TV for Intelligent People


I keep trying to come up with something to write about, but I’m either feeling morose or I want to muse about a certain television show which is a train wreck and doesn’t deserve the publicity.

I’ve decided on the latter.

The show in question is Baggage. It’s hosted by Jerry Springer, and it’s a dating show, where people’s “baggage” is put on display, and the bachelor or bachelorette gets to decide if (s)he can live with the contestant’s past.

I don’t usually watch game shows. I could care less about dating shows. I don’t watch reality TV (actually, being honest, I don’t really watch TV at all. I watch Castle because, well, it’s awesome and I have loved Nathan Fillion since his days as Joey Buchanan on OLTL, and True Blood because I like vampires). I’m not entirely sure why I even caught the show in question.

It was a study in fake tans, faker boobs and a skirt so short I’m not entirely sure why the woman bothered. Actually, I’m not sure why she bothered with the shirt, either. It’s not like it covered much of anything. And the questions? Downright embarrassing. Yet, I couldn’t look away.

It’s not because it made me feel better about myself–I was actually quite horrified I was watching the show. I could have been watching my favorite episode of Histories Mysteries (it’s about the Loch Ness monster, and one of the “experts” seriously says this line, “The critics are either for or agains’ it.” To which my husband and I respond–in unison–“Or they have no opinion!” every time we watch it. It’s DVRed so we can watch it again and again). I could have been watching something where I didn’t actually feel the brain cells dying inside my skull.

I couldn’t look away. I couldn’t not watch these people make jackasses of themselves on television.

One chick was a drug mule (okaaaay). Another had a big secret that she didn’t like dogs (uh, what?). The third had been institutionalized (this was the one he could live with). I know, again… what?

His baggage? He wouldn’t wear a condom. And I couldn’t help yelling to the cute, barely-clad, crazy woman, “Say NO! I’m pretty certain he’s got something communicable! In fact, I’d be surprised if he didn’t.”

She didn’t listen, because, well, the people living in my TV rarely listen to me. So, of course, this was something she could live with.

I watched this show from painful beginning to the travesty of this couple getting together at the end. I watched four people make a mockery of their existence. It was like watching a train wreck or a traffic accident. The entire time I watched, I felt vaguely ashamed of my blatant rubber-necking. It was awful and horrible and so wretchedly trashy.

I hope I never watch the show again.

But I know, if I happen upon it, I will stop whatever I’m doing and watch.

I won’t be able not to.

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