a whiff of elitism…

…that’s what seems to cling to me. There are so many things devoured by the American public that puzzle me. Creed. Lindsay Lohan. Titanic. Any movie involving the last name Focker. Blue Collar TV. I don’t mean to be all, “Oh, what a horribly bourgeois, low-brow thing that is. How can you possibly find that interesting?” But the truth is there is a lot of popular culture that I think sucks big pointy rocks.

Reality TV falls into this category for me. So many times I have tried to watch one reality show or another and turned it off almost immediately. Why? Because I find little to no entertainment in watching insufferable people backstabbing one another. Nor do I enjoy people humiliating themselves or others. I have several friends who are fascinated by reality TV because they like to watch the psychology involved, but I come across plenty of people in my everyday life that I want to slap for their cluelessness, meanness or arrogance. Why would I put myself through that willingly for the sake of “entertainment”?

However.

I find myself getting sucked into a couple of reality shows against my will. I struggle and struggle against them with all of my might, but to no avail. I am, without a doubt, hooked.

Hooked on The Surreal Life and Celebrity Fit Club.

I’d say that maybe it’s the appeal of celebrities which pulls me in, but there are many celebrity-focused shows that I have no interest in, including the first two installments of The Surreal Life, even when re-run on VH1. I’d try to watch an episode, decide that watching Ron Jeremy and Tammy Faye Baker get all sweet on each other wasn’t of any interest, then turn the channel to Good Eats, or whatever else might be on.

But during the last season, when I stumbled on it, I watched a few minutes of it and was unable to turn away. I tried to catch every episode after that. I’m finding myself do that again with the current season.

“Why?” I ask myself. “Why am I watching this? These aren’t even celebrities I’ve always loved!”

Then it dawned on me. It’s the Nice Guy Factor.

Last season had Dave Coulier. This season has Christopher Knight. Neither of the shows these gentlemen are known for are ones with a special place in my heart. Full House made my teeth ache with all that saccharine and, heretic though I may be, I’ve never had any enduring love for The Brady Bunch (except for the multi-part Hawaii episode – my deep, abiding, long-lived adoration of Vincent Price made that one special).

But Dave and Chris are so cute and sweet and freaking normal I just want to curl up with them on that U-shaped sofa and cuddle and talk all night long.

I guess I just have a soft spot for Nice Guys.

As for Celebrity Fit Club, I like the way they frame the events of the two weeks preceding each weigh-in (though more of the behind the scenes would be good), I’m rooting for Kim Coles and Wendy Kaufman, and it’s interesting.

But, most of all, I think Mia Tyler rocks. She’s gorgeous and she’s got much the same attitude about her weight as I do about mine, and I love how she gets in the drill sergeant’s face when he intimates – or outright says – that she looks like a whale. While I know he’s not there to be liked, but to get the contestants moving and exercising, no matter the method, I still want to be right there with Mia so that we can smack him together. Granted, forgetting to pack her freaking sneakers when going to work out is unbelievably lame, but I still like her lots. I just may be getting a girl crush on her.

I think I’ve got two new appointment series. Oh, dear VH1 reality programming. You and I will just to spend our hours in a dark, dark corner and not speak of our forbidden love to anyone.

(BTW, why is VH1 constantly rerunning all of the My Coolest Years episodes, except for “The Geeks”? It’s the only one I really want to see! I shall have to have a stern word with them…)

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