This Week In Terrifying Hybrids

1. Food Network + the cannibalized carcass of Top Chef - even the pretense of originality + Ted Allen = Chopped

Yes, cheap imitations of successful shows are a television tradition. And, no, Top Chef didn't invent food competition shows. In fact, Food Network was built on the shaky sugar foundations of food sculpture contests. But, come on. In this promo for Chopped, the editing, the music, even the idea of having one bald judge all seem as if they were lifted directly from Top Chef, run through a mediocritizer, and then put on the air.

Ted Allen, you should be ashamed of yourself. (Well, more ashamed than usual.) If there is no integrity in reality competition show production then what will be our moral compass? Besides, of course, VH1. Speaking of which..

2. Drew Barrymore + The Pick-Up Artist for ladies - Mystery + some sleazy matchmaker = VH1's Tough Love

It was only a matter of time before someone replaced The Pick-Up Artist's dorky guys with inept/needy girls, and Mystery's rune medallions with stiletto dating lessons or whatever, but this just looks somehow more annoying than running a school for walking eyebrow rings. In the end, you're just swapping dungeons-&-dragons-speak for matchmaking-self-help proverbs. Then there's this:

Matchmaker Steve Ward will be the host. Ward will reshape the contestants' destructive dating habits through a "Tough Love Boot Camp."

"The moment they introduced us to Steve, we knew that he is not your mother's matchmaker and has the rare courage to tell women what men honestly think," said Jeff Olde, VH1 exec veep of original programming and production.


Thank God he's not your mother's matchmaker, because then that would mean that your mom's a complete idiot who hires sleazy matchmakers all the time. Only if it were written in wingdings could that quote have any less real meaning.

3. Ashton Kutcher + Tyra Banks + the girl that dates Nick Lachey = True Beauty

Of course: Put Ashton Kutcher's trucker hat full of pranks, excuse me, punk'ds on top of Tyra Banks' hollow cranium, and you'll get Punk'd meets America's Next Top Model. They think they're here for their looks but, SIKE, they're here to be humiliated for thinking they could win a reality show because of their looks (which they can, of course, just not this particular reality show). What a great twist. I can't wait to see the system Vanessa Manillo has derived for evaluating the purity of these contestants' souls.

Ultimately though True Beauty just seems like another way for Tyra to squash the egos of those around her, and use the resulting sludge as fertilizer to continually grow her own ever-expanding ego.