Reality show frenzy

Pregnancy changes everything. My skin and hair. My waistline. My energy level. Now that my morning sickness has subsided to once-a-week misery, I’m getting out for meals and movies again. But the thought of putting on club gear and crossing the Bay Bridge seems more challenging than a half-marathon. So chances are, I’ll spend Saturday night flipping through the channels for a movie since my weeknights are reserved for George Lopez reruns with Blues and my ongoing infatuation with reality shows.

It’s understandable, given popular media’s ongoing interest in reality TV. There’s even a reality channel now. I’m not so far gone that I watch only reality shows. I break down my shows into two categories: shows featuring hot messes(aka VH1 dating shows Rock of Love and Flavor of Love)and mainstream pop culture phenoms(namely Top Chef and American Idol.)

Like millions across the nation, I have become hooked on American Idol. Years ago, during Season 1, my mentor, with whom I shared a conference hotel room, made me sit through an episode and its subsequent results show. I watched the season until Kelly Clarkson took home the inaugural honor. This time, a chiropractor friend of mine was working on Blues’s back while I was left in the living room to take in AI’s current contestants taking on 70s hits. Now Blues and I are rooting for little David Archuleta and arguing over that little blonde country girl(he likes her; I don’t.)

Similarly, I was introduced to Top Chef by my former housemate. I haven’t watched it in a few seasons but I’m now hooked on Top Chef Chicago as I root for the three remaining San Franciscans. And I want to slap Mark and Spike and his ridiculous Panama hat.

My hot mess addiction is my own. It all started with Flavor Flav falling for Brigitte Nielsen on The Surreal Life. Then he moved on to choosing Hoops over the borderline diva New York in Season 1. And on and on. I’m sorry to say I have no connection to any of the girls in Season 3. The twins, Thing 1 and Thing 2, look a decade older than their reported 26, yet they act worse than my high schoolers with their backstabbing intrigue and constant gossipping. Meanwhile, on the rock side of the world, Bret Michaels, who’s ten times more likable than the goofy and not-so-hot Flav but not that much younger at 45(!), hasn’t learned too much from his last bad decision(he got dumped by Jess on the Season 1 reunion show.) I was relieved when borderline serial wife Kristi Jo voluntarily left two episodes ago and am rooting for Amber.

Four reality shows to watch isn’t bad. In time, this current phase will pass, either because my shows will end and/or I’ll have more important things to do with my time. For now, I’ll just enjoy these guilty pleasures.

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