Not so much now but in the past I thought really hard all day and at some point I just wanted to stop thinking. I think that informed my TV viewing habits then and now because they are terrible. Sure I’ve watched the good critically acclaimed stuff too like weeds, sex and the city and breaking bad but when I’m on my own, often writing there’s a whole host of shows I watch that I would never dream of subjecting honey too. Its one of those #sorrynotsorry type things where I don’t think it’s energy well spent but I’m also not changing it.
So you ever regret saying something stupid at the worst possible time? I’m pretty much the president of that support group around here. Like at dinner with my external examiner after my PhD defense where I admitted that I watched and LIKED the Kardashians. He told me (jokingly I think) that he would have voted no if he knew that before. Ooops. But I do watch them then and now plus this other trash television that I totally love and recommend and here is why I like them. As you can see I really don’t go in for competition type shows the likes of which often center around dating and singing.
I pretty much only watch the main series now but I’ve watched the two sister off-shoots, revenge body and other ’specials’ in the past too. I know a lot of it is staged, I know it’s not reality (in all these cases really) but those ladies and Scott reliably bring the drama. I’m not really into the lifestyle aspect but rather the infighting in the family. Its also interesting to see people’s lives evolve over time. This group of people have also endured a lot over the years and it’s cool to see how they move on and don’t from those situations. It’s entertaining and I really do like it. Now onto some you might not have heard of.
This show is set in Charleston and follows a group of well heeled mostly middle aged people through their lives and drama. A lot of the drama stems from an unplanned pregnancy between a 40 something disgraced politician and a very recent collage grad. That turned out to be the gift that kept on giving (babies and drama). There’s cheating drama, drinking, fighting and all with a twang. The group of people in this one was and is well picked and the boys in the group seem to be the ones who need to and do get called out on their choices. Not that there isn’t a large helping of cat fighting too. There’s something I just can’t put my finger on here but it’s hella entertaining and I recommend you check it out.
Some real housewives (NY and Orange County)
I don’t watch all the housewives at all and I did drop off from New York for a while. In both cases it comes down to a certain character. For the OC it’s Vicky. She’s been there since the beginning so how someone can watch themselves for 14 years and not get just a little bit more self aware mystifies me. There have been other characters over the years that I loved but they seem to come and go. For a long time Vicky was poorly behaved but unhappily married which seemed like a good excuse. Her behavior has only gotten worse since the divorce including a boyfriend who pulled a cancer scam and how she treated her daughter along the way. I feel like she does really what to be nice and quiet but she just can’t help herself. She’s just as unhappy now but she seems to lack the appreciation that she’s got to work on that first.
For New York it’s Bethany, who took a break for a few years and came back and is funny enough to carry the show on her own. She’s always calling the others out on their stuff often in terrible ways. But she genuinely doesn’t take shit and is a good but deeply troubled person. Plus Ramona you never know what that chick is going to do next. Oh and the countess she’s sort of a train wreck in progress white knuckling herself through court appointed sobriety right now. For the real housewives series, of which there are many if you can find a cast that you love it’s worth following the show.
I have no idea how realistically this portrays the yacht hand lifestyle but I’d like to believe it’s true. I however have no interest in participating if that’s the case. We spend a lot of time on the water and occasionally see a yacht here and there. When you do it’s hard not to imagine what’s going on inside. Like any other reality show you have a varied cast of characters in a VERY confined space. Add a lot of alcohol on days off and everyone being exhausted to the mix and that really ratchets up the intensity. What makes this show better than average is the hierarchy involved in the deck and cabin crews, someone is clearly in charge and others clearly don’t like that. The magic really happens though in the charter guests. I suspect they are either comped the cruise or at least heavily subsidized for being there. Some are pains in the ass in the regular ways you might suspect, some are crazy romantic parings and others are just shockingly poorly behaved in ways you could never dream up if you tried. Watching the crew try to deal with that AND all the other stuff is pretty entertaining. Plus the boat and it’s quirks sort of becomes a character too.
Changing gears from your straight up reality show is secret eaters. If you’ve ever struggled to lose weight you might actually see yourself in it. The premise is this, people who just don’t understand why they can’t lose weight sign up to be tracked in their eating habits for about a week. The show puts cameras in their home, bribes their co-workers and hires a private investigator to find out what they are up to. Then they are confronted when they least suspect it (supposedly) with all the food they ate that week. It’s strangely fascinating. It’s a British show and what initially attracted me to it is the presenter. I just love her and she’s understatedly funny. There are segments from a dietitian and experiments with food phycologists along the way. Even though it’s the same week after week it still never fails to entertain. Check it out especially if you are on a weight loss journey there’s lots of nuggets you can use hidden with in.
Dallas cowboy cheerleaders: Making the team
I can not even do a group aerobics class with out embarrassing myself but this show has something for everyone. It is exactly what it sounds like. You follow a group of women going through the long and rough process of auditioning for the team. A group of ruthless coaches make a series of cuts each week. You get to see the girls learn the routines, dance, try to organize their lives around training, make huge life mistakes and mostly dance every week. Watching beautiful ladies dance in unison with big smiles is strangely fascinating no matter who you are! The moves are tough, the cuts tougher and the fitness levels are out of this world. Plus the southern sensibility gives it an extra layer of sass. If this sounds at all like it’s up your ally I promise you’ll love it!
Sweet home Oklahoma
Sadly this little gem has long been canceled but you need to go find the back episodes somewhere! There’s really nothing special about this show except that it follows three lady friends and their families, that’s it. The thing is this group of ladies are the ultimate trio of “you ladies should have your own show!” They are middle aged and it’s cool to watch all of the regular hard stuff these ladies go through while working full time and filming. Struggles with neighbors, a reconciling after repeated rehab and not fun outings. These ladies are a real life group of friends and you can tell they’re just being them. At one point they plant a hedge that is basically a hand giving a neighbor the middle finger and that’s the tame stuff. What’s refreshing is that these ladies don’t have to turn it on for the cameras they seem like they would be that hilarious all the time. The other thing that’s cool about this show is that they don’t shy away from the harder stuff either. One lady has reconciled with a husband she divorced after his struggle with addiction, one is a secret smoker and trying to quit or not. It’s a pretty special show and it’s a shame it was canceled. It sounds boring but I swear it adds up to more than the sum of its parts.
We do watch some of the ‘better’ shows around here but I have a secret love of these ones that maybe I shouldn’t discuss with other academics. But I’m not terribly ashamed to admit that I watch them either. Check them out and leave your recommendations below for guilty pleasure TV shows you love. Oh also the plane repossession show that was awesome when I was stuck on crutches.