My Last Remaining Vice
I gave up cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol a long time ago. Yeah, I’ll still have the occasional frozen margarita or something similar, but rarely more than one. Thanks to Weight Watchers, I’m eating healthy, too. Other than cussing now and then, I am almost completely free of vices.
I’m not into porn. I don’t fool around on my partner of nearly ten years. Nor do I lie, steal, or cheat. Well, I do get a little help with Words With Friends, but only because I’ve got too many games going and I hate falling behind. I barely consider it cheating and if I was still in the church, definitely wouldn’t confess it to my priest.
I do, however, have something to confess. I hope you won’t think any less of me when you hear the truth. My last remaining vice is a deep affection for trashy television shows.
How did it happen? I don’t know for sure but suspect it was overexposure. I’ve watched too much television for a long time. Given the quality of current programming, my standards had no place to go but down.
Some of my favorite shows are respectable. So You Think You Can Dance, anything from the Top Chef franchise, and reality shows like Food Network Stars, Restaurant Wars, Chopped, Food Network Challenge, and Restaurant Impossible are high on my list. I quit watching shows like Dancing with the Stars, American Idol and Biggest Loser because I don’t have TiVo and hate the way the two-hour, multiple night format stomps on my time.
Gordon Ramsey’s shows are borderline. Kitchen Nightmares is probably my favorite because by the end of the show, you see that Gordon is not nearly as big of an asshole as he seems. Hell’s Kitchen is the worst because it focuses more on his nasty, mean side. On Master Chef, thanks to the nasty bald dude, Gordon comes off as a sweetheart.
I love the Real Housewives franchises and consider them to be some of the worst programming on television. I have a hard time picking a favorite–New Jersey, Atlanta, New York, Orange County. It doesn’t matter. If watching these shows doesn’t make you think the rich should pay more in taxes, nothing will.
Southpark, Campus PD, and Cheaters fall in the middle of my trashy TV list. The best episodes of Southpark are barely enough to bring the rest up from the bottom. Campus PD is fun because today’s college kids are so much dumber than we were. Cheaters is a special case, and would be nothing without the fabulous Joey Greco and his gift for seemingly calming people down while simultaneously tossing gasoline on the flames.
The undisputed king of trashy television is and always has been Jerry Springer. Maury, Steve Wilco and others Springer wannabees don’t even come close. The way Jerry blends ghetto fabulous and trailer park squalor with pimps, prostitutes, and transsexuals is without equal. If they gave Emmy Awards for the trashiest shows on television, he’d win every year.
And that, my friends, is just a sampling of what’s usually on television in…
My Glass House