Tag Archives: reality shows

Ryan Lochte Is My Favorite Person on TV Right Now

People complain all the time about how negative reality shows are. If they’re not portraying some ethnic or socioeconomic group poorly, they’re glamorizing the shallow values of the nouveau riche. Not to mention all the fighting! Oh, the nasty, nasty fighting.

I agree that there is a whole crop of Kardashian-adjacent television shows that are little more than what my pal Dean calls “hater tv.” But what about when something entirely positive comes along on reality TV? Don’t believe it’s possible?

Well, E! network is broadcasting an uplifting reality show featuring a healthy, well-adjusted young man with developmental disabilities and a supportive group of friends with similar disabilities, as they try to make sense of an increasingly complex world.

Oh. Wait. That’s actually the plot summary of the 2001 Sean Penn film I Am Sam. Sorry, my bad.

What Would Ryan Lochte Do? actually focuses on the day-to-day life of an Olympic superstar as he navigates through a series of highly-orchestrated situations and spreads his dumbass charm around like fingerpaint.

I’m not proud to say that I didn’t watch any of last summer’s Olympic games. Not one event. But I was aware of this Lochte character because obviously the media loved him. I was turned off by his seemingly douchey ways – the sneakers, the annoying catchphrase (“jeah!”), and of course, this:

complexWhen I saw him play a version of himself as a “sex idiot” on 30 Rock, I thought he was cute but I definitely didn’t see him jumping out of the pool and rocketing to Hollywood domination. ryan-lochte-sex-idiotSo, yeah, I started watching WWRLD as hater tv. (Also, I was sort of curious how the producers would show Gainesville, Florida – a town I love for lots of reasons, but mostly because my dad lived there while I was growing up.)

You guys. I didn’t mean to fall in love with this incredibly hot doofus. It just happened!

Here’s the thing about the show: just like “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, no matter how much the producers throw in sound effects to cue viewers when they’re supposed to laugh and feel superior, a delightfully genuine affection between Ryan and his family and friends comes through loud and clear. Ryan Lochte loves his life! It’s refreshing to watch someone so famous seem to love every minute of the life he’s made for himself. Yes, he has God-given talent as a swimmer, but he also pushes himself hard enough and digs down deep enough to become the fastest human being in the water. And that kind of determination and focus is no joke. Continue reading

The Week in Celebrity Vaginas

I probably should have used quotation marks around celebrity because the people I’m talking about are celebrities in the same way people like Ingo Rademacher and Sean Lowe (who?) pass as “stars” on Dancing with the Stars.

So, how about this? Some people that a lot of people are aware of said some stuff about their vaginas and I have some things to say about what they said.

Let’s start with Amerika’s favorite sisters, the Kardashians. I generally try to limit my exposure to Kardashianalia. There are a number of reasons for this but the primary reason is that I CANNOT LISTEN TO THEIR VOICES. Because I love trashy pop culture so much I want to marry it, I know that not watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians leaves a gap in my knowledge base. So I have tried, Lord knows I’ve tried, to watch the show. But I have never made it through a full episode because of those voices. The combination of that flat, nasal whine and using “like” every fourth word makes me feel insane.

Also, Kim’s face freaks me out.

But I am aware of them because DUH. So when I read earlier this week that on their television show, two of the sisters asked a third sister to compare and judge the smell of their vaginas, I thought, “Well, of course. Of course they did!” The way in which the winner was determined is that sisters Kim and Kourtney individually wiped their vaginas with a cloth napkin and then each in turn presented their napkin to sister Khloe for a sniff test.

That’s right: these adult women smeared (sorry!) their essences (again!) on a piece of cloth, which they presented to another adult woman to judge.

Big surpise, Kim was the winner! Know why Kim was the winner? Because Kim getting peed on by a third-tier R&B singer ten years ago is the reason these people are on TV. How is Kim gonna lose?

Here’s my favorite line from the whole thing: “Do I want to be the judge of the pineapple p***y?” Khloe rhetorically asks. “Not really, but we’re sisters … if I can’t smell their p***ies, what else am I supposed to do?” Exactly, Khloe! You just summed up sisterhood beautifully! I mean, come on! WHAT ELSE ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO?!

Some would argue that Amanda Bynes is even less of a celebrity than the K sisters. We’re splitting (pubic) hairs here, but at least Amanda Bynes had a career as an actress with her own TV show and a movie or two before turning full-time professional car wrecker. Everyone pretty much forgot about her until she started acting all weird and druggy a few months ago. And then she went on Twitter with this lil gem:

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. . .

C Bale WHAT?

Um. I don’t . . . I just . . . WHAT?!

I guess she means she wants to do sex with Drake? But Amanda, WHYYY do you use words as though you’re a non-native English speaker?

Even though we hear the word “vagina” in public more now than we used to, it still pricks up the ears when people talk about their own. It’s sort of a guaranteed attention-grabber.

So, to you, masochistic Amanda Bynes and you, sweet-smelling Kartrashians, I say well played. Well played.

How Your Reality TV Sausage Gets Made

As I’ve slowly outed myself as a lover of reality TV – well, some reality TV – one of the things I often hear/read is that it’s all fake, or it’s all scripted, or the producers engineer scenarios. I don’t fully agree with that – most of these people are not good enough actors to convey such real emotions – but I also couldn’t fully disagree. I’ve always wondered how much is real and how much is as fake as Teresa’s tan.

Never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness for Jill Zarin! Good old J-Z was on Watch What Happens Live with Andy the other night, and among many other things, she explained how she engineered her conflict with Bethenney for ratings. Nice work, ding dong! Like so many before her, it seems Jill’s persona as a reality “star” at some point became more real to her than her persona as a “sane person.” I feel a little tiny bit bad for her. Don’t get me wrong: she is bananas. But her breakdown of how the whole conflict with Bethenney played out was actually really interesting. Continue reading

What We’re Really Talking About When We Talk About “Honey Boo Boo”

People who know me and also read this blog have asked me a couple times now what I think about TLC’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” I haven’t been able to respond because I really wasn’t sure what I thought. I needed to marinate. Also, I hadn’t seen the show until I watched the 3 episodes available online the other day. (I ditched cable. I regret it.)

I became familiar with Honey Boo Boo Child when my friend Andy posted the original “a dolla makes me holla!” video on my Facebook page with a message that said  “that kid you gave up for adoption is on Toddlers and Tiaras now.” Jokes! Of course I watched it about 4 times in a row, and I felt a strange mixture of horrified, charmed, amused, depressed, and worried. When she grabs her belly fat, I just…I can’t. In case you haven’t seen it (or have blocked it from memory), here it is:

People get so worked up over reality TV. And, in a way, I get it. It’s worse than a carnival freak show because unlike the freaks in a hot, sweaty tent, we only watch; we don’t have to make eye contact with them. (Which I accidentally did at a South Florida fairground freak show. I need to write about that.) And yes, I think a big part of reality TV’s appeal is the “at least I’m better than them” factor.

But what really makes me clutch my pearls and do the whole “who will think of the children?!” routine is the thought that Charlie fucking Sheen enjoys the level of fame and riches he does. Until very recently, Charlie Sheen was the highest paid man on television. He was making 1.25 million dollars per episode of that hideously unfunny show he was on. He even managed to make money off of his spectacular meltdown. And he’s on TV again! Barf. That troubles me far more than the kids on Jersey Shore allowing their drunken hookups to be filmed. Continue reading