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Category: reality TV

Emmy's ultimate reality TV challenge — a whole, wild 'Brick City'

April 28, 2010 |  7:02 am

"Brick City" is a curious entry in this year's Emmy race. Often there's tough competition between reality TV shows starring shockingly dysfunctional people, but this Sundance Channel series spotlights a whole shockingly dysfunctional city: Newark, N.J.

Brick City news

"Brick City" is "an involving, often moving, slice of Newark city life," notes Newark's Star-Ledger. It stars a mayor and police chief, gang members, teachers, real estate developers and others trying to survive – and save – a once-great city now beset with gang wars, crime, illiteracy and racial strife during disastrous economic times. Its co-creators/directors Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin strived to "capture real people inside the establishment and outside on the streets, trying to make a difference," says Levin.

Benjamin adds: "We're witnessing what's happening in a city that's going through this dream of transformation."

"Here's a city that had such a bad reputation and look how it's struggling to change," Levin says. "This is a microcosm of much more than Newark. It's Gary, Ind. It's Baltimore. It's St. Louis. It's East L.A."

The TV academy is still weighing category eligibility, but "Brick City" will compete either for best nonfiction series or exceptional merit in nonfiction filmmaking plus crafts categories.

Click the right-pointing arrow below to listen to Gold Derby's full podcast chat with Benjamin and Levin. (It begins with just Benjamin, but then Levin connects with our chat.) Also check out their video discussion below. Here's the series' website.

Photo: Mayor Cory Booker addresses the Newark Police Academy graduation ceremony. Credit: Sundance Channel

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Which 'Dancing with the Stars' judge would win an Emmy?

October 8, 2008 |  8:34 am

An Emmy for best judge of a reality TV show hasn't been created yet, but Gold Derby recently broke the news that one is in the works for next year. That means Emmy judges will be judging the "Dancing with the Stars" judges based upon what they're currently doing, so let's size them up now.

Last month when we asked you, in general terms, which judge of "Dancing with the Stars" deserves to the claim the new Emmy, you overwhelmingly gave Bruno Tonioli the verdict. He reaped slightly more than half of the 1,348 votes cast in our "Dancing with the Stars" poll, followed by 29% for Len Goodman and 20% for Carrie Anne Inaba.


But what about this week's edition of "Dancing with the Stars"? If weighing just these shows, how did judges fare?

Well, Bruno, as usual, was the most flashy and probably would win a new poll. His best line was delivered to gourmet chef Rocco DiSpirito, who began his dance in a blindfold: "You should've kept your blindfold on! A Viennese waltz is like a light mousse, but it was a lump of mashed potatoes."

Bruno went over the top, trying too hard to be expressive when critiquing Cody Linley: "You started like a twinkling twinkie. You came out and gave it all." And, for the first time ever, words failed Bruno when sizing up that crazy comic jive Cloris Leachman did dressed in pink: "To call this wacky would be the understatement of the year. This is beyond comprehension. That's all I can say."

Come on, Bruno! You just tripped up.

Len could've used his potatoes whipped this week. Failing to provide witty or insightful critique, he resorted to cheap trick, wearing those huge, winged sunglasses when judging Rocco ("He's Dame Edna!" roared Bruno). Len then gave Rocco a nonsensical, contradictory assessment, "Actually, you look better with these on. You get overexcited, then you go out of time. You start to rush the dance. But overall I thought it was a pretty good job. Well done."

The only thing that redeemed Len this week was his cheer to Warren Sapp, "You're giving those skinny people a real run for their money!"

In terms of critique content, I thought Carrie Anne Inaba did best this week. Bravo to her sassiest observation: "I think Bruno is crazy!" And her shrewdest one, delivered to Cody Linley: "You were counting the whole time. I could see you talking the choreography to yourself."

I think we were all deeply touched by her comment to Susan Lucci: "I noticed that you seemed a bit timid. There were a couple of times you faced the judges and your eyes were down. I think of you as such a powerful, strong woman. When I see your eyes drop or a sense a little bashfulness, it bums me out a little bit. So I want to see you be a little more courageous and a lot more confident."

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