I can hear Elton John singing now… “Oh the Botch is back!”
E! announced earlier today that they have renewed their plastic surgery gone awry then gone a-right reality series Botched starring plastic surgeon Real Househusbands Dr. Paul Nassif and Dr. Terry Dubrow for a second season. I’m particularly thrilled at the announcement because I think it is the best new reality show of 2014. (The best that I’ve seen, anyway.)
Paul and Terry took to Twitter to share the good news with fans earlier today:
— Dr. Paul S. Nassif (@DrPaulNassif) August 5, 2014
— Terry Dubrow M.D., (@DrDubrow) August 5, 2014
After years of blogging about reality shows, I’ve come to the realization that outside of the gritty Thom Beersian genre (Deadliest Catch, Ax Men) and competition shows, concept is only about 20% of success. I would say another 30% goes to editing, leaving 50% squarely on the shoulders of charisma — or how entertaining the cast members are.
Now, “entertaining” can run the gamut from hilarious to despicable to just plain crazy, with everything in between. In the case of doctors Terry Dubrow and Paul Nassif, I think they are entertaining and compelling to watch because, to be frank, they seem like damn great doctors. And I don’t mean just great surgeons (which their resumes back up), but great doctors in how they interact with their patients.
Sure, they’re goofy sometimes and their banter can be a little forced, but my bullsh!t meter sinks to pretty much absolute zero once they sit down with a patient and begin a consultation. They manage to maintain a level of professionalism while at the same time having a warmth that suggests they care about the patient’s well-being outside of just their physical appearance. And both seem completely undaunted by any situation — which must be a huge comfort to those in real need of help.
This fantastic bedside manner (deskside manner?) really does wonders in helping deliver the very human stories often featured on the show. (It’s not all about women wanting to go from KK to LL breasts.)
Also, neither Terry nor Paul are into the phenomenon I’ve seen with some other on-air plastic surgeons where they try to prey upon a patient’s insecurities with a salesman-like mentality. Maybe it’s just because the TV cameras are rolling, but both doctors seem more than willing to turn a patient away if they don’t see surgery improving their situation.
I do have one major criticism of the first season, and no, it’s not the gruesome surgery scenes I can barely watch because I think those are absolutely necessary to tell the real story of plastic surgery. No, my criticism has to do with the casting of the patients. I almost didn’t even tune in initially because I saw in the preview that among the people looking for plastic surgery assistance were full-time attention seekers like Toby Sheldon, who (ugh, it pains me to even write this again) spent $100,000 to look like Justin Bieber, and the “Human Ken Doll” Justin Jedlica. But, I am willing to chalk up these lazy casting choices to first-season limitations, and I am optimistic that after such a successful first run, producers will have a much larger pool of potential patients to choose from.
Speaking of which, if you’re looking to get on the show, they’re currently accepting submissions! Just CLICK HERE to fill out the form!
Oh, and I also agree with E!’s Executive Vice President of Programming and Development, Jeff Olde, who says “The Botched series has struck a chord with viewers who are drawn in by stories of excessive surgeries gone wrong.” He then adds, “In the quest for perfection, we’ve tapped into a pop culture zeitgeist, sharing cautionary tales, positive outcomes and true transformations. We’re glad our audience has responded to these very personal stories.”
So how well did Botched actually do the first time around? Really well by cable TV standards, and damned amazing by E! standards! From the press release announcing Season 2:
The premiere season of Botched is currently pacing to be E!’s most-watched docu-series among Total Viewers and A18-49 since 2011. It’s been seen by nearly 24M Total Unique Viewers and over 13 Million Adults 18-49 across all runs to date. The series is currently averaging 1.54 Million Total Viewers and nearly 1 Million Adults 18-49 in its Sunday time slot. Botched notched its most-watched premiere ever this past Sunday 7/27/14 averaging 1.7M Total Viewers and is the #1 show on Sundays from 10pm-11pm among Women 18-34 and Women 18-49 (*excludes BET Awards & Movies).
Botched Season 2 is slated to premiere in the first quarter of 2015.
* Sadly, I wanted to embed a clip illustrating my points, but the only ones available are rather sensationalist or involve Bieber boy or Ken Doll.