Monday, January 24, 2011

Slothful Pleasures and Trainwreck Television

by Laura Bickle

"I just want to sit on the couch in my underwear, drink Scotch and watch the Real Houswives of New Jersey."

-Dr. Gregory House

Yeah. That about sums it up.

My guilty pleasures center around my most-favorite deadly sin: sloth. I dig sloth. Really, I do. It's a wonderful treat to shove my brain in neutral, put on my fuzzy jammies, park my feet on the ottoman, and watch train-wreck television with a cat on my lap (the cats dig my fuzzy jammies).

And you know what I mean when I talk about train-wreck television. Pick from any of my favorites:

The Real Housewives (any flavor)
Toddlers and Tiaras
The Soup
The Millionare Matchmaker
I Didn't Know I was Pregnant
Say Yes to the Dress
Sister Wives

You get the picture. My husband will occasionally walk by, mutter "WTF," and walk away. I know a lot of folks who manage to forswear the idiot box entirely. But, hey, it's my harmless little vice.

"Why are you watching this?" my husband will say.

"Heh. It's funny."

"Why is a Botox-addicted man in fishnets making love to a vacuum cleaner funny?"

"Well, actually, that's a woman."

And I'll explain...there are two rules of funny:

1. It has to be true

2. It has to be happening to someone else.

Both conditions are conveniently satisfied by trainwreck television.

I know that most intelligent people don't confess to having television vices. We're all supposed to be too smart for that. We're supposed to be making cappucino and reading Tolstoy in our free time. But a half-hour of sequined white dresses, fire code violations, crazy-ass threats, and nut shots makes me laugh.


  1. Bwwahaha!

    Real Tiara Hoarders eat Soup with Millionaire Pregnant Sister-Wives while Tosh plans a Dress Intervention.

    TV vices are the best. HGTV and Food Network are my addictions.

  2. KAK, you MUST pitch that to a network.

    Hell, I'd even DVR Tosh planning a Dress Intervention. Just that part. ;-)

  3. Animal Planet is my weakness. You get me some Animal Cops on and I'm diagnosing like a vet and cursing the bad people like a sailor!

  4. I used to be sort of into the Reality TV stuff - not too much, but sometimes it was nice to sit and rot my brain for a little bit. I still make time for at least the first few episodes of AI, but I really don't have time to watch anything these days.

  5. Wow! Those sound like some seriously freaky shows. Can't say I know any of them besides the toddlers and Tiaras.
    I myself will confess I have an addiction to bad horror movies like: Return of the Living Dead, Feast, Jeepers Creepers, Razorback, Evil Dead and such..

  6. LOL! Love your rules for "funny." I agree. A lot of things I find funny would not be funny if they were happening to me. ;)

  7. @D.F...I can't watch those shows on Animal Planet. I get too pissed off, cry, and want to strangle somebody. :-S

    @Allison...what's AI? *wondering if I've missed some excellent trash television*

    @Sullivan, you're probably lucky that most of them aren't shown in Europe. Toddlers & Tiaras is just...well, you know. ;-)

    @Linda G...I agree. Humor is entirely subjective. ;-)

  8. @Linda B - AI == American Idol. I sorta have a love/hate thing going on with it. I watch it for a little bit and then stop because I get sick of it...and then I watch the finale. I guess I'm a little weird.

  9. Oh no, I get it. I just never seem to find something to watch! I used to watch Man vs. Food, but I'd alwasy get hungry so had to stop that. Now the only thing I make sure to park my butt on my sofa for is Ghost Adventures. I scare myself every week, but I can't stop the addiction.

  10. Laura, I just love the image you draw for us here. Someday I'll have to visit, just so I can wear fuzzy pjs with you and the kitties. For this siren promise of this brain-rest, I'll even watch these shows with you!

  11. Ahhh! I should have picked up on American Idol.

    Danicaavet, Ghost Adventures rocks. So does Ghost Hunters. ;-)

    Jeffe, you are welcome to partake of the brain-rest with fuzzy jammies and the kittehs. I swear...the shows do manage to suck you in!

    Anybody seen Man versus Wild? I can't believe that I forgot to include it on the list. But when a man drinks his own pee in a pseudo-survival situation every week...I have to watch.

  12. Yeah. Well, it's not really a survival situation if Bear Grylls has at least three cameramen with me and can call for a helicopter lift out at any moment in time. IMHO. ;-)

  13. Too bad none of them has a bottle of Gatoraid...

  14. LOL. Loved your post - although the shows that suck me in are all totally different. I could watch NCIS or Criminal Minds for hours. Actually hate reality TV. Maybe I see enough of that sort of thing at work, lol.

  15. I'm with Kerry. After working a support telephone line for a major software company, I'll take fiction, thanks. :D Or science - even really questionable science. Cause then I can drive my family insane debating the could it or couldn't it work of said questionable science.