True Confession Time
I'm not much of a TV-watcher, really. The last time I watched something on network TV was when I played along to "Jeopardy" on the afternoon of Martin Luther King day, which I had off from work. I've never seen an episode of "American Idol." I think I've seen one episode of "Survivor" and that was only because my pals Beth and Barb were visiting and they didn't want to miss it.
About the only shows I insist upon watching regularly are "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report." Aside from those offerings, I'm more likely to surf the movie channels than anything else.
But, yeah... I've been hooked on my share of trashy cable TV offerings, including "Flavor of Love," "Celebrity Fit Club," and a short-lived show that featured b-list celebrities hunting ghosts in notoriously haunted buildings--a show that I don't even remember the name of (but it was pretty unintentionally funny).
Blame the writers' strike on my latest embarrassing TV addiction: MTV's weekend marathons of "America's Next Top Model."
I'm not proud of that--but they say the first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have one. Here is the problem: Once I surf onto one of these shows in progress, I must stop there and watch. And watch. And watch. No matter that it is about the most shallow, vacuous show ever. No matter that almost all the aspiring models are dumb as posts. No matter that every cycle follows the same pattern, down to a regular viewer (which, I guess, is what I have become) knowing that only five girls get to go to the international fashion city of choice for that go-round, or that the infamous "go-see" episode always occurs when the field has been winnowed to four supermodel wannabes...
What is the attraction? After all, I'm about the least fashion-forward person ever... (although I will cop to the fact that I own a hell of a lot of shoes).
Well, where else on TV will you hear a pretty young thing admit that she didn't know how to react when the photo-shoot director told her she "looked regal" because she didn't know what regal meant? Where else can an apprentice fashionista confide in you with the utmost confidence that she's so jazzed to be posing with an elephant because it IS part of the dinosaur family? And the go-see episodes are singularly amusing for the way the challenge exposes the utter lack of common sense and basic map-reading skills these glamour gals possess.
But that's not the attraction. Well, not the main one.
It certainly isn't the cliquish, middle-school mentality that prevails in the posh digs where the contestants lodge during the weeks they are involved in the show. Really, how much of a revelation can it be that these pretty girls are catty and jealous and do bitchy things like pouring another contestant's energy drinks down the bathroom sink in retaliation for a couple of disappearing granola bars or writing "Clean Up Your Shit" in the surface of a pan of just-baked brownies (these sticks eat brownies?) because the girl who baked them leaves dirty dishes in the sink?
No, that's not the attraction either.
Nope. The attraction is the pictures. The photos by which each girl is judged at the end of each show. They are quirky and fascinating and (probably the biggest draw to a magpie such as I) very often involve lots of sequins and spangles and sparkles. Also, I rarely can fathom the criticisms leveled at the photos by the panel of "expert" judges--so often they will pick apart a photo that I think is stunning, only to laud one I think is lame in the extreme.
That, and I find that I'm a sucker for the elimination angle.
Suckered in, that's me.
I'm not proud of that.
But maybe now that I've confessed, I have a slender hope of recovery...