A Guide To Reality TV For The Discerning Viewer…

honey-boo-boo-finagly-1030-600x558[1]Well, June, I’m not about all them big fenagly words, either.  In fact, I hate big fenalgy words.  I hate big, fenagly people, too. Although, I’ve found that I’m quite fond of commas.  Interesting, I know, but, not my point.  Anyway, back to the fenagly words.  By the way, in writing this post, I questioned whether that is actually the correct spelling of the word “fenagly”, but I couldn’t find it in the dictionary, so I’m just going with it.  Anyway,  in the spirit of the new year, I’ve decided to come clean with a confession :  I’m hooked on reality TV.  Wow, that felt so good.  Now, before you go gettin’ all fenagly on me, let me just say that I am discriminating in my voyeuristic drug of choice.   Okay, that was kind of a fenagly word.

Last night, as I was preparing to retire for the evening, my mind was on reality TV.  My daughter, Mary Kate, and I have just discovered a new favorite:  Cheer Perfection.  It’s basically Dance Moms of the cheerleading world.  After giving the first episode a try, we was decided that it passed our rigorous litmus test.  The “Record Series” button had been pressed.  In the past, when regular television viewing has been disrupted in our house because many too other shows were recording (Snapped, Wives With Knives, Honey Boo Boo, Dance Moms, Housewives of Various Places), we heard all about it.  But, we’ve since solved that problem by recording our shows when they air at odd times – middle of the night, early morning hours or mid-day. 

Regarding our high standards of reality TV, I guess there’s really only one rule:  we absolutely hate and have no time for sleaze (pretty much).  Jersey Shore?  No way.  Kardashians?  Puuhhleeeeezzzze…no.  Any show that involves hot tubs?  Gross.  I also don’t care for shows that involve girls screaming, pulling hair, being drunk and/or having every other word bleeped out.  That said, I do enjoy Top Chef even with the often-bleeped conversations.  Chefs, I’ve come to learn, swear A LOT and are very pierced and heavily inked (which always makes me wonder if I’d want to eat in their restaurants, but that’s another topic). 

So, let me now share with you some of my favorite reality shows, in no particular order:

  • Real Housewives of Orange County and Beverly Hills
  • Million Dollar Listing LA and New York
  • Top Chef
  • Cheer Perfection
  • Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (whose mama, June, is pictured above)
  • Toddlers and Tiaras
  • I Used To Be Fat
  • Little People, Big World (love the Roloffs)
  • Dance Moms* (original Abby Lee Miller) and Miami
  • Intervention*

*Cross-over possibilities between some of these shows, Dance Moms and Intervention in particular:  “My name is Maddie. M-A-D-D-I-E.”

So, last night, as I was brushing my teeth and pondering this post, it occurred to me that I think there is a difference between being a hillbilly and white trash.  Honey Boo Boo is, without question, hillbilly.  I mean, seriously, no question.  But, in their uneducated, hillbilly simple life, they are actually kind of endearing.  As opposed to the cast of Jersey Shore, who, in my opinion, are definitely white trash.  My BWB partner related to me that after watching the first couple of episodes of Honey Boo Boo, her daughter Abby (MK’s best friend) had a longing look on her face as she sighed, “I wish we were hillbillies.  I mean, they don’t have to worry about college applications or essays or ACTs or anything.”  And, her mother thought, “You know, she’s got a point. It might not be such a bad life.”  That is, if you don’t mind constantly swatting flies from your face, which is what I’ve notice their family does.  Constantly.  And, I have to admit, it’s kind of fun saying words like fenagly.

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