September 6, 2013

The Reality Show Reality


I'm not a huge watcher of reality shows, but I enjoy them in moderation. I usually pick one show a season as my guilty pleasure. Pretty Wicked Moms was my poison of choice last season and I'm really looking forward to Big Rich Texas returning in November.

That said, I have no idea why I watch them. It's like going to an all you can eat shrimp buffet. It seems like a good idea when you enter the joint, but by the time you are done with it all you can think about is throwing up.

My husband is fascinated by my love of aging, rich blond women and my hatred of them. "Why do you watch these if you are going to curse at the TV?" he asks. I respond by asking him why he does the exact same thing with football.

I took his question to heart though. Why am I fascinated enough by their lives to use up one of my DVR recording slots?

Maybe reality shows are the grown up version of playing Barbie. Bitchy, tequila-shooting, Barbie. These women all have the fabulous homes, the shoes, the clothes, the bullet boobs, the makeup and the Ken Doll. Granted, Ken is now a fifty-year old, womanizing alcoholic going through a mid-life crisis, but at least he still has his Malibu home.

Unlike Barbie, however, none of these women have jobs, or if they do its something like real estate agent to the stars or clothing designer for K-mart. It's all work that can be done on their own hours and with a drink in their hands.

Not to say it's all easy for these gals. Tragedies happen: Botox clinics shut down, cars get keyed by jealous bitchez, nails get chipped in cat fights. But, for the most part, these women are still leading a fantasy life that doesn't involve changing dirty diapers or scooping up week-old kitty litter. It's kind of nice to see that sort of parallel dimension.

Reality shows are like magic mirrors. They can transport us away for an hour to a place where the kitchens are always clean, but we're always glad to be back in our own hovel when it's over. And while I didn't marry Ken, that G.I. Joe action figure taking up residence on my couch while playing the X-box and calling for a sandwich is real and I love him.

And that's the real secret of reality shows: they make us appreciate our own reality, beach-less house and all.

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