NBCUniversal's basic cable networks Bravo, Esquire, and Oxygen are branching out in their scripted and unscripted offerings with 23 new series on their way in the next year, according to Variety. Many of the new shows are what you would expect from each of the networks: horribly gender-stereotyped reality series, guilty pleasures, and meat n' whiskey dude-bro fare. However, the networks do have a few surprises up their sleeves including a series that follows professional female football players as well as a road-trip with reality star extraordinaire NeNe Leakes.
Some of these shows sound groundbreaking while others might take us back about 30 years in progress for women and minorities. One thing is for sure, you'll either love to hate 'em or hate to love 'em... but you'll probbly watch almost all of them. Here are all of the new series ranked from the good, to the bad, to the very, very ugly. Take a look.
The Good: 'Somm'
The Pitch: Six young sommeliers from New York City prepare to become Master Sommeliers — a title which only a little over 200 people in the world gold. I just hope some of their cast members are female. Also, a major downside to watching anything on Esquire is having to sit through those awful Women We Love promos. It’s one of the many reasons for the “cool chick” epidemic and only features women who are whiskey/cigar/jerky makers and total hotties. But, I can’t blame Somm for that. Wine people, WINE.
The Good: Going Deep With David Rees'
The Pitch: Comedian, cartoonist, and professional pencil sharpener (it’s a thing) David Rees delves into the complex nature of everyday, simple objects. By showing just how much history, development, and innovation go into seemingly innocuous objects, David Rees helps viewers appreciate the things we probably take for granted. Like pencils.
The Good: 'Time To Quit Your Day Job'
The Pitch: Randi Zuckerberg, Ido Leffler, Sarah Prevette and Lauren Maillian mentor twenty-somethings as they try to make their business and entreprenurial dreams come true. Not only does it showcase innovation and leading women in business, it also helps banish this idea that millenials are unambitious selfie-lovers. More power to this show.
The Good: 'NeNe and Kim: The Road to Riches'
The Pitch: The Real Housewives of Atlanta stars NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak Biermann drive cross-country to Los Angeles in a road trip that I can only imagine will be equal parts loud, ridiculous, and endlessly entertaining.
The Good: 'Boss Nails'
The Pitch: Dana Cody is the manicure maven behind Miami’s Tippie Toes Nail & Beauty Salon. The series will go inside her booming business and the wild staff that keep it going. I’m all for series that showcase young female business-owners and entrepreneurs. And who wouldn’t be fascinated by a $10,000 crystal manicure?
The Good: 'Douglas Family Gold'
The Pitch: Follow Olympic Gymast Gabby Douglas and her family as they all work together to help Gabby get another Gold in 2016. In 2012, Gabby was the first African American to win the individual all-around gold medal at the Summer Olympics. Douglas Family Gold showcases the hard work and dedication of this history-making athlete.
The Good and Bad: 'Comedians of L.A.'
The Pitch: Comedy might seem like it’s all jokes, but making it in the field takes a lot of hard work. Comedians of L.A. goes inside the inner circles of Los Angeles comedians who are trying to break through by touring across the country and appearing in small roles in television and film. Even the most talented of comedians struggle to make it through the saturated L.A. scene. It airs alongside Oxygen’s Living With Funny. Speaking of which…
The Frustratingly Bad: 'Living with Funny'
The Pitch: A companion series to Esquire’s Comedians of L.A., this reality series goes inside the personal lives and relationships of Los Angeles stand-ups. What’s frustrating about this is that the show about their wives and girlfriends is on Oxygen, but the look at their work and their comedy is on Esquire. Because men are funny and women are domestic. Ugh, this could be better if they have both male and female stand-ups in the series, but so far Brandon T. Jackson is the only comedian committed to the project.
The Ugly With Shades of Good: 'Player Gets Played'
The Pitch: With the help of Internet sleuthing, suspicious girlfriends discover whether or not they’re the only ones in their boyfriends’ lives. When they find out there are other women, they team up to give the player a lesson in revenge. I’m down for women getting together, rather than tearing each other apart and not blaming other women for their significant other’s infidelity. HOWEVER, this show really feeds into the stereotype that all men are cheaters and women are jealous and “crazy.” Be more Catfish and less Maury, please.
The Ugly: 'Married to Medicine: Houston'
The Pitch: A reality series that showcases the lives of Houston’s finest doctors, surgeons, and physicians… and their wives. According to Variety, ”After punishing years of sacrifice and putting life on hold, how they navigate marriage, children, family and social pressure will either derail their promising careers or prove that they can have it all. ” Because we constantly ask women to prove how they can juggle a career and family, but never ask that of men. ugh.
The Good and Ugly: 'Pretty. Strong.'
The Pitch: Meet the players of the Chicago Bliss, the reigning champions of the Legends Football League — an all-women football league. The women are tough and they take the sport very, very seriously. But why those horribly sexualized “uniforms”…WHY!? This could be revolutionary if the sport wasn’t so blatantly designed for the male gaze.
The Bad, But Possible Good: 'Below Deck Mediterranean'
The Pitch: Another look into the lives of those with more money than I would ever know in three lifetimes. However, this time they’re on yachts and cruising the Mediterranean. At least this one offers a look into landscapes and cultures of places other than Orange County and New York City.
The Bad: 'Crazy Talk'
The Pitch: I suppose it’s Oxygen’s answer to The Soup and Watch What Happens Live . Two hosts Tanisha Thomas of Bad Girls Club and Ben Aaron of WNBC’s New York Live make jabs at the most outlandish reality TV moments of the week. They will also have reality TV stars on the show to re-hash their drama. I say leave it to Andy Cohen, but if you’re a reality TV fiend, this is probably for you.
The Good: 'Recipe for Deception
The Pitch: Comedian Max Silvestri hosts a brand-new cooking competition series. In this show, four chefs face off in a culinary battle royale in which there are more secrets than just the ingredients. Bravo just does cooking shows right, y’all.
The Good: 'Mother Funders'
The Pitch: The mothers of Locust Grove, Georgia’s Parent-Teacher Organization are executives who use their professional know-how to raise money for their elementary school. The only issue here is it could shirk responsibility onto mothers to have these kinds of responsibilities and doesn’t include fathers. However, I can totally get on board with a show that focuses on female execs. Here’s hoping they’re shown to be bosses, not bossy.
The Good: 'The Hustle'
The Pitch: A look into the torturous and only sometimes glamorous working lives of the Hollywood Assistant. These are the real underdogs of the industry and the series just might make you re-think the next time you’re snippy with an administrative assistant when they’re trying to connect you to the right department. But it kind of makes you think…is this show just their stepping stone into their own fame and fortune? Will they too become the horrible bosses they once worked under? It’s a vicious cycle, people.
The Seemingly Good But Probably Ugly: 'Tour Group
The Pitch: A diverse group of elite jet-setters spend two months together in exotic locations and exclusive resorts all around the world. The show could either show how people adapt to each other and to their environments…or could have some truly upsetting moments of cultural insensitivity. And again with the rich folk! I don’t know Bravo, I just don’t know.
The Bad, But Possibly Good: 'My Fab 40th'
The Pitch: It’s just like My Super Sweet 16 …except for 40-year-olds. This has the potential to be totally mind-numbing and grotesque in its extravagence. But, it could also help viewers stop hating the idea of turning 40 and turn around some tired ageist ideas.
The Good Kind of Bad: 'Ladies of Dallas'
The Pitch: Everything is bigger in Texas, including their high society. Don’t get me wrong, this show is going to be bad…but so bad it’s good. I can just see the steaks and wigs flying!
The Good or Bad: 'Preachers of Atlanta'
The Pitch: Young superstar preachers of Atlanta move up in society by spreading the word of the Lord. There’s just something a little unsettling to me about the notion of “mega-pastors.”
The Ugly: 'Fit Club'
The Pitch: A bunch of glamorous New York City trainers vy for the same wealthy celebrity clientele. There’s drama, love triangles, and what I can only imagine to be some deeply upsetting standards of body image.
The Bad: 'Après Ski'
The Pitch: Go behind-the-scenes of British Columbia’s most exclusive ski resort in the luxurious town of Whistler. The slopes are steep, but the clients’ budgets are even steeper!
I mean I guess if you want to live vicariously through people whose lives are on a different planet…Planet Snob of the Galaxy Uber Rich…go for it.