Google+ Followers

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's Not You, It's Me - No, It IS You: My Break-Up with Reality TV

For those of you haters who said, from the beginning, that it wouldn't last, well all I can say is it lasted longer than you thought it would. But, after years of frenemies, hair weaves, paternity tests, cat fights, trash-talking, Christian Louboutin knock-offs (c'mon, ladies, you think that can of red spray paint does the trick!!), bling, and more bling, it's time to show you the door. That's right, reality TV and I are breaking up!!

It's been a long time coming, and the first question you might ask is why now, after more than a decade spent watching the splendid tackiness of surgically-enhanced people as they traverse the hardships of fake friendships and made-for-TV personal crises for viewers like me.  But, just like I outgrew my Barbies before I hit puberty, I've outgrown these real-life Barbies. Now, this isn't to say that I'm a TV snob or something, but I prefer my soap operas scripted and starring SAG-card carrying actors playing fictional characters who do some really messed up stuff! 

But, I haven't answered the question of why now? Well, it was a clustering of several things, not the least of which was watching Theresa and Joe Giudice of Bravo's "Real Housewives" franchise getting hauled into court stemming from alleged fraud that was a direct result of their lavish spending in support of their reality TV lifestyle. And this wasn't the first time one of the Real Housewives cast members had been popped for overspending in the name of keeping up appearances. I mean, how many mobile hair and makeup teams do you reckon there are in Atlanta, GA?? And seriously, do you ALL need a personal assistant to help you run your empires??

Of course, not all of these concierge-style services are paid for by the Housewives, in fact they receive so much promotional product that it's a wonder how they seem always to be in hot financial water!   

Now, I know it sounds like I'm picking just on the Housewives, which is only fair since they are the best role models for this bad behavior. But the Housewives DNA has established itself far beyond the confines of Bravo, so that now, there is no safe space, not even the History Channel!! 

Look, this is hard for me. We've had some good times, some great times, but there is no rose for you tonight, reality TV:( So pack your knives and go home. Are you still not getting what I'm saying? OK, let me speak to in your language, OK? 

Reality TV, I'm not disrespecting you, but you are no longer "Gone With the Wind" fabulous! No, I'm not straight up tripping, but at the end of the day, I have to be Team Me. I know we'd all like some closure, if you think that I'm going to come crawling back to you with remote control in hand, well hell to the no!

That sounded harsh, didn't it? I'm sorry. There are so many things that I'll miss about you. The way you make me wait until after the commercial break to find out if NeNe/Theresa/Jill/The Countess hit Kim/Caroline/Alexis/Vicki. The way you play that intense music that builds until I find out whether or not the client liked Chef Roble's craw fish. I"ll miss your Tim Gunn Saves, your Heidi Klum "Auf wiedersehen", your trips to Mood, and your last-minute trip to the Piperlime/Lord & Taylor's/Macy's accessories wall. I'll miss your augmented breasts, your plastic-surgery reveal parties, and your love of clear heels. I'll miss your constant use of rented limos and car services for everything from winery trips to 30-minute drives to dinner parties hosted by other cast members. I'll miss that you call people who are your alleged friends on a show that's supposed to be based in reality "castmates". I'll miss that every cast engagement and pregnancy guarantees a limited-run spin-off where we get to meet more tacky people! But, what I'll especially miss is the 60-minute vacation that my brain got to enjoy each time I tuned in to see the mundane goings-on of people desperate for the attention. If you need me, I'll be reading:)                      

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"You're Not as Cute as You Think You Are"

On a recent episode of HBO's series, "The Newsroom," Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels), tells his executive producer/former love interest MacKenzie McHale (played by the squishy-faced actress Emily Mortimer), "You're not as cute as you think you are." It was a simple and yet powerful statement that resonated far beyond the action of that episode. I think we can all relate to people in our everyday lives whose behaviors veer from totally adorbs to really annoying, and so herewith, my list of winners in the first annual "You're Not as Cute as You Think You Are" Awards, and the envelope please:

  1. Adorbs, totes, champs - Cutesy-speak, defined as that so clever shortening of words and phrases, where "totally adorable" becomes "totes adorbs" and "crazy" becomes "cray cray" is all the rage, but how did this virus spread? Some blame those texting 13-year-olds of yore who, with their ancient Sidekicks, were looking for keyboard shortcuts. And then came Twitter with its 140-characters and soon the virus had a new host. It then made the leap to prime time television, aided by the now-defunct ABC sitcom "Happy Endings", and the character Penny Hartz. Once established on one of the Big Three networks, it then blazed through the reality TV backwoods, spawning new additions like "glamping" (glamorous camping), in which one hikes in heels and drinks plenty of bubbly (or "champs", you know, as in champagne). 
  2. Zooey Deschanel, Katherine Heigl, Mindy Kaling, Chloe Sevigny, That Guy from Season 12 of "Project Runway" who's obsessed with unicorns, Rae Dawn Chong (how dare you go after Oprah...OPRAH??!!), Leslie Mann, The Entire Cast of "Girls", Jane Levy from "Suburgatory", Andy Sandberg, Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally" (you were quite insufferable!), Ann Hathaway
  3. Anyone over the age of 21 wearing a t-shirt that depicts a cartoon character, television show or commercial brand from the 1960s, 1970s, or 1980s, including, but not limited to, the Kool-Aid Man, School House Rock, Fat Albert, Captain Crunch, Strawberry Shortcake, Thunder Cats. 
  4. Anyone over the age of 18 wearing their hair in 2 braids (see Cindy Brady)
  5. Overuse of the word "ironic" as a means of establishing intellectual superiority when partaking of the popular. For example, "I'm ironically watching every episode of Duck Dynasty/Here Comes Honey Boo Boo/Double Divas/The Golden Girls" or "I'm ironically having my 30th birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese."
  6. Oral hashtagging - "He's soooo cute #MyFutureExBoyfriend"
  7. Knit caps when temperatures are above 40-degrees Fahrenheit
  8. Ghostwriting blogs for your dog, cat, hamster
  9. Theme parties which require guests to dress as characters from TV shows ("Mad Men", "Golden Girls"), movies ("Mildred Pierce", "The Wiz"), or referencing cartoon action figures (latex, anyone??)
  10. Declaring (proudly) your multiple food allergies at the coffee shop/grocery store/restaurant/food festival/farmers market
  11. Making every statement sound like a question - "I have a skinny decaf latte?"