SSSsssshhhhhhh…don’t tell anyone…but I sometime…okay…more than sometime…watch…I hate to admit this…okay, here goes…I watch reality shows.
I don’t know why I have this compulsion. It started out with just an occasional Real World. I tell myself it’s not that bad because I don’t know what station they’re on or even what time they’re on. Something will just catch my attention when I’m surfing around. I don’t DVR them, okay I don’t have a DVR, but even if I did I wouldn’t. I know it’s mental masturbation, but dammit; sometimes my mind just wants a trashy release.
If I want to learn something
There are some shows that I can watch in front of people. Project Runway is about fashion and the designers are so talented and Tim Gunn is just so very fabulous. There’s also real talent on Top Chef, and who wouldn’t want to hang with Tom Colicchio and the other judges. I’m a foodie and I want to go to all their restaurants and eat their special dishes. Anthony Bourdaine combines food and great travel, I’d love to do what he does, except he does eat some things that I wouldn’t touch. If I want to learn something, there’s always Pawn Stars, which is just a low brow Antiques Roadshow.
If I want to feel better about myself
Then there are the shows that I have to watch behind closed doors. All the Housewives of Where ever shows. I think I watch because most of these women are just so horrible and crazy, even though they have tons of money they are such trashy examples of women. When I watch these entitled, privileged, awful people, I feel so much better about myself and my life. A few—very few—are not that horrible and I was actually sad to hear that Bethany was splitting with her husband—as are most of the women on those shows. Maybe those freshly divorced single women should go on Millionaire Matchmaker. I also watch how the rich and famous have fallen with Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab. Dr. Drew appears to care, but with so many of those celebrities literally dying off from overdoses, I’m guessing this show won’t be back next season.
If I want to watch a train wreck
If I’m putting off housework, I can always watch Hoarders. No matter how messy my house gets, it would still be clean compared to the ones on those shows. Then there’s My Strange Addiction, with people eating light bulbs or foam rubber. What’s my three or four cups of morning coffee after this.
I do have standards
I never watched Jersey Shore, though I do know who Snookie is. I can’t watch anything with a Kardashian or a Trump. I don’t watch Honey Boo Boo. Maybe it’s because I live in the South, I don’t find the redneck shows entertaining. I don’t need the subtitles because I understand what they’re saying. Or maybe it’s just because I shop beside people like that at Wal-Mart. Recently while at my favorite dumpy pizza place, I think I sat next to someone from Duck Dynasty.
I hate to admit that there’s more I could list, but I’ve got to go…Long Island Medium is on.
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My guilty pleasure, too. Started off with Jon and Kate Plus 8 and went downhill from there. 🙂
I enjoyed Jon and Kate +8 too, until they started to hate each other. Then it was just depressing.
Great post, Connie! I have to admit while I’ve tried to watch a few reality shows, I just don’t have the stomach for them and the staged ‘real’ drama. Hoarders made me physically ill and I couldn’t stop yelling at those guys on Real Tuna or the Pawn Stars (just open the damn door already!)
Carolyn, you are a better woman than me! Maybe I should start a reality show on being addicted to reality shows!!
You know, I think this might actually work! 🙂
Glad it made you laugh
Ha ha! You have perfectly summed up why they’re so popular — and at least you’re selective!
Lois, thanks, even if this is nothing to be proud of!!
Ah, Connie…I don’t watch reality TV, possibly because I don’t own a TV. But I sympathize, really I do. I think reality TV panders to the rubbernecker in all of us!
Karen, I really do agree with you.
hilarious! I’m sure many of us are reluctant (or not!) to admit that we also like watching some of these shows for just that reason! It’s definitely an escape from REAl reality!! hahah
Ellen, I thought long and hard about sharing this!
I’ve seen a bit of all the shows you mentioned and found some intriguing but don’t watch any regularly, except maybe for Jersey Shore because we have a house at the shore and it’s one of the few things my daughter will do with me.
Maryl, I don’t watch any of them regularly. If you see one only once, then you know all there is to know!
My 21 year old son told me over spring break that Pawn Stars is Antiques Roadshow for the younger generation. I watched quite a few episodes with him, and I think he’s right.
Ginger, it IS on the History Channel!
Good thing Mad Men Season 6 is about to start… I never feel guilty about that. (But I do enjoy my RHONY, RHOBH, RHOC…)
Forgive me if I posted twice, I couldn’t tell if it went through.
My daughter got me hooked on the Kardashians and Beverly Hills 90210. Let’s keep this our little secret!
SSssshhhh, I won’t tell anyone.
My guilty pleasure is the Golden Oldies: Leave It to Beaver, Lucy, Dick van Dyke and some of the others. I can watch them over and over again.
Barbara, those are intellectual shows!
Yep! So witty, esp Dick van Dyke. That was a show of shows. (But still seems like a guilty pleasure when I watch two hours’ worth when I’m supposed to be writing.)
I stopped watching those reality shows cos I thought they were getting more and more toxic, altho I do love the RHOOC cos it’s right up the road from me.
Oh, I agree, they’re awful. I just can’t help myself.
I admit to loving “Chopped,” and “Hell’s Kitchen,” and “Flea Market Flip,” and “Pawn Stars.” What do I watch that I don’t admit to others? “Paranormal State” and “Psychic Kids.” And, sometimes, “Millionaire Matchmaker,” which is so rude but I can’t not watch. Thanks for admitting your guilty pleasure so we can admit ours!!
Donna, I’m the same way with Millionaire Matchmaker. Patty is just so awful and there’s a reason the people on her show can’t get a date, they’re awful too. I really can’t explain why I continue to watch!!LOL! I’ll have to check out “Paranormal State” and “Psychic Kids!”
Connie — Thank you for putting a voice to my guilty pleasure as well. I’m a “Top Chef” fan through and through, but I put that show WAY AHEAD of “Millionaire Matchmaker” and all of the “Real Housewives” — which, by the way, I’m drawn to, like a moth to a flame.
Love your piece!
Marian, I’ve very excited to learn that Top Chef will be in New Orleans next season! I live in Baton Rouge, just over an hour away. I agree it’s in a league of its on. The other ones are like fast food, sometimes I just can’t help myself.
I’ve really never tried any of the reality shows, but I don’t judge those who do… My kids, who I respect TOTALLY, love them! Great column!
Thanks Leah! This is not something I’m proud of. I’m glad you enjoyed the post even though this is not your guilty pleasure!
We don’t-watch the same shows! I’ve not seen one episode of Jersey Shore, but I love Top Chef. I watched MasterChef on Fox for the first time last night and liked it too.
My guilty pleasure is Toddlers and Tiaras. It makes me feel like I’m not a failure as a mom, at least comparatively!
Anne, it’s why we watch them. It makes us feel better about ourselves!!
I love project Runway and Top Chef but admit I’ve seen way too many episodes of the Kardashians. Similar to reading “Dear Abby”, I think some reality shows do make you feel better about yourself and your life!
I think there’s no other way to explain why so many of us watch the crazy people on these crazy shows, other that to confirm that at least we’re not that crazy!
I think we were joined at the hip. Because my latest blog is about my 11 Guilty Pleasures. I’m right there with you! I could not watch the hoarders anymore because I decided they really have a mental disease and I felt terrible about them. I didn’t know if they’d ever get it together. But the show certainly made me through things out while i watched it.
I went to your site and became a follower!! You are right we are joined at the hip! At least we know we’re not alone!
What a nice post about the reality of watching reality TV shows. I watch Pawn Stars and Antique Roadshow and I want to watch the Housewives, but something else must be on then because I never see it. I try to keep the shows I am addicted to “in check”…isn’t that funny to even think. Since I sometimes do posts about TV shows and movies, I am more focused on those. Okay, I am off to listen to the reality of life on the news…
yeah, I’m a news junkie too!!!!!