My Heinous Guilty Pleasure: Reality Shows

In the 90’s I started watching The Real World like so many other innocent T.V. viewers.  Years later in the early 2000’s a little show called Survivor hit the air waves. Bit by bit more reality shows popped up like Big Brother and American Idol. Each show having its own niche. After the first seasons of Survivor and Big Brother the reality explosion was so severe I lost track of them. (Who knew it would go off like an atomic bomb between 2007-2011)

My regular viewing pleasure programs started to change dramatically. A few years back I took a peek at what VH1, A&E, and Bravo had to offer. I think the first what the hell am I watching moment came during an episode of Rock of Love on VH1. But I couldn’t look away. They had me. Slowly but surely almost everything I watched on T.V. was a reality show. After I was hooked to the Real Housewives series on Bravo, I knew there was no turning back.

As of  2011 who doesn’t have a reality show. It’s impossible to tune in to all the madness. I see a commercial preview for a new one every 10 seconds. Every network has one hand milking the reality cash cow. Besides watching “trashy” reality I enjoy Dual Survival, Man vs. Wild, and other how-to-survive-in-extreme-situations-that-will-never-happen-to-me shows. The Travel Network has entertaining and educational programs my husband actually doesn’t mind watching with me. The reality universe has something for everyone. From hog hunting to being a voyeur in the life of a celebrity.

A lot of it is viewed as pure mind numbing crap. And that’s what I love about it. The more moronic and ridiculous, the better. To zone out and watch such absurd people and actions help me to unwind. My most recent guilty pleasures have been Real Housewives of New Jersey, Real Housewives of New York, Flipping Out, Mob Wives, and yes I’m even a little hesitant to say, Jersey Shore. Within the last few days, I have found some of the housewives to be so vile, that it’s hard to watch. Yes, Housewives cast more vile than Jersey Shore…I know right?

Against his better judgement my husband has “enjoyed” a few Housewives and Jersey Shore episodes. He wishes he didn’t know who or what a Snookie was. Some people look down upon those of us who view these shows, like something must be severely wrong with us. But like anything else, who are you to judge. Yes, there are people who go crazy overboard about it. Perhaps saying things like, “Don’t talk ’bout my Snookie!” Come on, Snookie isn’t hurting from any type of comment. Snookie has a cool million in the bank she earned by poofing her hair to the sky, having a pickle habit, and being a sloppy drunk on T.V. She is just fine.

Honestly, when just about the whole cast of Jersey Shore came out with books “they wrote”  I flipped through a Bible to see if there was any mention of this being a sign of the apocalypse.

Sometimes I wonder if any of these shows are subliminally changing me. I ponder this because  after every episode of Mob Wives I have a strange desire to get in someones face and verbally violate them, using mother effer as every fifth word. Hmmm.

Regardless, I have no intention of cutting my one true guilty pleasure out of my life. The pleasure far outweighs the guilt. My husband still loves me and accepts my addiction. He simply asks, “Do you have shows tonight?” Knowing I’m not to be disturbed. Except for a handful of reality T.V., I’m well aware of the lunacy I’m viewing. I find they’re stupidity hilarious, and a few characters are genuinely amusing. And then there is drama like you’ve never seen and you become a deer in headlights. The characters make me even happier to be me, because I’m not them.

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