I know some of you are all, "I don't watch television." and if that statement describes you
and your high horse, just skim this blog entry and go back to harvesting your wheat, or whatever people who "Don't watch television." do with all that free time.
I like television. Always have. Television is fun. Sure, some of it scares me, but everything that's big has a little scary to it. I think I mentioned before that the ocean is a lovely place. With gigantic, sticky beings who swallow things that are the size of a city bus. Big/scary. Also, cake is delicious, but if you consume one in it's entirety in a single sitting, you'll spend the rest of the day regretting it. See? Too much of anything can be scary.
Moderation, people. Also, choose wisely. You don't have to watch the channel that makes up news stories and reports them as qualified facts. Nobody is forcing you to buy Pajeans, or a 6-CD set of the grooviest hits from the 70s. Our family loves to watch Globetrekker, but that doesn't mean that PBS is the only channel with quality programming. (Again, don't get all "Blasphemy!" on me. PBS is great, but so is Bravo and I know that you know that I'm right.)
I love me some good, mindless smut. The kind of television that is so full of freak show people that it can't possibly be reality, but it is reality (just not mine, exactly). And then there's some "reality" that isn't at all, in any sense of the word, real, except for that there are actual people on the show. But even that's debatable because so many of the real people have fake parts and are missing important pieces, like for example, a functioning brain.
Here are my thoughts on a few choice shows. A couple of them are worth climbing down from your pedestal to watch, and a couple of them are, in my humble opinion, not any better than harvesting wheat.
1. Real Housewives of Orange County/Atlanta. These are my top two Real Housewives offerings. Each geographic has unique qualities, but these two are special.
I used to live in the O.C., and was acquaintances with one of the women formerly on the show, so it was fascinating to watch. Also, informative. I learned that one of the restaurants we went to in the neighborhood was a swinger's mecca on Tuesday nights (you were supposed to wear white to show your interest and availability). See? Valuable lesson. I also learned that our beautiful, two story town home on our tree-lined street, anchored by two lovely parks, was in fact, The Ghetto. Who doesn't love that wacked out mentality? The ladies are so blinded by the gold they're digging that they have completely lost touch with reality, and yet, they are on a reality show. See where I'm going with this?
Now the Atlanta crew is my favorite for other reasons. These ladies are each ghetto (fo' realz) in their own way, shape or form, but are trying reeeally hard to come across as super high society. Teenage mothers who have grown into women who don't work have personal assistants named "Sweetie", then they seduce young (somewhat unattractive) NFL players and
accidentally get knocked up and promptly move into mansions. They always drink Chardonnay or champagne when they get together to talk about whichever Housewife isn't in the room at that time. They work the junk in their trunks in their long heeled, red bottomed shoes, and sling their Louis Vuitton bags while they start their high fashion/modeling/singing careers, and then they fight and claw and scream and pull wigs and spit sarcastic venom at each other, louder and louder, until I'm whipped into a jaw-dropped, giddy frenzy on my couch.
2. The Bachelor/The Bachelorette. Listen friends. I want to give you a little tough love right here, right now. This show is what all the other reality shows are, which is a bunch of pretty people, with no actual, marketable talent, who think they are cute and cunning and special, and therefore that they should be famous. Obviously.
So from The Bachelor perspective, all these women go on television and pretend to fall in love with the strange guy they just met. You know, the guy who is openly dating the 20 women she now lives with. These charming ladies aren't looking for love, they're looking to be on the cover of People magazine. They want it so bad, they are willing to humiliate themselves by trying to seduce the King of the season in front of millions of people. With sparkly, wide eyes, she pretends to be touched by the manufactured date the producers set up, and thanks the King for being creative and making her feel "special". Then she has to cry and act legitimately devastated when he says he really cares, but that he's sorry, he'd rather pose for the cover of People magazine with the girl living down the hall.
What? I don't know about you, but when I was dating, if I found out the guy I was seeing was also hooking up with my roommate, I wouldn't just smile and try harder. I'd punch him in his balls. Also, aren't both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette sort of high profile escorts? I'm pretty sure they're both getting paid to hook up with random people.
I'm also fairly certain that these beautiful people are perpetually single because they're crazy, and I think them acting like it's not crazy to be on this show, is exactly what makes them so C.R.A.Z.Y.
Maybe that's why I can't be on either one of those shows. I'm only a little crazy. That, and I'm married already, but come on, it's only a matter of time before that new reality show comes out. I can see the headlines now: Sexy Boys and Girls! Line Up To "Secretly" Date Someone Else's Wife/Husband! If You're Pretty, Devious, And A Little Stupid, You're Welcome To Audition! Disclaimer: You will get your ass kicked by a fame-seeking actor pretending to be the surprised spouse of the loser you're trying to sleep with. Good luck!
3. Survivor. Oh, Survivor. It goes without saying that this show is cast via the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs formula. There's always a mixed bag of tricks. Think about it...the show isn't complete without: Dopey (not the brightest tiki torch on the island), Grumpy (the gruff guy or butch girl), Doc (smarter than everyone), Happy (Yay! Hammocks and foraged berries!), Sleepy (or in this case, Lazy), Bashful (aka, I'm not trying to flirt with the cute, strong one, it's just that I'm reeeally pretty so he likes to build my boat for me) and Sneezy (always the weak link).
And please, PLEASE, tell me you fully understand that they aren't hunting for food, or spearing fish for their dinner, or that they are actually lost or alone, or in any way "surviving" a difficult situation. Somebody's gotta be holding the camera and the microphone, and you know who those guys are? Bill and Nick, who are staying at the nearby luxury hotel, just a couple of rooms down from the contestants, and they all take shooting breaks to dive into the Snickers bars and sodas they have in a cooler back at the campfire on set. I love that the contestants lose weight and appear to be dirty on the show, though. I think that's a nice touch. And the hotel room probably has a distressed wood headboard, but I'm afraid that's about as rustic - or as real - as this one gets.
4. Jersey Shore. Funny. Scary. Stupid. I refuse to say anything else about it.
If you know what I'm talking about, happy watching to you. If you love and believe deeply in Survivor and The Bachelor shows, and you're offended (you know who you are), my sincerest apologies. It's just my two cents (combined with fact, but whatever).
If you watch Jersey Shore like it's your job, then it might be the only job you have right now. (Drinking beer at 1:00pm on Wednesdays doesn't count as a job, no matter how consistent you are with it.)
And if you aren't familiar with any of the above, well, I won't judge you as you tend to your worm compost or read up on "How To Knit A Sustainable Yurt", as long as you don't judge me and my good friends Ben & Jerry, as we tuck in for some good productive outhaling.