How Garbage-y Do You Feel About Watching Garbage TV?

I feel bad about my schadenfreude.

Aug 4, 2011 at 4:02pm | Leave a comment

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I used to be holier than thou, thou people who watch makeover shows, and lo, now I walk among ye.

My sister DVR'd around 20 hours of bridal and pageant and makeover entertainments, which I spent around 20 straight hours watching (She has air conditioning! It is HOT IN NEW YORK, FRIENDS!), and it totally David Koreshed me. A week ago I wouldn't be caught dead watching this brain Fanta and now I'm like, "Let's pretend like one of us is getting married so we can meet RANDY."

I'm not a total a-hole. I like garbage books and movies, but the problem with some of these shows is that, wow. They're kind of terrible when it comes to women, fat people, gay people, black people, people from lower income brackets, Southern people, babies, effeminate dads ... So, basically everybody.

This is not news, but when I hear myself write off the less nurtitive bits of my cultural intake by calling it a "guilty pleasure"... Am I really saying that I'm taking pleasure in (LIBERAL ARTS SCHOOL GRAD BOMB) exploitationnnnnn

The first time I saw one of those very special "bigger brides" episodes, I was like, "Ah, fresh air! Maybe this will be a show where women of different sizes get prettied up and the focus isn't telling them how to hide arm flaps." No such luck. Ninety percent of the show was the consultants whispering to each other about how the bride needs to be realistic about her size, while the scary dispassionate voice-over guy called her something like a "dirigible diva" (slight exaggeration. SLIGHT.).

And the ones where the whole point of the show is to laugh at how "trashy" people are? OH, my stars! I'm not trying to say I'm better than laughing at people for being trashy (I come from an area with a lot of above-ground pools and airbrush nail salons), but that doesn't mean I feel GOOD about it. IT IS MEAN. Do I really want some advertiser to give a cable channel millions of dollars just so I can be like, "OH NO HER EXTENSIONS ARE TANGLED IN THE RHINESTONES! HA HA HA!"

I was literally nauseated after the first couple of episodes, but, like a rookie cop becomes inured to the sight of grisly murder, I eventually started thinking stuff like, That toddler is going to grow up to be a ho...for sho'. I feel shitty enough when I laugh at a really "Oh damn!" joke on one of those pretend-edgy cartoons, but they're cartoons! Adam West isn't a real person.

So I guess what I'm asking is ... Where do you draw the line between "This is what I watch to turn my brain off" and "Giving this show an audience is making it OK to mock babies and gypsies."

Please absolve me or something so I can stop reading this boring ass Margaret Bourke-White biography and put the television back on.