So here’s the thing. None of us can honestly say we don’t watch TV. And hush to all of you imaginary Ivers/Jones kids who think they are too busy for shows. You know exactly what you do. You lie. “Too busy.” Ha. Funny. I don’t remember you being too busy with your future on your shoulders when Arthur was on ten years ago. So be quiet. I digress.
TV, that lovely little box of entertainment. Be it on in the background, bringing you the game, or your sole friend, you live with it. We belong to a generation that cannot fix a car, but can reprogram a remote in less than twenty seconds. We know what is on when and what channels to avoid.
Despite this, I am a sucker for all of it. The good, the bad, the big families, the small families, the many-chinned and the hoarders. The TV shows that glorify all of the worst/most hilarious things in the world.
I have seen every episode of 19 Kids and Counting, Jon and Kate Plus Eight, Breaking Amish, Toddlers and Tiaras, Here comes Honey Boo Boo and so many more. On Facebook I go on weeklong rants about Friday Night Lights and Dawson’s Creek. I cannot control myself. I have begun a TV spiral.
The TV spiral is the jetty of static that kills you with its riptide of bad grammar and poor choices. It starts small, but evolves into a self-hating cycle. You become involved and can barely control yourself when a character dies, gets married or has a kid.
TV spirals only occur when shame is involved in watching the show in question. The shows you “shouldn’t be watching,” not in an Adult Content kind of way, but because you may accidentally start kissing your index fingers and blowing kisses to crowds of professors because you mistake them for a panel of pageant judges.
The sneaky TLC TV spiral caught me off guard one day when I noticed the most adorable children in the history of the world, Jon and Kate Gosselin’s kids, running around like the hellish way a group of sextuplets would. From there it grew into a problem. I cried when they got a divorce. When Hannah, the youngest girl, got to ride a pony on her birthday, I cheered, and when little Colin had to get glasses I was so happy to not have been the only toddler with four eyes. I loved that show, but when it went off air I needed another family show to feel a part of.
Enter 19 Kids and Counting. This show started off as a bet with myself. I was like, “Self, if you can handle this, you can handle anything.” Boy was I wrong. That show is one of my favorites, and I still can’t handle Stats class. Oops. This show just fed into the spiral. By this time, I had moved well into the self-hatred phase. Hating myself for getting up at 7 a.m. to catch last night’s episode that I missed, for being weirdly jealous of all their family time, I just hated it all. I decided I had to quit that show hard and fast. Cold turkey. I now have been Duggar-free since January.
Enter Toddlers and Tiaras, and the end of the self-hatred phase as the rage stage took over. This show makes me speechless. From “Prosti-tot” to Honey Boo Boo. This show is wrong the in purest sense of the word. In my mind, this is how this show started:
Scene: Board member Mr. Boo Boo is preparing his first pitch to TLC. He pops in his DVD of what he thought was an illegal drug bust on a bunch of middle schoolers, instead it was his toddler daughter winning a beauty pageant.
TLC: WE LOVE IT! So dynamic! So real! So innovative!
Mr. BooBoo: But, those aren’t even her real teeth? What do you mean innovative? How is this dynamic, she can barely control her voice? I’m confused.
TLC: HERE, HAVE A FEW MILLION DOLLARS.
Mr. Boo Boo: Guess that will cover the guilt I have for exploiting tiny young girls. Over it, PEACE!
See? What good came of this? I started a sneaky spiral of TLC shows, and am now to the point where I wish there was a support group for people like me. Until next time,
Katelyn Henagin graduated from Pierz-Healy High School in 2010, and grew up in both Pierz and Worthington, Minnesota. She is graduating in 2014 with a Philosophy Major and a minor in Psychology. If you feel like talking to Katelyn, striking up a conversation about Harry Potter is always a good choice.