That Magical Box

I am a child of the 80s which means I grew up attached to my television. I was there August 1, 1981 when MTV started. I was there when Alf beamed into our living rooms, when Tutee took off her roller skates, when Murphy had her baby and when the gang from Cheers said goodbye. I was there when six friends started hanging out at Central Perk and I cried when they closed shop. I was there for the Boob-Heard-Round-the-World, when Regis said, “Is that your final answer?”, when George said, “Yada yada yada” and when Madonna slipped Britney some tongue. Yes, yes, she kissed Christina as well but what was so shocking about that?

There are several ironies in my long-standing connection with television. One – I spent years working in radio. Video Killed the Radio Star anyone? Two – I have always been an avid reader and am now a writer. Stop rotting your brain by watching tv and read a book! And my new obsession adds even more irony. Reality television. Let me preface by saying I do not want to watch some man pick his soul mate from 25 cat-fighting chicks who DO NOT need television to find a date. I can’t stand practical jokes so Punk’d and whatever that show was where the girl had to convince her parents she was marrying a moron are out too. I am, however, addicted to just about any reality show Bravo creates. I say just about. Those rich chicks in Beverly Hills can jump out a window and that annoying house flipping dude needs his ass kicked.

But there is a double irony in the reality shows I choose to watch. None of them are about anything in which I would normally be interested. For instance, Project Runway. I know nothing about fashion, don’t particularly like fashion and will most likely never wear anything fashionable. But I love this show! Top Chef. I do not know how to cook and I know nothing about spices or flavors. I’m an extremely picky eater who would starve in any gourmet restaurant. I still have a cringing reaction when I hear some of the dishes described but I never miss an episode.

Last night my other favorite started a new season. America’s Next Top Model. Why do I love this show? I don’t like watching immature, skinny chicks curse and cry. As mentioned, I don’t like fashion. But I LOVE this show. My daughter loves it even more. I’m not sure it’s smart to let an 8 year old watch this show but Tyra makes it all about self-esteem, confidence, chasing your dreams and seeing beauty where others might not. So, I’m thinking we’re good.

Do you also need your weekly dose of Heidi, Chef Tom and Miss Jay? Please tell me I’m not the only one. Do you watch reality shows? If so, are you screaming at the television who to vote off the island next or do you prefer to sit back and watch the train wreck that is Paula?

17 thoughts on “That Magical Box”

  1. Diana says:

    Ummm…..LOVE LOVE LOVE PROJECT RUNWAY! I love seeing what creativity can bring. Oh, and I love America’s Next Top Model. I love seeing the final creations. Some of the photos are so gorgeous. Top Chef, not so much….

  2. MsHellion says:

    I loathe, hate, and despise reality TV shows.

    But that’s me, and I’m obviously alone in it.

    I do love sitcoms…and lovely dramas. Medium, 2 1/2 Men, How I Met Your Mother, L&O, GA, et al…and I’m looking forward to some of the things coming out this Fall.

    I’m slightly intrigued by Kid Nation…however, it IS a reality TV show, so no go. Plus everyone has ripped it sideways because the poor little darlings had to do things for themselves. Cry me a river.

  3. terrio says:

    LOL! Hellion they should have filmed that show at your house. Then those kids would know about roughing it. Just try to plug in a hairdryer…

    Di – somehow that doesn’t surprise me. And the new season is about to start. Yippee!

  4. Janga says:

    I guess Extreme Makeover: Home Edition counts as reality TV. That’s the only show I watch regularly. I love both seeing the people’s lives changed and watching the houses go up.

    Honestly, I sometimes go for days when I am busy without even turning on my TV. I have never been a heavy viewer, and since my blog/bb addiction developed, I average maybe four hours of TV.

    I do love watching old shows on DVD though. I have had a great time watching seasons of That Girl, Cagney and Lacey, Kate and Allie, Route 66, The Wild, Wild West. I am watching the old Johnny Cash variety shows this week. I guess I just like old TV. LOL!

  5. Janga says:

    That’s four hours a week!

  6. Santa says:

    I’m really not a fan of reality television. The closest anyone in my family has gotten to reality television is on, you guessed it, The Food Network. My kids are hooked on ‘Next TV Chef’ or whatever it is called. They talk about who is going to stay and who should go–NOW.

    We all got hooked on Hagen-Daas’ Create the Next Flavor. They mused about the flavors created, what they would have done differently. And when the Sticky Toffee Pudding won, we’d check the ice cream freezer at the grocery store every week. LOL, just last week THERE IT WAS!! Sticky Toffee Pudding hit the shelves. There was much joy in the land and they hooted and hollared and carried on! And you know what? It is delish!

  7. terrio says:

    Janga – Extreme Home Makeover is another of Isabelle’s favorites. I like it too but it always makes me cry, Isabelle always asks if we’ll ever have a house like the one they built (yeah right) and I think the designers tend to get a little too melodramatic sometimes. I don’t watch near as much as I used to. And I’m working on picking a couple of nights/days a week when we don’t turn it on at all.

    Santa – I love the food network. Seeing how they get the filling in the twinkees or where you can find the best hot dog in the country. LOL! But I especially love the competitions. The craziest cake or the best sugar art piece. When they do things in all chocolate I’m amazed. If I wasn’t such a novice in the kitchen I would consider taking some pastry classes. I think I’d really enjoy baking.

  8. I watched Project Runway last year (the Santino edition) and loved it. I’ve said it before, but they made a dress out of plants!!! Amazing. That said, I have not watched it this year. Once a camera is inserted, it’s my opinion there’s nothing real about reality TV.

    I don’t watch TV at all any more but rely on junky magazines to keep me posted about current “culture.” I can’t seem to sit still, altho Lord knows my butt’s in the computer chair for hours.

  9. Oh, and they just filmed Extreme Makeover: Home Edition here in Downeast Maine which has caused untold controversy…so I may have to watch it this winter.

  10. MsHellion says:

    *LOL* Our house is a bit like an abandoned movie set…only with mice and as you said, the electricity is probably not up to code. Those kids would whine like no tomorrow… I’d have to take temporary leave so I didn’t have to listen to it.

    I do love Food Network. But I don’t watch the Top Chef or whatever. I love me some Alton Brown though. He’s funny…he’s SMART…and he’s kinda cute with those dimples. Plus he can cook! I watch him as much as possible. (I admit though, I think Emeril is cute when he does his flirty look at the camera and says, “Oh, yeah, babe.” That’s rather sexy.)

  11. terrio says:

    Maggie – you have to tell us what caused the controversy! Did they knock down the wrong house? LOL!

    Hellion – It’s so weird how our taste in men is so opposite. Alton Brown annoys the heck out of me. I think he’s condescending and I don’t think he’s all that funny. In fact, there’s something creepy about him if you ask me. But I can tolerate him when he commentates the Iron Chef shows. LOL!

  12. Actually some of the neighbors/townspeople are jealous…the new house “spoils the view” (they knocked down an old drafty family home), the family got free oil for a year, a local bank offered help w/ payment of student loans…this is a teaching couple w/ 2 autistic sons, a daughter and they’re about to adopt another daughter from China. The mom was voted Maine Teacher of the Year. The big whine is “how can they afford to pay taxes on a half-a-million dollar home?” It’s as if people want this family to go belly-up. They aren’t considered “needy” enough either. Small town sh*t.

  13. My husband is addicted to the Food Network. He thinks he knows how to cook now. Hey, anything to get me out of the kitchen.

  14. TiffinaC says:

    HA! I can’t stand TV… I rarely watch it… I can probably count how many hours I sit in front of it, and pay attention, in a year. Yeah, that little. Though I have a fondness for dancing shows…

    I hate TV, because of the commercials…they go beyond annoyance, and I just can’t stand TV because of it. I used to (back in the Buffy and Angel days) read on commercial breaks…but recently, the book draws my attention away from the tv, so I just try not to watch it at all, except the occasional movie.

  15. Tessa Dare says:

    I used to be really addicted to reality TV. I watched it all, and my husband would make fun of me. Finally, I decided I was wasting too much time, so each time a show came to the end of its run, I vowed I would not start watching a new show/season to take its place. One by one I dropped them all, and now I can’t remember the last time I sat down to watch TV on purpose.

  16. irisheyes says:

    I was a TV addict when I was younger. You could ask me what was on prime time any day of the week and in any time slot and I could tell you. I remember everything you mentioned in your first couple of paragraphs, but was totally lost by your last paragraph. LOL

    When I had kids I became too busy and too tired to watch TV. I stayed with Friends, Seinfeld and West Wing the longest, but they eventually lost out to reading. I didn’t want to watch TV my kids couldn’t watch and I was too tired to stay up when they went to bed to watch what I taped. In short – my TV watching days have pretty much dwindled to almost nothing. So somewhere between 1999 and the present I fell out of the loop. I’ve caught up a little with American Idol, which I only watch cause the kids do. And I’ve only allowed them to watch it since 2005.

    So, I guess the answer would be – No, I don’t get into the reality shows. I would really rather read a good book. Just recently I started renting movies and mini-series (Wives and Daughters, Daniel Dironda, and North and South are next up on my list) from Netflix and watching them when I get a chance.

    I did just see a preview for “Cane” on CBS tonight. It’s sort of a soap starring Hector Elizondo and Jimmy Smits. I love them both and might try to catch it.

  17. terrio says:

    Funny that the NON tv watchers were the ones to chime in late. Could it be, perhaps, they were really off watching tv? Hmmmm…..

    I don’t watch nearly as much tv as I grew up watching. Other than Grey’s Anatomy, I don’t make a point to watch any scripted shows. And every sitcom these days center their jokes on sexual innuendo. I get tired of my daughter asking what they mean so we just don’t watch them.

    My sister is an addict. She gets very excited when the new season is announced, uses the TVGuide to chart out all the shows she will watch then makes sure her TWO vcr’s are in working order so she won’t miss anything. *sigh* Amazing she’s pushing 40 and still single, huh?

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