Adventures of a Midwest Transplant

On Forcing Myself to Watch Reality TV

It isn’t honest of me to say that I don’t like reality TV. I like some of it. Pretty much anything on Food Network interests me. I also religiously watch Dancing with the Stars, America’s Next Top Model, and American Idol.

But I tend to stay away from reality TV shows that are just following someone around with a camera all day. I’ve only ever seen half of one episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians. I’ve never seen an episode of Real Housewives of anything, and proud of it. I’ve been out of loop on shows like this since the Real World became a phenomenon on MTV (or was it VH1?)

I noticed that my co-workers are always discussing something related to one of these shows. People act like they know celebrities if they are exposed to personal information about their lives. But for reality TV stars, you really do get personal details about their lives. It’s still framed however the producers want it to go, but it’s a glimpse into these people’s world. It’s the type of glimpse I’ve never really be interested in.

Seriously, my only interest in reality TV is maybe participating in a show one day myself. And the only reason for that is that if the show is successful, it’s pretty much my only shot at ever competing on Dancing with the Stars. Derek Hough would be my partner, and we would totally win that Season. But first, I’d have to be on a reality TV show because I’ll never be famous otherwise.

That being said, I realized I was missing out on a whole cultural phenomenon by not watching these types of TV shows. So when one of my best friends came up with the bucket list idea, I thought reality TV would be the perfect thing to choose for the category titled, “All the Kids Are Doing It”.

I’ve already discussed my efforts to find a soy/tofu dish or food item that I really genuinely like. That’s still an ongoing process. I’m taking Catskill Blogger‘s advice, and I’m going to try chocolate flavored soy milk next.

But since this post is about reality TV, let’s discuss that. I took a poll amongst people I know who watch these types of shows. They seemed to think Love & Hip Hop would be the best, but I just couldn’t do it. I had decided I was going to watch an entire season of whatever show I picked, and I just couldn’t commit to watching an entire season of that show. Nothing about who I am as a person could allow that.

So I went with a second choice: The Bad Girls Club. This show is still awful. It jams 7 women from different backgrounds into a house where the only thing they have in common is a desire to “turn up” and a willingness to “pop off” if the feel offended. I’m putting it in caps only because I feel like they took those two terms to a whole new level. They said the words turn, up, pop, and off at least 100 times each episode.

When I decided to just deal with my hesitancy and watch the damn show already, they were in the middle of Season 12, which was filmed in Chicago. I really didn’t want to watch all that rachetness in my hometown, nor did I want to commit to having to keep up with episodes for an ongoing season. So I just watched all of Season 11, which was filmed in Miami, in about a week.

There were some moments that I loved, like when they did a fake commercial for 1-800-kick-a-ho-out. I still chuckle when I think of that. But these girls were so mean. And they were boring. If they were drinking or plotting to kick another girl out of the house, there was nothing going on with them.

I have to admit that I wasn’t bored while watching the show, I was mostly just nonplussed. Why these women would want to go on national TV to show the most stereotypical versions of themselves, I will never understand. But they made some pretty good friendships, and they had a lot of fun together. I get the appeal, and I get why the reality TV show industry is still growing.

People like to see other people living. I get it. It’s not for me really, but I’m glad I put it on the bucket list. Otherwise I would never have experienced it. And I would never have seen all that rachetness up close and personal. And really, what’s your 20s without a little bit of rachetness?

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