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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Background T.V.

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They say that ninety percent of TV is junk. But, ninety percent of everything is junk. ~Gene Roddenberry

I’ve never been a big fan of reality TV. I don’t mean to be a T.V. snob about it really and I’m not one of those “I’m-too-smart-for-T.V. kind of folks. I mean, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time in front of the tube watching everything from the most intellectually stimulating PBS Masterpiece Theater to reruns of I Dream of Jeanie, or even better Bewitched. But I have a hard time with reality T.V. I don’t like the contest shows like Survivor or The Apprentice. And I just can’t get behind any of the “hook up” shows like The Bachelor or Bachlorette. And I don’t really even like American Idol all that much. I suppose it’s because I don’t want reality, I only want the fantasy.

But with all the homework I’m having to do during this phase of my life, I spend a lot of time sitting and staring at my computer…which can get kind of boring. So most of the time I have the T.V. on in the background just to help me not nod off while I’m trying to study statistics. While I don’t really have a particular show that I wait for all week long right now, I have come across a few shows that I’m kind of liking. “Background shows” I like to call them ‘cause I can have them on in the background without being too distracting. Anyway, I’m kind of getting totally addicted to a few of these shows - and they’re actually reality shows too – well as reality as these shows ever are.

One of them is called Cake Boss. It’s about a guy who runs a Bakery that was founded by his father in New Jersey. The show just kind of shows how the bakery runs in the course of a day – they’re a loud Italian family so they like to play up the drama there. But the cool thing is that they make the most amazing cakes! Wedding cakes with these amazing edible flowers. Birthday cakes with every kind of theme you can imagine from shop-a-holic to sweet 16. They had a cake in the shape of a building on fire with cake fire trucks and actual smoke (well water vapor) coming out of the windows. There was the Leaning Tower of Pisa wedding cake with the wedding couple at the bottom on one of those little Vespa scooters. The solar system cake. The fish tank cake with coral, sharks, tropical fish and an actual fish tank behind it. And they even made an aircraft carrier cake. It’s really very cool and creative stuff and makes me wish that I could go to work there.

I’m also getting totally addicted to Say Yes to the Dress. It’s about what is apparently a famous wedding dress store in Chicago and it features 3 or 4 brides-to-be per show coming in to pick their wedding dress. Sounds totally boring doesn’t it? Well it is, except that somehow it isn’t at the same time. Perhaps I’m just fascinated by the human drama and the amount of interest and energy that these women ( and the entourages that accompany them) put into the dress choice. But I think it’s mostly the amount of money that these people are spending on a gown. The low end seems to be around $3,000 which is a lot by itself. But there have been some that have sold for as has high as $15,000 - $20,000! That’s like buying a car for heaven’s sake – and a pretty good car at that. I just can’t imagine how much money I would have to have to be comfortable spending that much money on a dress – even one for such a special occasion.

And finally I’m also totally into Clean House. It’s pretty much what it sounds like. The host and her crew of a professional organizer, fix-it dude and designer come into these houses that are completely inundated with clutter. Boxes and boxes piled high in every room filled with who knows what. The deal is that the “crew" comes in and pulls everything out of the house, pretty much forces the homeowner to have a garage sale and get rid of their junk then re-designs and organizes the house while the family goes to a resort hotel for a couple of days. I have to admit that I have at least one room in my house that could use this treatment and I’m a little jealous.

So if you come across these shows in your channel surfing, give them a try and let me know what you think. It's not Masterpiece Theater or even American idol, but there's cake, cleaning and bridezilla's...it's all good.


Mamma has spoken said...

I watch those shows too! I love Clean House and even went to one of their yard sales when they were in town. It was a bust concidering I was there with a gazilion other fans :o(
I've gone from Clean House to Horders. Love those shows that get into their minds as to why they keep what they keep. VH1 now has one for OCD, that was interesting too. Man, I watch too much tv....

Chrissy said...

I have gotten hooked on 'Say Yes to the Dress'... omg, I wish I could have been in those lucky ladie's shoes... When I got married, it was very informal and not by choice.. I would of loved shopping for a dress.
Reality shows in general seem to be all planned out... Judge Judy is for sure... did u know that even if you lose your case, the show will pay whatever the amt. of the suit is? Bottom line, reality shows are all about the amt. of viewers they can get.

YogaSavy said...

I got myself hooked to Housewives! I know... how could I but yes I am guilty. This show reminds me of what I should not be

Bits-n-Pieces said...

The only reality show I really like is "The Next Food Network Show", unless all those Food Network shows count as Reality Shows. I like a lot of those, too!

Shawna said...

"Say Yes to the Dress" is certainly a guilty pleasure. It is wild to see pampered princesses stamping their little feet and demanding that daddy buy them a 15K dress (which he inevitably does). Makes me feel a whole lot more appreciative for what I have in my life.

Couldn't get into Cake Boss (a little too much drama) but I adore Ace of Cakes. Oh, and Hell's Kitchen draws me in....but that's mostly because I find Gordon Ramsay so incredibly sexy.

Sue said...

Of your list, I've seen "Clean House" only. It was sort of cathartic, and I liked it.

My favorite reality show is "So You Think You Can Dance." Those people are artists. Watching them is like getting to see a performance every week, close up, that you would have to fork out big bucks to see in person.


Lori said...

Background tv is essential tv as far as I'm concerned, Mel...gotta have it when I'm on the computer or folding laundry or anything else that doesn't require all of my operable brain cells. It's multi-tasking on the down-low. And reality tv is perfect for it. I'll take anything that I can laugh at and that gives me some interesting and quirky insight into human nature. Right now (because summer tv is sooooo scintillating) I'm watching the ever dramatic True Beauty. I plan on blogging about some of these fascinating creatures pretty soon, because they're pretty funny.

osmfmly said...

I've seen the wedding gown show too! I cannot imagine such prices! After doing five weddings thus far, the most I've forked out was about $500, and that was for a gown seen in Brides Magazine! My currently engaged is so thrifty, I will be lucky if she looks for a gown!

Richard & Natalie said...

Unfortunately, most of my background TV consists of Dora, Phineas & Ferb, and Wubzy (sigh). Such is the stage of life I'm in.

Longer ago I couldn't get into Clean House because Niecey (?sp) Nash drove me crazy. But I'll have to check out the others when the kiddos aren't monopolizing the TV.

Susan Tipton said...

I don't watch T.V. Not because I'm a snob- but because I'm too cheap to pay for cable. So I'd never seen any reality T.V. shows until my son was in the hospital a month ago. I watched 6 hours of the wedding dress show.

I swear my son healed more quickly just so he could get away from the bridezillas.

lexicrandall said...

oh. my. heck. Say Yes to the Dress is my favorite!!! You describe it so well because my sisters can hardly sit through one 30 min episode without falling asleep while I, on the other, can watch countless ones in a row.. strange isn't it? :)
scares me because I wonder if i should start saving for a wedding dress at age 16. :s

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