Thursday, September 15, 2011

Junk TV

I'm not a huge TV person anymore. In fact, I was watching it so little that a while back, I canceled all but basic cable service (I know, right?!). Occasionally, though - I miss it. Not the news networks, or even regular old network TV.

I miss some of the junk.

Back when I had cable, I was easily engrossed in "reality" television - especially if it followed the lives of celebrities. The Girls Next Door, Keeping Up with the Kardashians and anything involving Bret Michaels trying to get a date were among my favorites. X used to complain that he actually lost IQ points if he sat down to watch with me - but I don't actually think he minded that much. 

Over the weekend, I was visiting family who have cable. They also have two kids, so celeb-reality isn't high on their viewing list. But while it was just me and my cousin for a bit, we turned off Nickelodeon just for a little while. And I found myself unable to turn away from the Kardashians marathon. 

Why? There's absolutely no redeeming qualities about the show. It's like a train-wreck - you know you shouldn't, but you can't help but watch. You just have to see what happens next. 

Is it the celebrity, "star" factor? Is it the supposed "reality" of the show? I suppose there is some appeal in reducing a celeb to regular-person status, and seeing how they live their day-to-day life. Though, it's not all that much different than how we all live - except with more private airplanes and hotel suites. 

I suppose the mindless entertainment is a factor. There's no thinking involved to watch these shows (or to make them, usually). You can just turn it on, and for a little while, you can set your own problems and worries aside, and concentrate on Kim's latest crisis, or Kendra's latest bumble. 

Just don't forget to turn the station at some point.


  1. I think part of it may have to do with making ourselves feel better about our own lives and situations. We can watch Kim or Kendra go through a crisis and say "Well, I would never have done things that way."

  2. I'm with JoJo - it's all about schadenfreude.

  3. That's a good point. Watching a hot mess, famous or not, does tend to boost our ego a bit. Not always an easy thing to admit - but it's a pretty human way to be.