) plays Cameron, a kamikaze who always lives on the edge; Julio Peña Fernández (Through My Window) brings to life Roi, Berlin’s faithful squire; and Joel Sánchez plays Bruce, the relentless man of action in the gang.”
While it’s mostly an all-new cast, we’ll see a few familiar faces with Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri) and Raquel Murillo (Itziar Ituno) appearing at some point, though it’s unclear what their connection is to the storyline. Is it possible that their paths have always crossed and Berlin was always on their radar way prior to the action at the Royal Mint?
We may not be getting the version of Berlin from the original series, but don’t fret, as the teaser trailer evidenced, he’s still as ruthless, dapper, and flirtatious as ever, meaning that they really did this character–and prequel—justice. The fact that it hails from the original showrunner, Alex Pina, is also a sign that it won’t let the fandom down.
“It’s a trip through the golden age of the character, when he robbed around Europe crazy in love,” Pina previously told TUDUM, adding, “That’s the most surprising, the comedy. You’re going to make people laugh a lot.”
Berlin in his prime, in love, and flexing his comedic bone? As the beloved criminal says in the trailer, “it’s all the things worth living for.”
The full synopsis for the series reads:
“There are only two things that are sure to turn a bad day into a great one: love, and a payday worth millions. They’re what keep Berlin going through his golden years, a time when he still has no inkling of his illness and hasn’t gotten trapped like a rat in the Spanish Mint. This is where he starts preparing one of his most extraordinary heists: making jewels worth 44 million disappear like some sort of magic trick. To do it, he’ll enlist the help of one of the three gangs he’s ever stolen with.”
Watch the Berlin trailer below:
Berlin arrives a few days prior to New Year’s Eve on Dec. 29, 2023, which means you’ll have plenty of time to binge watch while counting down to 2024.
To prepare, you can stream Money Heist on Netflix and read our coverage here.
7 Steamiest Moments on ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’
It’s been a month since The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 wrapped up, and naturally, I’ve been replaying all of the best moments (read: the ones that give you butterflies) between Belly, Conrad, and Jeremiah, to fill the void.
TSITP hinges on a love triangle between the two brothers and their longtime family-friendly, and when romance is the main focus of a young adult drama, well, you can anticipate that the series will have its fair share of hot and steamy makeout moments, along with plenty of heartbreak… more on that here.
With two seasons currently available to binge-watch on Prime Video—and we patiently await the third season—we’re breaking down all the steamiest moments on the show thus far.
Conrad and Belly Visit the Cousins House in the Winter
The moment when Conrad and Belly let their love totally consume them takes the top spot simply because of how intimately romantic and pure it is. Conrad showed so much care for Belly, making sure that she felt safe and ready. Nothing mattered except for the love and passion they felt for each other in that very moment; the world could melt away as they spent the evening together, cuddled up warmly by the fire. It’s one of the most pivotal Conrad and Belly scenes because it’s followed by so much anger and heartbreak as their relationship takes a nosedive and ends with an explosive argument at Conrad’s mother’s funeral.
Belly and Jeremiah Decide to Be Together
Okay, this kiss, was undeniably hot because it came from such a place of happiness and fullfillment. Belly knew what she wanted, and she went after it. They’d been skirting around their feelings for much of season 2, but there was nothing standing in their way anymore, so they both finally embraced their lust and completely gave themselves over to it. The little tug on his sweater indicated how crazy Belly was about him and how badly she wanted him, making everyone’s heart skip a beat while watching at home. The scene was delivered and executed perfectly by the duo (they understood the assignment)—but the Beyonce soundtrack simply elevated it into one of the most monumental romantic moments on television. It was a dream kiss, so even if you’re not Team Jeremiah, you couldn’t help but be completely enamored by this scene.
Belly and Conrad’s First Kiss on the Beach
There are so many romantic parts to this scene—the apology, Conrad’s honesty about needing and wanting Belly, and Taylor Swift’s “This Love (Taylor’s Version),” all culminating in the moment she’s dreamt of forever—the first kiss during a sunrise on the beach. After putting Belly through such an emotional rollercoaster through the whole season, Conrad made up for it with an absolutely perfect moment.
Belly and Jeremiah’s Makeout
With Conrad, it’s romantic and sensual, but with Jeremiah, it’s passionate, hot and charged. It’s almost as if Belly and Jeremiah cannot wait to get their hands on each other—and in this case, Jeremiah was waiting. He was waiting for his time with Belly to come, and when it did, he bared his soul to her about his feelings before they embraced in a hot and heavy pool makeout session that’s on every girl’s summer bucket list.
Belly and Jeremiah’s First Kiss in the Car
After Belly’s skinny dipping incident, Jeremiah and Conrad come to the rescue, but she makes it a point to go back home with Jere so she can apologize for ditching him during the volleyball tournament and to thank him for picking her up. In place of their usual playful vibe, there’s an intense chemistry that builds up to their first kiss. Sparks fly in a moment that feels both safe and right, because it’s Jeremiah, but also extremely hot and dangerous, because it’s Jeremiah. Jere checks in on her, proving that he values her and cares for her, while Belly boldly makes the first move, placing his hand on her chest, as her heart pounds in a way that indicates a strong and indescribable connection & attraction—it’s a sign that their romance-to-be was inevitable in season 2.
Belly and Jeremiah on Conrad’s Car
Listen, this scene did a lot of damage to both fandoms, in good and bad ways. They couldn’t hold off on those feelings anymore, simply embracing each other in the heat of the moment, but man, it was poor timing. Conrad walked in on them locking lips on his car, at his college, while he was taking a test. It wasn’t ideal, but it had to happen so that Belly and Conrad could put their relationship behind them (for now) and Jeremiah could finally, officially get his moment. Also, it continues on the “hot and heavy” trend for these two, and despite being Team Conrad, I can’t argue that I see the appeal of Jelly because of their raw and real chemistry and longing for one another.
Steven and Taylor Car Hood Makeout
When you’re young and in love, you make out on and in cars a lot, as evidenced by TSITP. Shortly after Belly and Conrad’s controversial car makeout, Steven and Taylor declared their love for each other in a cute lip-locking moment that came on the heels of a very vulnerable one; Taylor pushing Steven away because, for the first time in her life, she actually cared as much as the person she was in a relationship with. Not only are they both forcing each other out of their comfort zones, but their relationship built up to this moment organically, and it’s so adorable that we can’t help but ship them.
2023 Fall TV Schedule—16 Reality TV and Game Shows That Are a Must-Watch
The fall TV season is upon us, and with the ongoing strikes from the WGA and SAG-AFTRA putting many scripted shows on an indefinite hiatus, the schedule is leaning heavily on reality television and game shows.
Now, if you’re a fan of competition shows, this is music to your ears as it means that there will be plenty for you to watch throughout the fall and winter months.
We’re breaking down our favorite new and returning programs that have made it onto your 2023 fall TV lineup!
The Masked Singer – Sept. 10 on FOX
Season 10 of the reality singing competition already kicked off, unleashing its biggest name to date—spoiler alert—with Anonymouse unmasked as vocal powerhouse Demi Lovato. And there’s plenty more where that came from for the rest of the season, which includes the return of celeb panelists Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger, Robin Thicke, and Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg along with host Nick Cannon.
Name That Tune – Sept. 19 on FOX
The iconic music guessing game is back in full swing as it resumes season 3. Contestants must compete to correctly identify the songs that are being played by the orchestra or band, sometimes with only a few notes to work with.
Kitchen Nightmares – Sept. 28 on FOX
Gordon Ramsey is back in the 8th season of the series, as he steps foot into restaurants and locales in desperate need of some saving. Throughout the 10 episodes, he will renovate 10 restaurants throughout the New York and New Jersey area.
The Voice – Sept. 28 on NBC
The popular singing competition enters season 24 with a new, yet familiar face, as country icon Reba McEntire replaces Blake Shelton alongside coaches John Legend, Gwen Stefani and Niall Horan, in their 8th, 7th, and 2nd season, respectively. Carson Daly also returns as host.
Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test – Sept. 28 on FOX
Season 2 is putting a new crop of celebrities to the test that’s unlike any other. It’s survival of the fittest as they attempt training exercises led by an elite team of ex-Special Forces operatives who are showing no mercy in the mountains of New Zealand. Celebrities taking on the task this year includeDez Bryant, Tyler Cameron, Savannah Chrisley, Blac Chyna, Brian Austin Green, Robert Horry, Erin Jackson, Bode Miller, Jack Osbourne, Tara Reid, Kelly Rizzo,Tom Sandoval, JoJo Siwa and Nick Viall.
Dancing with the Stars – Sept. 26 on ABC
Your favorite ballroom dancing competition is back with a handful of new celebrity contestants ready to hit the dance floor and show off their moves in hopes of winning the coveted Mirrorball Trophy. You can see the full list of contestants for season 32 here.
Celebrity Jeopardy – Sept. 27 on ABC
As Mayim Bialik takes a step back in solidarity with the union strikes, Ken Jennings taps in to host this season of the game show featuring celebrities putting their knowledge to the test.
Survivor – Sept. 27 on CBS
Entering its 45th season, veteran host Jeff Probst brings 18 castaways to Fiji, as the new season introduces risky elements to the competition for those who will battle it out for $1 million and the title of Sole Survivor.
Celebrity Wheel of Fortune – Sept. 27 on ABC
Pat Sajak (in his final season) and Vanna White will host the starry primetime offshot of American’s beloved game show, which will include appearances from All That’s Kel Mitchell, NCIS Hawai’i’s Noah Mills, Ghosts Danielle Pinnock, Gabriel “Flurry” Iglesias, Wednesday’s Luis Guzman and ’80s pop star Debbie Gibson, amongst many more, for its 4th season.
The Amazing Race – Sept 27. on CBS
Phil Keoghan hosts a supersized 35th season of the long-running reality-adventure series that finds 13 teams trekking the globe in hopes of landing the major $1 million prize, with the journey kicking off at the Hollywood sign and spanning a total of 23,800 miles, including the country of Slovenia for the first time. As usual, the teams that fall the furthest behind will get eliminated, while the group that makes it to their destination first will take the W.
$100,000 Pyramid – Sept. 27 on ABC
Michael Strahan jumps in as host for the 7th season of the word-association game show that finds a contestant pairing with a celebrity partner to solve the phrase before time runs out.
Golden Bachelor – Sept. 28 on ABC
Bachelor in Paradise – Sept. 28 on ABC
Favorites—and least favorites—from the Bachelor franchise get together in paradise for another shot at love in the 9th season. Jesse Palmer hosts as Wells Adams returns to the bar. Brayden Bowers, Brooklyn Willie, Jess Girod and Kylee Russell, Blake Moynes, Rachel Recchia, and more will hit the beach.
House of Villains – Oct. 12 on E!
The tagline iconicly states: “What if you put 10 of reality television’s most iconic and infamous supervillains together under one roof?” The series, hosted by Joel McHale, aims to do just that as it brings together 10 contestants considered villains like Jax Taylor, Omarosa, and Tiffany Pollard into direct competition for a cash prize and the title of America’s Ultimate Supervillain.
FBoy Island – Oct. 16 on The CW
After Max canceled the season after just 2 seasons, it’s getting a new life on The CW. It’s described as an “innovative and modern twist on the reality dating genre,” and finds three women in paradise joined by 26 men, with half who consider themselves “nice guys” looking for love and half as “Fboys” who just want some money. Can the romantic leads figure out whose who? The series is hosted by Nikki Glaser.
Weakest Link – Nov. 16 on NBC
You are the weakest link… goodbye. In its 12th season total, and third on NBC, the series hosted by Glee’s Jane Lynch finds 8 contestants who are strangers working together to bank the most amount of money in each round. They take turns answering general knowledge questions to build chains of correct answers, with incorrect ones breaking the chain and costing them. At the end, they vote to eliminate the contestant they deem is “the weakest” link.
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