Reality or Something Like It

[Content Disclosure: Reality Television, Guilty Pleasures]

Yes, I admit it I like reality television. However, I have both discrimination and taste; neither of which is to be found in the shows I like. The truth is I distain and have never seen most of the pseudo-reality squalor that passes for entertainment. Meaning: No Idol, No Amazing Race, No bitch-slap in the kitchen shows, No Survivor, No shows at all where some expert verbally abuses the contestants, and No shows with weigh-ins.

So you ask: What do you watch? Well I am the Poker Shrink, so I like the shows with massive psychological content. My very first favorite was The Osbournes. I have said before, when anyone tells me they come from a dysfunctional family, I tell them to buy the first season of the Osbournes, so that they might truly understand the concept.

For similar reasons, I really liked Intervention the first season and I sometimes still watch the first half of the show. The second half of each show, the actual interventions, are basically all the same: you ambush the evil, stupid, pathetic loser of a user, they resist, relatives cry while reading their heart-felt thoughts, the loser caves and goes off to rehab. Tedious. But the first half, where people with massive addictions allow cameras to follow them around while they stick needles in their arms, drink pint after quart of various beverages and gamble the rent, baby food and family jewels on some of the longest shots in creation. That part, I find fascinating.

Speaking of family jewels, the Gene Simmons Show was also a big favorite. Both because Gene is highly intelligent and incredibly greedy with almost no actual reflection on his part. Yet his kids have him read perfectly and actually get the opportunity to reflect on dad's addiction to money without him actually getting it. The playmate wife (Shannon Tweed) is the weak spot in the show but not so the playmates, playgirls, in my current favorite: The Girls Next Door.

Hugh Hefner's agreement to participate in the show was business genius and the progression and development of the project over four years has been incredibly interesting when you consider the collective IQ of the Girls is .. well .. above adequate. More on Hefner next time (unless life gets in the way).