Now that we've covered all the new scripted shows of the fall, it's time to turn our attention to the unscripted. What—you thought we forgot about reality TV? Pump your brakes.
The X Factor (Fox)
Airs: Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: The Middle (ABC), Suburgatory (ABC), Happy Endings (ABC), Modern Family (ABC), Survivor: South Pacific (CBS), Criminal Minds (CBS), Up All Night (NBC), Free Agents (NBC), Harry's Law (NBC)
Our Take: Have you heard of this little show? Kidding, of course it's been talked about, promoted and reported to death. Between the judging panel shake-ups (Paula's in! No, Mariah's in! Now Paula's out! Now Cheryl is gone! Paula's back in!) and all the hype surrounding Simon's return to TV, it's easy to be overwhelmed by X Factor's bigger-than-big premiere. But in the end, it's a solid talent competition with a judging panel that has lots of spark. Plus, the host, Steve Jones, will be your new TV obsession. Trust us.
Verdict: Watch. How can you not?
Paranormal Witness (Syfy)
Airs: Wednesdays at 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: CSI (CBS), Law & Order: SVU (NBC), Revenge (ABC)
Our Take: Boo! Paranormal Witness, Syfy's new horror documentary, is surprisingly scary. Following the model of Bio's gripping I Survived... series, stories are told by the people who experienced them, interspersed with reenactments of the events. P.W. also borrows liberally from the Paranormal Activity films—including the spooky static, score and other sound and visual effects. Confession: One scene in the premiere elicited an involuntary scream from us. We'd prefer a condensed 30-minute episode rather than an hourlong show, but it's good creepy fun.
Verdict: DVR—Paranormal Witness, which is best viewed in the dark, is a perfect backdrop for all your Halloween activities.
Airs: Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: The Middle (ABC), Suburgatory (ABC), Survivor: South Pacific (CBS), The X Factor (FOX), Up All Night (NBC), Free Agents (NBC)
Our Take: Sippin' on some haterade? Fostering a deep hatred for a certain celeb? H8R and its host, Mario Lopez, hear your pain (and complaints) and want to help you. And by help you, we mean they want to force you to spend time with a celeb you dislike (Snooki and Jake Pavelka appear in the first episode) in an effort to change your opinion. Yeah, it's just as awkward and uncomfortable as you'd expect it to be. Also, how "real" can the celebs actually be when they know they are being filmed in an attempt to rehab their image? We're just putting it out there.
Verdict: Pass! And no, this is not us extending a challenge to H8R to have us on the show to rethink our H8 4 H8R. Apparently, viewers aren't feeling the love, either. The series premiere attracted a mere 1.3 million viewers.
Dirty Soap (E!)
Airs: Sundays at 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: CSI: Miami (CBS), Sunday Night Football (NBC), Pan Am (ABC)
Our Take: If you're a soap opera fan, you are going to be all over this show. Dirty Soap follows the lives of a group of soap stars: Kelly Monaco (General Hospital), Nadia Bjorlin (Days of Our Lives), Kirsten Storms (General Hospital), Farah Fath (One Life to Live), John Paul Lavoisier (One Life to Live) and Galen Gering (Days of Our Lives). If you're not a soap fan, we think the lives of these beautiful people is intriguing enough to warrant a watch.
Verdict: DVR. This show is the perfect guilty pleasure. Store it up on your DVR for a rainy day marathon.