Real Lessons From Reality Television

24 Jul

I have a secret, Hooked on Tonics. It’s the kind of secret that will prevent me from running for Congress, or becoming one of Puff Daddy’s umbrella holders. The skeleton in my closet is that I am a reality television junkie. I’m an equal opportunity kind of gal which means I’ll watch just about anything, the trashier the better.

Most people think these shows are a total waste of air space, and are killing my brain cells one at a time. While I understand that position, I think those people are missing the little pieces of wisdom hidden in these programs.

Sometimes you’re simply overreacting – Real Housewives franchise

Every fight in in these shows boils down to one overly Botoxed person doing something to another overly Botoxed person, and it being completely blown out of proportion. I get it, it’s difficult to get over things when you can’t fully express yourself because your face is more frozen than a mammoth during the Ice Age. Still, these women fail to realize that they’re experiencing first world problems, and that the only person who thinks it’s an egregious error to show up in casual wear to a dinner party is themselves. Sometimes we all need to realize that “problematic” is a matter of perspective, and not a matter of fact.


There are some things you shouldn’t do for love – The Bachelor

When Meatloaf sang about doing anything for love, but not that, he must have been talking about going on The Bachelor. This show is similar to polygamy, but with less marriage, and more phrases like, “She’s such an incredible woman.” I’ll shave my legs, I’ll put on a bra that doesn’t look like it was purchased pre-Civil War, and I’ll even avoid a “that’s what she said” joke when my date mentions he fit into a tight spot while parking his big vehicle. I refuse to awkwardly stand in front of a born again virgin while he decides if he wants to give me a rose he most likely stole off of someone’s grave.


Making it work – Project Runway

I don’t want children, but if I did, I’d want them to be fathered by Tim Gunn. He’s a great dresser, incredibly supportive, well-mannered, and he shoots from the hip. Besides being a sexy little devil, Tim is known for his famous phrase, “Make it work!”Β  Just when the designers are ready to give up on their gowns made from shoes laces and hair from Robin Williams’s chest, Tim comes in and tells them to make it work. I think we all need to be our own Tim Gunn, pushing ourselves when we’re stuck because you never know what kind of masterpiece you can create with just a little perseverance.


Marriage is dangerous – 48 Hours Mystery, Snapped, Dateline, etc.

Most couples assume that the scariest part of their marriage will be looking back on their wedding pictures and realizing they looked like they were extras in a Billy Idol video. Based on these mystery shows, the real danger is snoring right next to you in bed. At some point in a marriage, a couple goes from picking out pillows to smothering one another with them. My advice? Don’t go on any cruises, don’t amass great wealth, and never, under any circumstance, let your partner take out a life insurance policy on you. You might as well hand them the knife, and walk into it, stabbing yourself to death.


Fess up, do you watch reality television? If so, what’s your biggest takeaway from all of those hours staring at pseudo celebrities?

116 Responses to “Real Lessons From Reality Television”

  1. vyvacious 08/09/2013 at 12:55 am #

    This post elicited a snortle from me.

    FYI: snortle = snort + chortle <– You're welcome.

  2. travellingmo 08/04/2013 at 3:39 pm #

    I don’t really watch any reality tv, but I used to be really into Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model, because I do costumes and makeup so these fed into my interests. I agree with you that Tim Gunn is an amazing human being and the phase “make it work” is actually ligit advice!

  3. Wendy Reid 07/30/2013 at 7:27 pm #

    I don’t like reality tv…but I like you so that’s why I am here. I prefer Breaking Bad as well. And Sons of Anarchy. And Dexter. πŸ™‚

  4. Rohan 7 Things 07/30/2013 at 2:51 am #

    Haha, awesome post! I don’t watch any telly, I’m a total TV snob. As for reality TV I watched the first season of Australian Big Brother about a million years ago and had my fill. But I hold nothing against those who like it, we all have our guilty pleasures πŸ™‚

    Your lessons are all really awesome though, especially making it work!

    Thanks for the giggle and good advice Jen πŸ™‚


  5. Rebecca "Sweet Mother" Donohue 07/28/2013 at 10:23 am #

    ohhhhhhhhh, you nailed me on that last one. it’s so strange, but i kinda love those ‘who murdered who shows.’ for some reason they are my ‘tune out and don’t want to think, but still feel like i’m watching a narrative’ kinda shows. i even watch the dominck dunne ones, which kinda suck, but i don’t care. and hold on to your hats, the wifesy and i to debut on a reality show. shhhhhh, deets, coming this fall. miss you and your blog, j and t. xoxo, sm

    • Jen and Tonic 07/28/2013 at 1:04 pm #

      WHAT?! WHAT? WHAT?! I just shit my pants with happiness.

  6. Adam S 07/27/2013 at 8:12 am #

    Don’t ask me why, but I used to watch Tabitha Takes Over – religiously. I think it’s because it was so perfectly balanced with complete weirdos from both ends of the spectrum.

    • Jen and Tonic 07/28/2013 at 1:05 pm #

      When she was on Shear Genius, she was the STAR of the show. She was even better than the host. I want to get drunk with her.

      • Adam S 07/28/2013 at 1:24 pm #

        Careful, shes a feisty one!

  7. BrainRants 07/26/2013 at 5:10 am #

    Precisely why I watch science shows and things narrated by Morgan Freeman.

  8. She's a Maineiac 07/26/2013 at 4:47 am #

    Big Brother. I’ve seen every season. My kids love to watch it too. It’s a great lesson for them. I point to whoever happens to be up on the screen and say, “See that, kids? Never act like that in real life.”

    • Jen and Tonic 07/28/2013 at 1:06 pm #

      Big Brother is kind of like living with your family, only it’s all the relatives you hate. The racist uncle, the promiscuous cousin, the hillbilly aunt. And yes, it’s an excellent PSA for kids.

  9. Ashley Austrew 07/25/2013 at 7:20 am #

    I want a Tim Gunn. Everyone wants a Tim Gunn. Heidi Klum better pay him a lot because he kind of makes that show for me.

    Those Dateline, etc. murder mystery shows? Yeah, I watch way too many of those. Sometimes I look at my husband and think, “Man, he seems so normal. That’s going to make it really weird when he flips out and unexpectedly murders me someday.”

    • Jen and Tonic 07/25/2013 at 10:57 pm #

      HAHA!!! I used to look at my ex-boyfriend and say, “You know, I’d just GIVE you the money if you needed it. You don’t have to murder me. Just say you might kill me if I don’t give it to you, and I will.”

  10. PinotNinja 07/25/2013 at 5:09 am #

    If its on Bravo, its on my television. I cannot get enough of the Real Housewives, Princesses, Tabatha, Patti, etc. When I feel like classing it up, then I’ll put on Top Chef. Because that IS classy damn it.

    And, Tim Gunn. I would follow that man to the ends of the earth so long as every once in a while he threw me an “Andre? What happened to Andre?” and “Designers!”

    I mean, how is this not one of the best moments of modern American television:

    • Jen and Tonic 07/25/2013 at 10:56 pm #

      Santino’s impression of Tim NEVER gets olds. The part where he’s doing the robot motion kills me. That’s probably my favorite season of all the seasons.

      Also, I totally heard Tim’s voice in my head for, “Designers!”

      Bravo is like the heroine of reality television.

  11. Monk Monkey 07/25/2013 at 3:42 am #

    No I don’t watch any but I would watch a show where everyone had your face posted on it. I call it Jen Around the World and – nah that’s crap. But it is funny when you stick your face on other faces. You did that in this post! And in some other ones too. PS: Flower and flour are homonyns which is a homonym of hommonim.

    • Jen and Tonic 07/25/2013 at 10:54 pm #

      I’m just going to start posting blog entries that are nothing but my face pasted on other people’s bodies.

      • Monk Monkey 07/27/2013 at 2:22 am #

        Please do! Have you ever done the hoff or is that sacreligious?

  12. Katie 07/25/2013 at 2:57 am #

    I’m so glad someone else shares my position on reality TV. I also humbly submit this piece of wisdom that I’ve gleaned from watching Bad Girls Club on Oxygen: snatching someone’s extensions or throwing precious overpriced mixed drinks on them is the best way to solve a problem.

    Also, I want to Tim Gunn to be my mentor.

    • Jen and Tonic 07/25/2013 at 10:53 pm #

      Bad Girls Club is one of those shows that is truly a train wreck situation for me. I don’t want to watch it, but I have to. Also, Tanisha is my favorite girl from any of the seasons. SO MUCH CLAPPING.

  13. List of X 07/24/2013 at 10:31 pm #

    I’ll just take your lessons without actually watching any of these shows, thank you very much.

    • Jen and Tonic 07/24/2013 at 10:40 pm #


      • List of X 07/24/2013 at 10:44 pm #

        All of it?? like 1000 channels 24/7/365? I feel overwhelmed just looking at my Netflix instant queue.

        • Jen and Tonic 07/24/2013 at 10:46 pm #

          Don’t watch the show Hoarders then. All those dead bodies and mold living beneath newspapers from 1978-present day overwhelms ME.

          • List of X 07/24/2013 at 10:48 pm #

            Ok, now we’re getting somewhere – from 1000 channels on 24/7/365 to 1000 channels 23.5/7/365…

          • Jen and Tonic 07/24/2013 at 10:50 pm #

            Just take it one step a time. Eventually, you too can be a junkie.

          • List of X 07/24/2013 at 10:53 pm #

            I am already a junkie – a WP junkie. TV can only replace my addiction.

          • Jen and Tonic 07/24/2013 at 10:56 pm #

            Stay strong, my friend.

  14. sassypanties 07/24/2013 at 7:43 pm #

    I watch them. I’m not that proud about it because I’m certain my hubby is having conversations about me behind my back with his friends like, “I’m so proud…I walked into the living room and she was watching Dog the Bounty Hunter…AGAIN!”

    • Jen and Tonic 07/24/2013 at 8:22 pm #

      Maybe he’s saying, “My wife was watching this show about really crazy wives, and I realized she isn’t so bad.”

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