Fortunately, there will be no shortage of judging opportunities in reality TV this week. I'm not talking about the big ones, like "Hoarders" or "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (though, of course, those are very much worth watching, too). In fact, the next several days will bring us a bounty of judge-ortunities: a new spin on an old series; the revival of a one-season wonder; the return of an old reality warhorse; and two new fall shows you probably haven't even heard of. Clear some space on the DVR: If you enjoy judging strangers, you are going to need it.
Show: "Queen Bees"
Airs: 9 PM EST every night this week on TeenNick
New or Old? Old: TeenNick is re-airing the show's single season, from 2008.
What It's About: Season 2 "America's Next Top Model" winner Yoanna House hosts this elimination reality show in which Mean Girls are challenged to change their bullying behavior.
What You Will Be Judging: Snotty teenagers who've probably been torturing their classmates into eating disorders (to borrow a line from Elaine Benes).
How Good You Will Feel By the End: Probably not great. These girls are still minors, after all, and even the worst of them would probably be reformed by normal life experience, instead of essentially getting shamed by reality TV producers. (That all may sound like I'm not going to watch...which is not the case. I totally will.)
Show: "Clean House New York"
Airs: 11 PM EST, Mondays on Style
New or Old? New-ish? It's a spinoff of Style's "Clean House," which (other than the annual Messiest Home in America event) takes place in Los Angeles.
What It's About: Basically, it's "Hoarders" Lite: Clutterbugs (hoarders) volunteer the disgusting sties they live in to be cleaned up and made over. But! The budget for the new interior design is primarily made up of the proceeds from a yard sale of the homeowner's castoffs, incentivizing him or her to give up any items of actual value.
What You Will Be Judging: Messes! And not only that, but messes that are making typically small New York residences seriously unlivable. This makes those of us who keep our tiny New York homes carefully uncluttered feel especially smug.
How Good You Will Feel By the End: Pretty good: Unlike the "stars" of "Hoarders," the homeowners on "Clean House New York" are always overwhelmed and appreciative of the efforts made by the show's personnel to improve their lives. Granted, we can probably be fairly confident that their efforts to keep things up will fail, but that doesn't happen until after the cameras leave, so we can pretend they're still totally being neat.
Show: "America's Supernanny"
Airs: 8 PM EST, Tuesdays on Lifetime
New or Old? Trick question! It's a reboot of ABC's "Supernanny," which was itself a remake of a British show by the same name.
What It's About: "Supernanny" Deborah Tillman moves in with the parents of uncontrollable children, and basically tells them everything they're doing wrong. It's a lot like "The Dog Whisperer" in that the problem is not the kids/dogs, but the parents/owners.
What You Will Be Judging: Terrible parents — you know, just like you do at the mall.
How Good You Will Feel By the End: Good-ish? The original and best Supernanny, Jo Frost, is mad about this spinoff, so you might feel disloyal watching it. Also, though Frost generally ended her episodes on an optimistic note, it's impossible to ignore a basic truth about the show: Not everyone who does have kids should have kids.
Show: "What Not to Wear"
Airs: 9 PM EST, Tuesdays on TLC
New or Old? Old: The show's been on since 2003.
What It's About: Fashion experts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly work with ordinary people (usually women) who've been nominated by friends and family to get new $5000 wardrobes to replace the horrible clothes they currently wear.
What You Will Be Judging: People who either think they look amazing and don't (those episodes are the best ones), or people who've just given up.
How Good You Will Feel By the End: You'll feel great. The women's new looks (including makeup tips and haircuts) get unveiled at the end of the episode, to the thrilled response of their closest loved ones; it's impossible not to be heartwarmed.
Show: "I Used to Be Fat"
Airs: 10 PM EST, Tuesdays on MTV
New or Old? Newish; the show premiered last winter, but has been airing again the past few weeks.
What It's About: Overweight teenagers get a summer with a personal trainer to work on getting fit.
What You Will Be Judging: Much like the "Supernanny" franchise, you'll be judging bad parents. They're often resentful of their kids' efforts to change their lives for the better, and defensive about not having tried harder to put their kids on the right path in the first place.
How Good You Will Feel By the End: So great! The kids are so proud of themselves by the end of the episode, and with good reason.