I am a child of the 80s which means I grew up attached to my television. I was there August 1, 1981 when MTV started. I was there when Alf beamed into our living rooms, when Tutee took off her roller skates, when Murphy had her baby and when the gang from Cheers said goodbye. I was there when six friends started hanging out at Central Perk and I cried when they closed shop. I was there for the Boob-Heard-Round-the-World, when Regis said, “Is that your final answer?”, when George said, “Yada yada yada” and when Madonna slipped Britney some tongue. Yes, yes, she kissed Christina as well but what was so shocking about that?
There are several ironies in my long-standing connection with television. One – I spent years working in radio. Video Killed the Radio Star anyone? Two – I have always been an avid reader and am now a writer. Stop rotting your brain by watching tv and read a book! And my new obsession adds even more irony. Reality television. Let me preface by saying I do not want to watch some man pick his soul mate from 25 cat-fighting chicks who DO NOT need television to find a date. I can’t stand practical jokes so Punk’d and whatever that show was where the girl had to convince her parents she was marrying a moron are out too. I am, however, addicted to just about any reality show Bravo creates. I say just about. Those rich chicks in Beverly Hills can jump out a window and that annoying house flipping dude needs his ass kicked.
But there is a double irony in the reality shows I choose to watch. None of them are about anything in which I would normally be interested. For instance, Project Runway. I know nothing about fashion, don’t particularly like fashion and will most likely never wear anything fashionable. But I love this show! Top Chef. I do not know how to cook and I know nothing about spices or flavors. I’m an extremely picky eater who would starve in any gourmet restaurant. I still have a cringing reaction when I hear some of the dishes described but I never miss an episode.
Last night my other favorite started a new season. America’s Next Top Model. Why do I love this show? I don’t like watching immature, skinny chicks curse and cry. As mentioned, I don’t like fashion. But I LOVE this show. My daughter loves it even more. I’m not sure it’s smart to let an 8 year old watch this show but Tyra makes it all about self-esteem, confidence, chasing your dreams and seeing beauty where others might not. So, I’m thinking we’re good.
Do you also need your weekly dose of Heidi, Chef Tom and Miss Jay? Please tell me I’m not the only one. Do you watch reality shows? If so, are you screaming at the television who to vote off the island next or do you prefer to sit back and watch the train wreck that is Paula?