Monday, September 20, 2010

Old friends, new love

Not only have I gone months without updating my blog, I went months without watching On the Road with Austin and Santino.  Oh, if I could turn back time!

Seriously, this show is a perfect little dreamy bite-sized strawberry cupcake.  Austin Scarlett and Santino Rice are former Project Runway contestants (from back in the day that I actually watched the show, aka when it was on Bravo) from season one and season two, respectively.  Now they're BFF and traveling the country designing dresses for women with special events.  And it's an absolute delight.

Here's the thing: they're going to small towns, designing for things like beauty pageants and birthday parties and bachelorette parties.  This show could definitely be snarky and unkind.  It could take every opportunity to make fun of small town life and small town women.

But it's not.  Every episode of this show has me in tears at the end, because the women are always beautiful, and Austin and Santino are genuinely enthusiastic about they do, genuinely kind to every woman they design for, and have a really fun and wonderful friendship.  It's not a makeover; they're not there to tell these women what's wrong with how they dress and how they can change it.  They're there to help them celebrate a special occasion in a beautiful dress.

Beautiful dresses are one of the best things about being a girl.  I don't get to wear them nearly enough, but dresses are one of my favorite things.  I love beautiful, well-made dresses, dresses with full skirts you can spin around in, dresses that sparkle, dresses dresses dresses.  I have dresses in my closet that I've only worn once and I'll never get rid of them but I'll never wear again because they're all tied up in my mind with the night I wore them.  And it's silly because they're only clothes, but they're like little friends in my closet who remind me of that moment when I felt beautiful.  Austin and Santino are giving away that moment: that moment when you know you look amazing, the best version of yourself, that moment when you feel like the prettiest girl at the party, that moment when you feel people's eyes on you.

This show has a huge heart.  And the biggest surprise is Santino.  I loved him on PR, but he definitely had an acerbic, biting wit that rubbed some people the wrong way.  Here, he's warm and caring and dear God, he's hysterical.  They're both hysterical.  I need to figure out a way to move in with them or give them their own channel.

Also, I found my wedding dress in episode five.  I just need Austin to re-create it for me.  And then I need to find someone to marry and stuff.  I can't find a picture of it online, but go here and if for some reason you don't want to watch the entire delightful episode, scroll ahead to about 18:40 and there you have it.

The only thing that could make this show better is if Tim Gunn showed up.  In the meantime, let's reminisce about Project Runway back in the days where I never missed an episode.

(On the Road with Austin and Santino airs on Lifetime on Thursday nights after Project Runway.  If you watched the first two seasons of Runway at all you will love this show.  Set your DVR.  For realsies.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

ashamed of myself

I come here with my head hung in shame.

I have weeks worth of Teen Mom unwatched on my DVR.

I could care less about the Real Housewives of DC.

I forgot to set my DVR for the new season of AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL.

I am a terrible bad TV fan and blogger.  I hope now that it's fall I'll be more inclined to spend time indoors watching things and writing about them.  But if I forget to set my DVR for The Amazing Race I should probably just give up altogether.

Hopefully you and Tyra will forgive me for my lack of output this summer.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Teen Mom! I missed you!

I am ashamed to admit I totally forgot Teen Mom was premiering last night until I went to a friend's house for wine and dinner and he reminded me.  So we curled up with some ice cream and raw cookie dough and dug in for another season of Teen Mom amazingness.  Quick thoughts on each mom, coming up:

1. Yo, Amber and Gary: "The heat of the moment"?  Did you not figure out what got you pregnant the last time around?  I know it might be hard to find a condom with all the lounging Gary's doing, but seriously.  Wrap that up.  Or visit a happy place called Planned Parenthood and get thee on the pill.  While Leah is the cutest baby on the show (closely followed by Bentley), I don't really want to see you guys have another one.

2. Break my heart, Catelynn and Tyler.  BREAK MY HEART.  Seriously.  Seeing that one lone tear roll down Tyler's face when he said "I just miss my daughter" turned my stomach inside out.  And Catelynn having to move back to the House of Mullet...those poor kids.  I hope they can make their relationship work long-term because he's such a good guy.  I totally agree with Tyler's mom for asking Catelynn to leave, though; regardless of what they've been through I don't think teenagers in a relationship should live together.

3. Maci: YOU GO GIRL.  Way to take that loser Ryan's ass to court for refusing to pay child support.  She seems to be the mom who has it the most together - but she also seems to have the most supportive family.  It's refreshing to see a teenage girl on this show standing up to one of these asshole boyfriends.  And according to US Weekly she has a new, fantastic boyfriend, so I'm interested to see how that dynamic plays out.

4. Farrah.  Farrah, Farrah, Farrah.  Your mom had no right to hit you, but you are the most irritating person ever, and I think a cat is probably a better mother then you are.  Pick up that screaming, crying baby and put her to bed instead of yelling at her to "stop crying."  I want to feel bad for you, but you and your mom are so insufferable, I can't.  I'm intrigued by the season preview showing her finally talking about her baby daddy - it's never been dealt with on the show, but Sophia's father was killed in a car accident shortly before or after Sophia was born, I can't remember which.  I think exploring that would make Farrah way more sympathetic.

I am so excited to have this show back.  Wahoo!

Monday, June 28, 2010

An Open Letter to the Ladies of New Jersey

Dear Real Housewives of New Jersey:

Look, last year was great.  It really was.  But things are different this year, and there are some things I want to talk to you about that are bothering me that I think you can work on.

1. If I have to hear Teresa brag one more time about all the sex she's having with her greasy goombah bankrupt husband, I'm going to throw some ham at the TV.  And we all know how Caroline feels about people throwing ham.

2. And while we're on the topic of Teresa, if there's any way to get her hairline a little further away from her eyebrows, I would really appreciate it.

3. And in a similar but opposite note, why don't you take the space needed for Teresa's forehead from Danielle's, because she has some stretched-taut room to spare.

4. Danielle: you are crazy.  Not only for the obvious reasons, but also because when you threaten to take your business away from a local boutique, you say "they'll miss my money."  Um.  I thought you couldn't afford to fix up your house to sell it?  How much money are you spending on clothes?  Could it perhaps be better spent on, you know, your crumbling ceilings?  I feel like Danielle's beyond professional psychological help here, but there's nothing here that a good financial planner couldn't fix.

5. Caroline.  You do not have an empty nest.  Because ALL THREE of your ADULT CHILDREN live at home.  Stop crying about it.  Maybe use that time instead to think about where you might have led them astray since, you know, they're over 18 and LIVING AT HOME.

6. And while we're on the topic of adult children on this show, why are they all useless?  And why are their parents surprised that they're so useless?  I mean, someone had to raise them, right?

7. Jacqueline needs to find something to do.  Besides complain about Danielle.

8. Actually, that goes for everyone.

9. In conclusion, I miss Grandma Wrinkles.

New Jersey, you're no NYC, but I want to love you.  I hope we can make it work.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

I finally get it!

(Okay, first, I apologize for my absence.  Summer in Minnesota is interfering with my reality TV viewing.  It'll get better in the fall.)

I just finished hour three of Real Housewives of New York City reunion special insanity, and I had a brainwave.

You know why I like these crappy TV shows so much?  Because they make me feel so wonderful and normal by comparison.

Three hours of watching grown women yell at each other like they're on the 5th grade playground has done it.  I can count on one hand (without using many fingers!) the number of screaming, yelling fights I've had with a friend after the age of 18.  I really can.  Friendships aren't about fighting and cattiness and bitterness; they're about finding like-minded people or people whose viewpoints you had never even considered and loving it and (I hate to use a phrase Kelly Bensimon uses) celebrating the people who land in your life.

And these Housewives claim they're all such good friends, but, man, if I found out that my friends were talking about me or found myself talking about them the way those women talk about each other, I would just have to give up and sequester myself in my house with my cat and never go outside again.

It's all about the lowest common denominator.  I've believed this since my first casting gig in reality TV and I believe it to this day: the kind of people who would reveal their lives to that degree in such a public forum have something wrong in their heads.  I would die if I was on national TV looking the way I look first thing in the morning, or the way I am when I'm crying and snotty and irrational, or the way I act when I've had a few too many.  But these people put it all out there, and whether it's brave or foolhardy, it really puts things into perspective.

I mean, okay, sometimes I have disagreements with people.  But at least my disagreements aren't replayed on Saturday marathons on national TV.  And sometimes you say and do things you only mean in one instant that you regret the next, but at least it's not captured on film for all time.  My moments of anger and unkindness and sadness are private, and only I have to relive the discomfort of that time where I really wasn't the best person I could be.

So when I'm feeling particularly low, all I have to do is click on my TV and watch someone who signed a release form they probably didn't really read do something they regret and I can think, "Hey!  It's not so bad!  At least my life isn't a TV show and I don't have to watch this for the rest of my life anywhere but inside of my head!"

In a weird way, thanks, Housewives, for letting yourselves be exploited.  It reminds me that even though my clothes may not be as fabulous and my hair might not be as shiny, at least I'm emotionally stable, which is better then any piece of incredible footwear.

(Even though I'd sign on for one day of complete and total reality TV humiliation to get my hands on Jill Zarin's amazing teal shoes from the reunion show.  Did you see those?  Hello.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs

Um, what the hell happened on Real Housewives of New York last night?  I thought last week's episode was bananapants, but Kelly Bensimon has clearly and totally lost her mind.

To recap: Ramona is renewing her wedding vows (because 17 years is a milestone, and it's not a season of Real Housewives without some big ridiculous event at the end of the season), and to celebrate, she is re-living her bachelorette weekend in St. John's with Alex, Bethenny, Kelly, and new girl Sonja.  Last week the ladies were on a yacht, where Kelly oddly blew up at Bethenny about being a cook instead of a chef, then called her a ho-bag, the ladies found a Hooters yacht to hang out on, and everything seemed to be okay.

Until this week.  The ladies departed the yacht and moved the crazy action to a villa.  Bethenny brings a gift bag for each of the women (sure, it's SkinnyGirl branded, but who doesn't love a gift bag?) which brings Kelly to tears of rage.  Kelly also brought down a pad of paper to breakfast and announced everyone should write down their complaints on it.  And then after a weird photo shoot session on the beach, Bethenny makes dinner for all the women and...whoa.



Slow your roll, Kelly.  Whether she was tweaking out from too much coke/not enough coke/having an actual mental breakdown/whatever...what was this nonsense?  She called Alex a vampire, said Bethenny was trying to kill her, started randomly yelling "Al Sharpton!  Al Sharpton!", was shoveling Gummi Bears into her mouth at an alarmingly rapid pace (for someone who claims to not eat high fructose corn syrup), among other things.  

It was funny for a while, but then it got really, really disturbing.  And this is where, for me, the reality TV line of "so bad it's good" and "wait...this is not okay" got crossed.  Kelly, from what was presented on last night's episode, is obviously having some kind of mental break.  Whether it's drugs or brain chemistry or what, something really messed up is going on in her head, and this is a woman with two small children to raise.  According to Bethenny's blog, what we saw on-air was "tame" compared to what really happened, and all the women were scared for Kelly's safety.  Clearly exposing her life on TV is not a healthy thing for Kelly to do.  There's nothing Bravo can do about it now - this season is shot and edited, and she signed the releases and the episodes are going to air.  But I'm curious to see if Kelly will be returning to the franchise if there's a season 4.  She's kind of unhinged, in a way that's not super fun to watch anymore.  I'm sure Andy Cohen has a huge reality TV boner thinking about the ratings and the buzz the last two episodes have generated right about now.

On a lighter note, there was a moment in last night's episode where Ramona was handed another glass of wine and took it without even looking at it, which made me die laughing.  Jezebel has a clip of it here.  You know things are getting rough in RHONYC land when crazy-eyed Ramona is the sane one.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the people behind the reality

Meet Doron Ofir, the Man Behind 'Jersey Shore'

In case you ever wondered what it takes to find the people whose exploits disgust and entertain me/you/reality TV viewers, here's a sample.  Doron Ofir is a casting producer who's been around since 2000, bringing you the Situation, Snooki, the millionaires of Millionaire Matchmaker, the skanks of A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, among others.  And what Shelly Tatro, VH1's VP of creative programming, says about him sums up reality TV casting: "He puts desperate people together and gets inside their heads.  He's very gifted."

And the man himself doesn't have a lofty point of view about what he does: "We are pioneers of an ugly age.  Our business is like a short bus."

As a former casting producer, I can tell you HE. IS. SO. RIGHT.  I worked for a period of time on a show about extramarital affairs and spent my days finding people who had not only had extramarital affairs, but would talk to a stranger about it on the phone in detail, would sign a 7 page release form saying they would talk about that extramarital affair on camera, would get the other participants in that extramarital affair to agree to either talk about it on camera or sign off on it being talked about on camera, and who were all, in the end, pretty damn excited about talking about that extramarital affair on camera.  They were the lowest common denominator, people who had done something terrible and wanted nothing more then to talk about it.

Whether reality TV is the symptom or the disease isn't something I can figure out.  But the fact of the matter is, we live in a fame obsessed society, and there are some people in this fame obsessed society who want nothing more then to be famous for something, anything.  And the feeling I always got about the people who would actually call me, someone they would never meet, and tell me all about that time they did the worst thing you could do to your significant other, was that this was the most interesting thing that had ever happened to them.  And if it could make them "famous" for a minute, an half-hour, a day, they were all for it.

And it was kind of sad, and I felt a little dirty and weird asking people "tell me all about the first time you and so-and-so hooked up" when I don't even ask my friends that, but at the same time, it paid my bills, and I found it fascinating.  Not just for the stories they'd tell me, but for their willingness to share them with me.  In a way, it's an anthropological experiment, which is how Ofir looks at it: "I know for a fact that any place where there is a culture, there's a show.  We obsess over every subculture or interesting, existing world.  Everything and everyone can be turned into reality television."

Obviously there's a good way to hold a mirror up to subcultures (True Life is a great example) and a bad way (sorry, Jersey Shore), but the guy has a point.  Have you ever known so much about drag queens or fashion designers or huge families or kids who live in Jersey?  And of course no representation is accurate, and editing is editing, and writing happens on these shows, and we're fools to think that there isn't, but at the same time - I've never met anyone like Snooki my entire life.  But on TV, in a way, I get to meet her.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bret Michaels: An Appreciation

The dirtiest of my dirty reality TV secrets?  Hands down, without a doubt, Rock of Love, in all of its incarnations.  I started watching it thinking it would be Flavor of Love-esque: a whole lot of bottom-of-the-barrel girls doing ridiculous things to win a totally unappealing man with a clock around his neck and bad teeth.

But Bret Michaels is no Flava Flav.  Oh no.  Here's the thing: Rock of Love brought what I loved about FoL (crazy skanks, ridiculous challenges), but also revealed the kind of awesome person Bret Michaels appeared to be.  He was unfailingly sweet and polite to the crazy drunk girls in his care (hello, he kissed a girl almost immediately after she vomited up Doritos and tequila!), he played "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" with genuine emotion (of course, if a song was paying my bills two decades after I wrote it, I'd be into it too), and he appeared to have a serious sense of humor about the show.  Also, he's not hard to look at.  While he doesn't look like his Poison 80s self anymore (see: right), he also hasn't aged in a fashion where it's completely ridiculous to think women may still want to have sex with him.

I don't doubt that he was genuinely into some of the girls, but you could tell he found the whole situation totally insane sometimes.  And come on: "HIYO!"  The dude's hilarious.

As I've previously mentioned on this blog, I've had the opportunity to meet some really random "celebrities" in the past few years, mostly reality stars, but Bret Michaels has eluded my grasp.  Not for a lack of trying, though, as I have attended (more then one) concert(s) and managed to meet other members of his entourage.  Like right-hand man Big John (left)!  And bassist Dirty Ray (bottom right)!  And yes, I showered thoroughly after these photo ops.  Briefly I considered making my 2009 Christmas cards out of the photos I have with members of the Bret Michaels Band...but then I realized many of the photos of the nights in question really have no business being transported through the U.S. Postal Service.

But in any case, this post isn't about my questionable behavior at his concerts, this post is about the man, the myth, the legend, Bret Michaels.  Here's the thing: when I heard about his brain going all haywire, I was really legitimately bummed out.  Not because there are more trashy rock shows I need to attend in this lifetime, and not because I still don't have a picture with him, but because he seems like such a good guy.  He loves his fans, he loves the music that made him famous, and he really seems to appreciate everything he's been given.  I was reading an article in People last month (before all of his health problems) about him and his daughters and their Arizona home and I was like, dang, I want to go to Bret's for a barbecue.  And I'm not even kidding when I say I would have shed a tear for the guy if he hadn't pulled through.  Of course, I cry at Humane Society commercials but still.

Part of it is the music, because I grew up with teenage siblings in the 1980s and in a way, I know the hair bands of that era better then I know the boy bands of my high school days.  And Rock of Love really is one of my favorite reality shows ever.  And I've had some of the best times I've ever had at a concert at his concerts, with friends who share a not-so-secret admiration for the man in the bandana.  Who doesn't like to sing along to "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"?  But the biggest part of it is he is fun to watch.  Whether it's on TV or at a concert, he's a good guy having a good time and he wants you to have a good time too.  I mean, he's got a song about it!  I don't want nothin' but a good time either, Bret!

And it is with a somewhat heavy heart that I say, Bret, if this experience has made you marriage-minded and that means the end of Rock of Love, then I'm okay with that.  From this week's People:
"As painful as this experience has been, I was given a second chance, right?  I don't want to sit around every night worrying this is going to happen again.  What I want to do is make a positive bucket list and say, 'I'm just gonna go for it.'  There's just so much more I want to do and experience.  [Getting married], for sure, is something I have never done.  Kristi's such a great person.  We'll see if that happens.  But yes, that may be one of the big things on the list.  My first goal is to get back to 100 percent.  I want to continue to rock the world, and I want to continue to love my family and be a good father."
Cheers, buddy.  Get well soon.  And then come back to Minnesota so I can make an ass out of myself at a concert and get that picture with you I need to complete the collection.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Yay Bret!

Bret Leaves Hospital, Will Recover

This is seriously very exciting.  I have been mulling over a Bret Michaels appreciation post for a while, but it felt a little too much like a premature obituary.  Now that it appears he is going to live and getting a full set of photos with the Bret Michaels Band is still an option for me, I feel much more inspired.  Stick around, I'll try to make that happen this weekend.

I am tragically behind on all things blog because I am tragically behind on all things TV because I am never home to watch anything anymore.  I did watch Real Housewives of New Jersey, and man, am I glad to see those crazy bitches back again.  I missed their lunacy.  More to come on that as well, but in the meantime, check out Danielle's straight up nuts blog.  Holy crap.

Is anyone else really excited to see Alex flipping out on Jill on Real Housewives of NYC tomorrow night?

More to come!  Promise!  Kisses!

Monday, April 26, 2010

break my heart!

I'm going to pretend I didn't hear my future husband Jet talking about his wife and 17-month-old daughter on The Amazing Race last night.  I'd appreciate it if you'd all help me continue to live in my state of denial.

Anyway, WOAH.  Holy good episode.  The teams headed off to Shanghai and had to do a series of non-physical but incredibly difficult tasks.  Between noodle-making and dressing models at the fashion house and putting together a huge puzzle at the football was an intense leg.  And I'm happy to say that for the first time ever watching The Amazing Race I didn't pick up on it being a non-elimination leg until Phil told the detectives that they weren't going home just yet.  Nice work.  I can't remember having a non-elimination leg this late in the game before?

And of course my wonderful cowboys came in first.  But let's talk strategy for a minute.  Brent and Caite, aka "the models", aka Miss Teen South Carolina and her doofy boyfriend, made a big deal about U-Turning Brandy and Carol (sending them back to complete an extra task) last week because one time Carol said something disparaging about Caite being a dumb beauty queen.  Brandy and Carol were eliminated as a result of that decision.

Okay, fine, take out your seventh grade aggressions, but that decision didn't help the models at all this week.  At.  All.  I say this with a heart full of love for the cowboys, but what kind of idiots do you have to be to not knock out the team that's placed first four times now?  And instead take out a team that hadn't placed first once?  On a reality show where you hardly ever see the other contestants, let alone talk to them?  I mean, they can take offense to people thinking she's a dumb beauty queen, but, um, you kind of are.  Hello.  Strategy is not about feelings.  I'm really hoping the detectives can make a comeback next week and send those dumb bunnies back on the stupid ship from whence they came.

I've barely been home at all lately, which leaves little time for things like cleaning and feeding my cat, let alone watching reality TV and writing about it.  I have a whole two and a half hours of 16 and Pregnant to watch!  Sacrilege!

Also: Bret Michaels?  Get better soon, dude.  Seriously.  For all his making-out-with-Playmates on VH1-ness, he seems like a genuinely good guy who loves what he does, and he has two little girls at home, plus people like me who won't be satisfied until I've met all the members of the Bret Michaels Band after a show at a casino.  Right now the only one I'm missing is Bret, so, you know, buddy, you need to get out of the hospital and make that happen for me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dang it, VH1

While VH1 hasn't fallen out of love with irreverence, it's also no longer in the business of getting Bret Michaels laid. Instead, the Viacom net is prepping a slate of unscripted series designed to more faithfully reflect the concerns of its core demographic. "As much as they've enjoyed the 'Love' franchise, our audience was getting a little fatigued by all those manufactured reality shows," said Tom Calderone, president, VH1. "They want more authenticity in their reality, which isn't to say that it can't be comedic and light."

Look, VH1, I'm still in the business of watching TV shows about getting Bret Michaels laid, so you just go right back into that development room and don't you come out until you figure out a way to make that happen on my TV again.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Truth vs. Fiction

I probably should have been watching Glee last night.  As a savvy media professional who spends way too much time reading up on industry news, they're probably going to take away my membership card for not tuning into this year's television phenomenon.

Here's a little secret: I don't really like scripted television.  The list of shows I've never really gotten into is endless.  Lost, 24, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Friday Night Lights...I mean, I have tried.  I have tried to watch these shows.  But I just can't.  And it turns out, the only one-hour dramas I really love are the first two seasons of Grey's Anatomy, season one of Felicity, and currently, Mad Men.  Half-hour comedies are a different story, even though my consumption of those is limited as well, but nothing beats a good Golden Girls or The Office rerun.

Previously, I have publicly blamed this on the fact that since I went to school for TV and took classes in writing for TV, I just know too much about how shows are structured to really relax and enjoy them.  And that's partially true - my brain starts working overtime, picking out the A story and the B story and figuring out when commercial breaks are coming - but the real reason is bigger.

I find scripted TV boring.

And there you go.

I don't like the American model of scripted television.  Without having a specific end date in mind, writers are forced to endlessly expand a story that was always better told in two to three seasons.  I was really into Lost for the first season.  But that show was poorly, poorly served by not having a specific end date in mind, because the second season was terrible.  Terrible!  And I didn't have the patience to stick with it.  The same story with Grey's Anatomy.  The first season of that show was genius.  And most of the second season was too, because so much was going on and so many stories were being told.  But then you got to season three and we all realized they weren't even through the first year of their internship program yet.  That's when Shonda Rimes and company started spinning their wheels and things like Izzie and George, Izzie and the dead deer, Izzie and the ghost of Denny (basically any storyline involving Izzie) started to happen and it was bad.  Bad bad bad.

It's a bigger symptom of how hard it is for TV shows to make money, and needing to get to a certain amount of episodes to go into syndication or release DVD sets, but in the end, storytelling always suffers when there's no end in sight.  The Brits have it right.  Their TV seasons are almost like extended mini-series, which makes a show into event television and serves creativity by giving writers something to work towards.

Why do I love reality?  Because it's self contained.  Because the story goes on as long as people are alive.  Because I can watch 14 episodes of America's Next Top Model and be cranky with Tyra for a while but then my commitment is over, and some of you have been irritated by Lost for 6 years now.  (Clearly I have the attention span of a gnat.)

I also love reality because the thing I fell in love with in film school was documentary film.  And like or not, reality TV (especially things like 16 and Pregnant, Be Good Johnny Weir, etc.) is the new documentary film.  I find real people fascinating.  I find what real people do fascinating.  And my TV is filled with it.

So I'll download the latest songs from Glee, and I'll probably watch the series finale of Lost just to see what happens, but in the meantime, I'll be over here with my DVR full of housewives and overweight people and aspiring models and pregnant teens.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bad TV Brings Friends Together

The following is a real email exchange with my LA BFF regarding the Style Network show Ruby*:

From: Josie
I am watching an episode of Ruby where she visits LA.  Her LA best friend is named Brittany.  I immediately recognized her as Brittany Daniel**, one half of the duo of twins that played Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield on the Sweet Valley High TV series.
I don't know what's weirder; that she's Ruby's LA BFF or that there is a part of my brain occupied by knowing who Brittany Daniel is.

From: LA BFF
To: Josie
Dude!  I thought that's who it was!  Thanks for confirming!

From: Josie
HAHAHAHAHA.  I'm love that I am not the only person on the planet who knows these things.

So there!  My love of bad TV isn't just a frivolous pastime!  It provides opportunities to connect with friends in faraway lands!  Thanks, Ruby!

*Ruby is a lovely little show about a Savannah, Georgia woman's journey to lose weight.  She once weighed 700 pounds and is now down to less then 350.  Her goal is to weigh 150.  It's on Sunday nights, which makes it a no-go for my overcrowded DVR, so I catch it in reruns.  Whenever I do see it, I love it.  It's The Biggest Loser for normal people with no Trainer Bob product placement.  However, it does feature the same amount of weeping, both by people on screen and those watching.

**IMDB tells me that Brittany Daniel is credited as a consulting executive producer on Ruby.  Hmm.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

blogger's block

I want nothing more then to share catty tidbits about my favorite tee-vee shows with you, my fine feathered friends, but MAN, do I ever have a case of writer's block.  Said writer's block may be brought on by the insanely warm Minnesota spring that's keeping me out of doors, drinking cocktails, and enjoying the sunshine after nuclear winter, instead of indoors, drinking cocktails, and enjoying the fruits of my DVR.

But here's a few things:

1. Um, holy Mean Girls over on Real Housewives of NYC.  I got really, really uncomfortable watching all of Bethenny and Jill's confrontations in the last two episodes (which I watched back-to-back this weekend).  They're both obviously really hurt - Bethenny's tears just about did me in, since as previously discussed, I'm totally Team B.  When did Jill turn into such a hell beast on wheels?  Maybe this article holds the answers.  Next week looks positively delightful between Ramona's crazy eyed runway walk and Bethenny getting herself knocked up.

2. Caite and Brent on The Amazing Race are...just...ugh.  Ew.  Can they please go home soon and stop torturing my TV every week?  And that'd make some more room for my future husband Jet.  Thanks, CBS.

3. Remind me to thank Tyra Banks for this season's crop of Top Model girls.  Between Angelea's Hammer dance and Alaysia's silver lame judging outfit and Anslee losing her poop over frozen veggies, it's been positively delightful.  (Coincidence all the crazy bitches' names start with "A"?)  I've always said the appeal of ANTM is watching tall skinny bitches lose their shit, and this season is living up to every one of my expectations.

4. A little birdie tells me Bret Michaels wept tonight on Celebrity Apprentice.  My DVR is already too busy on Sunday nights (between Amazing Race and Life) to capture the magic, but you bet your bandana I'll be checking that out on Hulu.  Perhaps a tribute to my favorite aging rocker will be coming your way soon.

5. On a business note, I am now the proud momma of the domain  Update your bookmarks thusly!  (Of course the blogspot address will still get you here...but why not make my $10 investment worthwhile?)

Monday, April 5, 2010

To My Future Husband

Dear Jet:

Have I told you lately that I love you?  Sunday's The Amazing Race might have been the most exciting episode I've seen since I started watching the show.  You and my future brother-in-law, Cord, were in last place.  LAST.  PLACE.  You also were spared elimination in the last leg and therefore had to do a Speed Bump (one extra task that no other team has to do) over the course of Sunday night's leg in Malaysia.  So that's, like, double last place.  

I'm not going to lie to you, Jet.  I was worried.  I didn't think that you and Cord could get out of last place.  Last week you made some pretty dumb mistakes, and all the teams are doing pretty well now, and even though everyone arrived in Malaysia on the same flight so you didn't have a ton of catching up to do, your initial cab trouble at the airport had me biting my nails.  And I really love you (and your brother, but you most of all), and I really want you to win, because that million dollars would be great for you and me once we get married.  I know we haven't met in person yet or anything, but anyway, I hear weddings are expensive and some cash would help.

But then, oh, Jet, but then you came through for me like you always do.  You and Cord finished the Detour before I realized you had started the Detour.  This is when I really love The Amazing Race; when one of the tasks the teams have to choose from sounds so easy but is really difficult (like carrying sticks of incense up a flight of 150 stairs...did I mention the sticks were 10 feet long and crazy heavy?) and the other task sounds difficult but is really easy (run 150 yards balancing a pole on your forehead).  And you did it, Jet, and then my heart started to flutter a little bit.

And then you just had to sniff tea for your Speed Bump!  And bring the right tea to the guru!  And you did that and then you did the Roadblock and made a very pretty craft project out of coconuts and sent it out to sea and were back in your cab before any other team even got there!  And then you checked in and Phil raised his eyebrow and said you were in first place and my little heart just tumbled all over itself.  

(Do you think it'd be okay with Cord if you took me on that trip you won to Hawaii instead of him?  I can probably find a friend to set him up with if he's looking for a wife too.)

I'm sorry I doubted you, Jet.  If you promise to marry me, take me away to your ranch, and teach me how to rope cattle, I'll never doubt you again.

Mi corazon!  Mi amor!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

16 and Pregnant: Nicole

Did anyone else want to give tonight's 16 and Pregnant baby daddy a haircut?  Or at least a comb?

Does this make me old?

Another bit of a snoozer this week, in my opinion.  Nicole and Tyler seemed like a sweet couple, albeit a little unmotivated.  He obviously loves her a lot, and loves the baby, which is a refreshing change from the d-bags that were around earlier this season.  Now if only he hadn't been kicked out of school when he was 12 years old.

Watching this show as a (mostly) responsible adult is weird.  It kind of makes me want to stand outside of high schools and hand out condoms.  I mean, what happened to these kids?  I have always (ALWAYS) been terrified of getting pregnant.  Like, legitimately freaked out.  Like, let's wrap both of ourselves in Saran Wrap and then stand in separate rooms and then we can have sex, that sounds like a great idea.  These girls don't appear to have the fear of God in them when it comes to getting knocked up.  And while I grew up in a pretty laid-back household with some pretty cool parents, that was one thing that was definitely on the "do not do" list.

And then you watch tonight's episode and Nicole's mom said that when she found out her 16-year-old daughter, a high school sophomore, was pregnant, she was happy for her, it's like, say what?  Speak into my good ear, woman, did you just say you were happy about your underaged daughter having unprotected sex and having a baby?

I wonder why these girls don't feel like they have choices.  Not just choices between adoption, abortion, or keeping their baby; but choices to have safe sex or have no sex, to go on birth control, to tell their boyfriends no sex without condoms.  And then the mirror gets turned back on all of us, not just their parents, for encouraging a society where underaged girls have a hard time accessing birth control, where girls are made to feel like they can't stand up to their boyfriends (how many of these 16 and Pregnant girls say their boyfriends "don't like" condoms so they didn't use them), where boys aren't taught to take responsibility for their part of the process, where parents are afraid to talk to kids (and vice versa) about their sex lives?

Maybe instead of judging the kids on this show, we should be judging ourselves.  After all, we should know better.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Model Model Model, Model Model Model

(Sing "Model Model Model" to the tune of the original America's Next Top Model theme song and you get where I'm going here.)

Okay, so last night on ANTM the third of my initial three favorites got the boot.  Now, I understand if Tyra is angry with me for not watching the short girl cycle, but look, Five-head, I CAME BACK.  Let's not keep punishing me for one mistake.  In order to keep my Model-love alive, here's a look back at some of my all-time favorite ANTM girls and moments...

Cycle Three, like, all of it
Cycle Three, featuring such luminaries as winner Eva Pigford, legally blind Amanda, and plus-sized Toccara, is the cycle that sucked me into ANTM in the first place.  I was living in Los Angeles, at home and bored on a Sunday afternoon, and I got sucked into a marathon on VH1.  I have never regretted the loss of a Sunday to a reality TV marathon less.

Seriously.  The girls got into a fight because someone carved "Clean Your Shit" into another girl's pan of low-carb brownies.  They also got into a fight because legally blind Amanda misplaced her "crystals" and blamed Eva for it...and it turned out Amanda had hidden them to keep anyone from stealing them.  The girls posed on rollerskates and with a live tarantula and Taye Diggs was the guest during the acting challenge and HOLY CRAP, THIS CYCLE WAS AMAZING.  Also, the girls and the photo shoots were all kind of pretty!  

Elyse Sewell
Elyse was the third runner up on the first cycle of ANTM.  She wrote an article in Jane magazine (man, that was a long time ago) about her experience on the show that I remember reading before I even knew what ANTM was, and it was kind of awesome.  I loved Elyse on cycle 1, and apparently Tyra does too, since ANTM history has now been re-written showing Elyse as the winner.  Adrienne Curry, the actual winner of the first cycle, had a falling-out with Tyra, and now whenever the first cycle is mentioned, it's with Elyse's picture, not with Adrienne's. 

ANYWAY: I love Elyse more for what she did after the show.  She is probably the most successful as a working model out of all the girls, which is amusing considering that in her last interview after getting the boot on the show, she insists she's heading back to medical school.  You can follow her travels on her blog.  

Tyra Loses Her Damn Mind
No joke: I loved this cycle 4 episode so much that a co-worker of mine in Los Angeles gave me his Emmy screener DVD of it and I still have it.  And watch it.

So yeah.  Tyra eliminates Tiffany (who first made a splash when, during tryouts for the previous cycle, got into a barfight with a random girl and memorably yelled "BITCH POURED BEER IN MY WEAVE!"), Tiffany makes light of it, TYRA FREAKS OUT.  I think this is when Tyra turned the corner from somewhat-loveable ex-supermodel to egocentric crazy freakinator.  

Mr. and Miss Jay
For real.  I love these gays.  Mr. Jay and his silver hair (left) seems the most in-touch with reality of all the ANTM "experts" (I know it doesn't take much).  I wish he was on panel more often.

One guy I am glad is no longer on panel is Miss Jay Alexander (right).  His craziness is best experienced in small runway-teach doses.  I find them both wildly entertaining, and they actually turn out some useful advice (as opposed to noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker and Ty-Ty).

Things I Hate/Fast Forward Through
Tyra.  Seriously.  She has become intolerable in the past few cycles.  I'm so glad I have a DVR so I can fast forward through almost all of her speeches during judging panel.  I don't know what is in her Cocoa Puffs but girl needs to dial back on the crazy.  Tyra, it used to be so good.  Then you got a talk show and fancied yourself the next Oprah Winfrey and now we're in this situation now.  Just please don't send home Raina on next week's episode since she's the only one left that I like.  Kisses!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Playing catch-up

Ugh, I am behind the times and lame in so many ways.  Here's what I've been watching this week.

Life: Okay, this probably doesn't fall under the "bad TV" umbrella but I could care less because this show is BLOWING MY MIND.  Holy crap.  I mean, between the adorable baby ibex escaping from the fox (I am not ashamed to say I was yelling "Oprah!  Don't kill the ibex!" while he was running away) and the frog that wraps itself into a little ball to bounce down the mountain, like, holy poo, the production value on this show is unreal.  Even if you think you don't like nature shows, do me a favor and check out at least an hour's worth of this series.  It'll make your HDTV worth every penny.  Plus, ibexes are adorable.

Kell on Earth: I hate to say it but this show is getting a little tired for me.  Kelly Cutrone is still fairly entertaining, but the failings of the company are getting old and I want them to hire a HR representative.  Then maybe they could do background checks to avoid hiring people who get arrested for stealing and to also find some non-crazies to fill the ranks.  Seeing their job interviewing process in this week's episode (a glass of wine and a "so you can do lifestyle PR, right?"), I'm not surprised anymore that half of their staff has quit or been fired since this series started.  I used to feel bad for Stefanie Skinner and the bags under her eyes for not getting any help, but it's abundantly clear that she is a sadist who has no self worth unless she is crazy overworked.  The season ends next week, but never fear, Cutrone fans: you'll be seeing her on The City on MTV in just a few weeks.

Be Good Johnny Weir: Why aren't you watching this yet?  Seriously.  I thought Monday's episode was going to be the last one of this series, but an interview I read with Johnny seemed to indicate there were more episodes coming dealing with the Olympics.  Monday's episode dealt with the U.S. Nationals, and (hilariously) Evan Lysacek would not allow the footage of his (not-so-great) performance to be used on Johnny's show.  So Johnny's Russian-reporter character interrupted to narrate Evan's performance.  I kind of hate Evan Lysacek based solely on this show.  And Johnny was robbed at the Olympics.  The end.

16 and Pregnant: You didn't think a week would go by without some pregnant teens, did you?  I managed not to cry during last night's episode...until the VERY END when the girl was talking to her mom about how she should have listened to her about not having sex with her boyfriend.  Damn you, 16 and Pregnant!  Other then the surprising realization that many of the girls don't have that maybe Mom was right trying to keep me from having unprotected sex, I didn't find the episode all that notable; probably the weakest one of the second season for me so far.

Oh, and one of the annoying pretty teams got the well-deserved boot on The Amazing Race, plus there was that whole health care thing that happened this week, which was kind of cool.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My favorite Real Housewife

In four franchises and numerous seasons of Bravo's Real Housewives, one's alliances are bound to change. One season you hate Vicki of Orange County.  The next season you love her.  One episode NeNe in Atlanta is the greatest, the next week you're wanting to throw things at the TV because of the sheer stupidity of the things coming out of her mouth.

But one Housewife has always had my affection, and I think that will never change: Bethenny Frankel.  In the past few years, I have had the opportunity to meet a fair amount of weirdly famous people, and I am not even kidding when I say meeting Bethenny was definitely a highlight.

Look, proof!  (I wish I owned that necklace.  I borrowed it for the evening and whenever I see this picture I'm like...oh, man, I LOVE THAT NECKLACE.)

Here's what I love about Bethenny: that person you see on Real Housewives?  That's exactly. how. she. is. in. real. life.  The voice and the impressions and the gestures, I mean, it's hysterical.  As a fan and student of reality TV, I know what editing can do.  I've been manipulated by it into hating the villain, loving the hero, rooting for the underdog, and even though I'm aware of it, I can't help it.  But Bethenny, I think, doesn't have much of a TV veneer, and whether you love it or hate it, hey, that's who she is.

I think that's why I love watching her.  Real Housewives of New York City definitely has a different tone then the other franchises.  The women have this veneer of high society and there's definitely some serious money rolling through their bank accounts.  But as catty and immature as all the women of all the cities are, there's something way more Mean Girls about the way the Manhattan-ites deal with each other.  With the other cities, you get the sense these women just kind of hang out while they're filming and forget about all the feuds until they start filming again.  But it just keeps going in New York.  They've got some Page Six-shaped weapons and they're not afraid to use them, and the machinations and manipulations are just fascinating.

And in the middle of it is Bethenny, with a sarcastic comment and an eye roll and the "Seriously, WTF is up with these crazy harpies?" attitude.  She seems so self-aware of what reality TV is and how characters are made and portrayed.

Plus, she's freaking hilarious.  Gold comes falling out of her mouth every week.  That alone is worth the price of admission.

Follow Bethenny on Twitter @Bethenny
Check out Real Housewives on Bravo

Come on, Tyra

I wasn't home last night so I have yet to watch America's Next Top Model.  However, because I am impatient, I read the recaplet on TWoP only to find out my two favorite girls went home (as in, the ones I thought actually looked like models).

WTF, Tyra.  I know you're angry that I wasn't there for you last season but that's no reason to lash out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

16 and Pregnant: Lori

I thought I was going to be able to get through an episode of 16 and Pregnant without crying.  BOY WAS I WRONG.

Tonight's teen, Lori, couldn't decide what to do with her baby.  And in admirable procrastination faction she decided on adoption...two weeks before the baby was born.  I was a little uncomfortable initially in this episode with how much her parents were pushing adoption.  But then I thought - how often do the (adult) parents on this show actually tell it like it is to their daughters and stand their ground?  We've seen our fair share of shrill, overbearing parents, and pushover parents, and parents who don't seem to be all that concerned that their babies are having babies.  Lori's parents were actually pretty amazing at being honest with their daughter in a calm, straightforward way that seemed to eventually get through to her.

I felt almost panicky during the whole episode.  Will she or won't she?  Will she or won't she?  And then when it was time for the pissed off d-bag dad to say goodbye to the baby at the hospital, and Lori just would not let go of her son while tears were streaming down her face...dang.  She wasn't the only one crying.

It's a weird thing to say about a MTV reality show, but I really love the storytelling in 16 and Pregnant.  Even if the girls themselves aren't compelling, the raw reality of pregnant girls in high school, babies giving birth to babies, young women whose lives have imploded because of a few bad decisions breaks my heart.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Don't toy with me, Bret

From TWoP:

Will Rock of Love ever be back? 
Bret Michaels: I had an absolute great time doing Rock of Love, had a lot of fun. And I was really excited about being on Celebrity Apprentice. And I think that with Rock of Love, I loved doing it, it was the number one show for VH1 three years in a row. I think for me to go back would be a lot of fun. I mean, it's basically drinking and dating, it can't be that hard. And it's, you know, sucking face and debauchery -- like I said, to go back to Rock of Love would be a lot fun, but I was completely honored to be on this show and allowed to show that I have another side to me.

Bret, if I promise to watch Celebrity Apprentice, will you please please pretty please bring back Rock of Love?  I need you.  This blog needs you!  Do it for me.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Amazing Race: I Think We're Fighting the Germans, Right?

If there's not going to be football on Sundays, at least there's The Amazing Race.  Imagine how great it is for me when I can watch football AND teams of two racing around the world all in one day!  What I love about TAR is that they've figured out a way to have a formulaic show but still have every season be fresh and fun.

One way to do that?  COSTUMES!  Tonight the Racers donned not one, but TWO funny outfits for the day's tasks.  The second outfit is now a close second to the traditional Dutch outfits sported last season as the Racers had to dress up in bicycling outfits circa 1910.  Interestingly, both costumed challenges involved riding bikes.  It took me a little too long to figure out that the giant mushroom newsboy hats were that gigantic because of the bike helmets underneath.

My favorite team?  The cowboys.  Oh my gravy, do I love these brothers from Oklahoma.  They're running a good, efficient race.  They're consistent, which I really like, as opposed to the teams that are first place one week and then sixth place the next week.  They're placing high and after a few silly mistakes early on, they seem to really have it together.  What a contrast to the models and the Big Brother teams who seem to have trouble with the fundamentals of reading.  Plus, they're beyond adorable and I do not object to seeing them in tight pants riding bikes.  Jet, will you marry me?  Thanks.  (My future husband is on the left.)

Quote of the night?  "It was pretty real for a detour." - Cowboy Cord, re: the World War I re-enactment challenge

The U-Turn popped up tonight (for non-TAR fans, first of all, shame on you! and second of all, teams are given the option to pick one of two challenges in a "detour," but in a U-Turn, one of the racing teams can send another team of their choice back to complete the other task).  It's a sneaky way to knock out a strong team.  I'm all for it.  It's a perfectly legal move, and it's a freaking race for a million bucks - I'd totally use it if I was playing the game.  I love that after 10 years of reality TV, contestants are surprised and still get their feelings all hurtsy-poo about the use of strategy.

As much as I love my reality TV shows, I have never had any desire to be on a reality TV show - until I started watching The Amazing Race.  I seriously want to be on that show.  All I have to do is learn how to drive a stick shift.  There's always a team that's screwed by the stick shift!  And my racing partner needs to learn to swim.  And we actually need to get it together enough to do the application.  And then we need to get picked out of thousands of applicants and get selected and pass all the background checks and psych tests and then we need to take 3 months off of work without telling anyone where we're going to run around the world.

But really it's the stick shift that's standing in the way.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ANTM Premiere, RH:OC Reunion, Be Good Johnny Weir

Here's what had me glued to my couch tonight.  Spoilers abound.

America's Next Top Model, Cycle 14 premiere: Taking a cycle off from crazy Tyra did wonders for me.  I love Top Model again.  Yay!  I missed the first 15 minutes to a DVR malfunction but I'm sure I didn't miss much.  I totally love it when they do makeovers right off the bat; then you can spot the criers.  Going forward I'm not even going to try recapping ANTM because there's someone on the Internet who will always and forever be the best at it.  Don't miss Rich Juzwiak's recaps; they're usually up by Sunday night.

Real Housewives of Orange County Reunion Part One: I love watching Real Housewives cry.  If you were only looking at Tamra's forehead, you'd never know she was sad about her impending divorce.  I can't wait for tomorrow night when the men are brought in.  Gretchen + Slade = Creepy.  Tell 'em how it is, Vicki.

Also, sidenote: do you think Andy Cohen just walked into work one day and was like, hey, Bravo team, new idea: I'm going to be the face of our network on-air.  And then he went out to lunch leaving the rest of the programming department blinking, like, did that just happen?  I mean, how does the senior VP of original programming at a network cast himself as on-air talent?  Did he give himself a raise?  Does he get notes from anyone?  It's all very odd to me.

Be Good Johnny Weir: Caught up with episode "Big in Japan" which originally aired Monday night.  HOLY GOD I LOVE THIS SHOW.  If you're not watching it and you have the Sundance Channel, I soundly chastise you.  Chastise chastise.  Regardless of how people feel about him as a figure skater, he is the funniest person on reality TV right now.  There's a bit in every episode where Johnny puts on his Russian reporter alter-ego to interview himself (how post-modern!) and his team.   As the Russian reporter, he wished himself "good luck with porno movie."  Hee.  And he wears a blonde wig to do it!  Come on!  Awesome!

The fact that he was robbed at the Olympics is a whole other story.  His long program had me in TEARS.  TEARS.  And how can you not love a guy who skates to Lady GaGa?

Survivor: Australian Outback

Back before Tivo and DVR and online streaming, unless you had figured out how to program a VCR, there was this thing called “appointment television” (I can feel people under the age of 18 rolling their eyes).  Back in the Dark Ages, besides having to walk uphill to school both ways in 12 feet of snow and actually having to be at home when your favorite TV shows aired, I also didn’t know anyone with a digital camera, I was amazed by my dorm room's Ethernet cable's ability to provide 24 hour internet without tying up the phone, and the only people I knew with cell phones were my parents.  My mom had a Zack-Morris-esque brick we called “the car phone”, which she didn’t answer ever.  Much like her use of her smaller, snazzier cell phone today, actually.

But I digress.  Reality TV started hitting it big in the early part of the new millennium, and the biggest boy on the playground was definitely Survivor, which premiered in May of 2000, featuring a naked Richard Hatch and one of the best reality TV speeches of all time.  Oh, Susan.  Tell me more about snakes and rats and how you wouldn’t give me a drink of water if I was dying in the desert.

I got seriously hooked in January of 2001, when the castaways were sent to the Australian Outback.  It seemed like my entire dorm was addicted.  We met in the common rooms on Thursday nights to watch sweet Elisabeth Filarski (now known as humanity’s common enemy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck), Amber Brkich, who would go on to marry "Boston" Rob Mariano and compete on like 80 billion more shows, and of course, the dreamy Colby Donaldson take on 42 days in the wilderness.  (On a side note, the Australian Outback season was the only season of Survivor to last 42 days; the rest have all been 39.  Thanks, Wikipedia!)

My favorite Survivor that year was, in the words of the elimination chart my freshman year boyfriend kept on his dorm room door, “eliminated due to infuriating injury”: Michael Skupin.  He was TOTALLY AWESOME!  He killed wild boars and painted his face with the blood, he led his tribe to victory, and, if we’re being honest, was a total fox.  Colby was a cute boy, but Michael...Michael was a man.

But then disaster struck.  On day 16, he was stoking a fire in camp, inhaled too much smoke, and passed out into the fire, ending up with 2nd degree burns on his face, hands, and chest.  Thank God we didn’t have Tivo back then; seeing the skin peeling off his hands once was icky enough.   He was airlifted out and Tina Wesson took home a million bucks.

I watched the live finale from a hotel room somewhere in Ohio after my parents picked me up from Boston to go home for the summer.  I might have cried during the finale since I wasn’t with the friends I had bonded with watching the contestants outwit, outplay, and outlast.  And that's the only time I watched an entire season of Survivor.  I don't want to tamper with my memories of the Australian Outback, back in the good old days when I had to watch it live.

Check out Mike today on his website
Thanks to Wikipedia for jogging my aging memory.  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

16 and Pregnant: Chelsea

I don't know where MTV went to find this season's crop of girls for 16 and Pregnant, but those producers should be applauded. The sheer level of douchebaggery amongst the young fathers this season is unequaled by, like, anything ever. I mean, I'm a single woman in my late 20's and I'm shocked, which is saying a lot.

For some reason, tonight's d-bag dad really bothered me. Even more so then the borderline sociopath who picked a fight during labor with the girl's mom, or the guy who got picked up for a DUI the day after the baby was born. I think it was because on tonight's episode, you actually saw the horrible, awful, no good very bad text message (sidenote: do teenagers ever talk on the phone anymore?) that he sent calling his newborn daughter "that mistake." Ugh. When will they come up with the technology to reach through the TV set and strangle people? It made me so sad that he could care less about what he was missing out on with his newborn daughter, that he could be so callous towards the woman who had just given birth to his child, and that he had the cojones to do it over a text message. While being filmed by MTV cameras. Here's hoping that's enough to not get him laid for the rest of his fertile years.

Chelsea, the mom in tonight's episode, seemed pretty responsible, together, and so in love with her daughter - season 2's Maci? And her dad was awesome. I kind of want to take him out for a beer.

What I love about MTV is how amazing they are at telling the stories of people under 21. Look at the difference between Jersey Shore, Real World, etc. and shows like 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, True Life. The former are mostly alcoholic train wrecks (which I can love, hello, they brought Snooki into my life), but the latter are mostly sensitive, thoughtful, well-made looks at what real teenagers are going through in real life. While the girls in 16 and Pregnant make decisions I probably wouldn't have at that age, I can't help but respect and admire them for the choices they've made and for laying those choices bare in front of a national TV audience.

Haven't seen 16 and Pregnant yet? Check it out here.

Taste is relative.

There are some things I have really good taste in.

For example: shoes, earrings, friends, books, desserts.

But there is one big thing I have really, really bad taste in. And that one thing is the thing that keeps my DVR the busiest, the thing I possibly spend the most of my downtime partaking of, the thing I spend the most time reading recaps of online.

My name is Josie, and I am addicted to bad reality TV.

You name it, I'll watch it. 16 and Pregnant - check. Teen Mom - obviously. Real Housewives - I'll take two (preferably New York and New Jersey). America's Next Top Model - fierce. Jersey Shore - fist pump. Kell on Earth - could I love Kelly Cutrone more?

19 Kids and Counting, The Little Couple, Ruby, Flipping Out, Be Good Johnny Weir, Rachel Zoe Project - you make a series about real people doing something kind of cool, chances are I'll watch it. However, even I have limits. I won't watch any Bachelor/Bachelorette or Big Brother franchise, I haven't watched Survivor since 2001, and Project Runway just isn't the same on Lifetime.

And what better place to share my dirty little secret and talk about all the shows I hate that I love?

Hey, The Amazing Race wins Emmy awards. It can't be that bad, right?