Friday, January 6, 2012

Reality TV Makes Me Thankful

There was a time when most of the shows on television were make believe stories that allowed you a brief escape into a pretend world. Most problems could be resolved in a 30 minute comedy that left you feeling happy with a touch of wistful, or in a 60 minute drama that left you feeling vindicated with a touch of self righteousness.  Now is not that time.  With over 200 channels to choose from at our house, most usually, there's still not much to choose from.  "Reality" television has taken hold of the entertainment industry and it looks like it won't be letting go anytime soon.

For those people that did their television watching during the day there were "the stories", otherwise known as soaps operas.  This past year ABC cancelled two of the longest running soap operas in television history.  And why shouldn't they?  Who needs Erica Cain when there's Kim Kardashian?  Really you needn't worry that your favorite soaps won't be airing because television still offers "the stories", they just have different names.

Please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying I don't watch any of these shows (who doesn't watch a train wreck?) because I do.  However, I imagine I watch these shows with much of the same interest and mindset that the Romans had while watching gladiatorial games or a hanging audience had while surrounding the gallows. I imagine I also have about the same thoughts as well, "thank goodness that's not me", "why would someone do that?", "is there any potential for this to end good?", "nope, this is going to end badly, very badly", "I wonder where I can buy those shoes?".  Oh wait, that last one is probably just me.

The truth is reality TV makes me thankful because...

  • Wife Swap: ...I don't have to leave my husband and children for two weeks, they love and appreciate me now. (although I have tried to convince L on more than one occasion to let me sign us up.  I want to be the crazy one so they can send the neat freak to my house.  And if her house happened to be beach front, even better.) 
  • The Real Housewives (pick a city, they're all the same): friends (and my boobs, lips, eyelashes, fingernails, hair,...) are real.  They don't talk about me behind my back (or in front of a camera), they keep my confidences (and I keep theirs), they come when I need them and call when they need me, we do not feel the need to compete with one another.
  • Keeping Up With The Kardashians: I'm not so disappointed that I never had sisters. Sheesh...
  • Super Nanny: ...I don't need someone to help me gain back control of my children, I never lost it in the first place. (Yea, there's a little judgement there. But it's not like I'm one of those people without children saying, "if that were my child...", it's like I'm one of those people with children saying,"that isn't going to be my child...".)
  • The Bachelor/ The Bachelorette: ...this provides me with an example for my daughters on how NOT to look for a husband.  Twenty five women/ men competing for one man/ woman who couldn't win the heart of one person last season but will somehow manage to capture the hearts of all the dating hopefuls this season.  I can't imagine why that dating plan has only yielded a 1/24 ratio of success, I mean it seemed so sensible. (Yea, there's a little sarcasm there.)
  • What Not To Wear: ...I could never afford to shop at the stores featured in this show.  Which is fine because after watching this show I realize I would have done it wrong anyway.
  • Jon & Kate Plus 8/ Kate Plus 8: doesn't matter how bad of a day I'm having, compare me to her and I still get to be the nice one.  But in her defense I'm also thankful I'm not married to Jon.
  • Sister Wives: ...I was raised to know better.  I'm also thankful I'm not married to Kody (too).
  • Jersey Shore: ...I have never actually watched this show.  Some shows are so stupid I would rather do laundry.

So when I need a good dose of unreality I flip on the television, pick out a good reality show, and say a little prayer of thanks that it can be turned off with the flick of a button.  When I need some entertainment I watch a rerun.

1 comment:

  1. HAHAHAHAHA!!!! couldn't agree more....I am somewhat addicted to sister wives though..not because I wanna be one....just because its ...well....kinda like the train wreck thing!