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Guilty pleasures: Bad TV we watch anyway

Ah, summer; for millions across the country, it means hitting the beach, dinner on the patio and more time with friends and family. For me? It means deliciously terrible TV shows.

Networks are notoriously lax when it comes to summer schedules, which means that shameless shows take up most of the broadcast schedule. Crazy moms, whiny rich people, weird hillbillies and desperate singles abound when you flick on the TV during the summer months and we can’t help but watch.

Hillbilly Handfishin’ – Animal Planet. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to crawl around in a dirty river and catch catfish with your bare hands? Yeah, me neither. But that doesn’t stop me from tuning in to watch this admittedly awful show. The premise is this: city-dwellers pay a family to teach them how to fish with their hands. The creeks are filthy and the guests crawl around until their guides spot a good place for fish catchin’. They then head back for a barbeque, where they can eat their spoils and wonder why the heck they didn’t just spend their holidays in Hawaii like everyone else.

My Strange Obsession – TLC. I think it’s safe to say that we all have our little quirks, right? Like, I love those little lines that show up on the carpet when I vacuum. But quirkiness turns into downright insanity with a show like My Strange Obsession. Nothing makes me feel more well-balanced than spending a half-hour with a man who thinks he’s a gigantic baby or a couple who thinks their Cabbage Patch Dolls are real kids. I won’t lie; it’s a shameless way to feel better about myself. Seriously, check it out and see if you don’t come away feeling just a little saner.

Dance Moms – Lifetime. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys watching small children be emotionally abused by their dance teacher while their parents stand by, then you should definitely watch Dance Moms. Every time I get sucked into an episode, I wonder why I’m supporting such an awful show. It focuses around the Abby Lee Dance studio, her prize students and their crazy-obsessed mothers. The competition is insane; you get the feeling that the poor dancers are going to end up in psychiatrist’s office somewhere, sobbing about once missing a pirouette as a child.

Bachelor Pad – ABC. What do you get when you mix a ton of reality show castoffs, Chris Harrison and a lot of alcohol? Bachelor Pad, of course. Tell me if this doesn’t sound like bad TV in the making. The singles who were cut during various seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette come back to compete as couples for a cash prize. Don’t worry; they aren’t competing in any way that takes brains or skill. Last season, one of the challenges was an actual kissing contest – blindfolded. Still, you can’t help but root for some of the hookups – these people are clearly addicted to finding love on reality shows.

I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant – TLC. Here’s what I don’t get: how does this happen enough for an entire TV show dedicated to not knowing that you’re pregnant? Did the giant belly, constant movement, morning sickness and sudden and insatiable craving for peanut butter not tip someone off? The best parts of the show are the horrendous reenactments of some poor soul giving birth in the ladies room at a buffet. Really cutting edge stuff, but it’s so addictive that you can’t turn away.

I think we’re all in agreement here; summer TV is so bad, it’s good. I can’t wait to see what awful plot twists, challenges and catfish recipes are debuted this season. Got your TIVO ready?

Tim works for and sadly loves watching these shows.  It is amazing how these horribly bad shows can influence culture, “GTL.”  If you would like to talk TV or just rant about something you just spend 12 hours watch for no other reason than because it was a train wreck hit him up on Twitter @TimlCooley.

Photo Credit: Animal Planet

Categories: | Features | General | Guest Clack | TV Shows |

5 Responses to “Guilty pleasures: Bad TV we watch anyway”

May 18, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Are you a fan of The Soup? Because all of these shows come up as Soup clips on a regular basis. Another great one is Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush, which becomes incredibly homoerotic if you take the clips out of context.

May 18, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I find that the Soup gives me as much as I need of these shows. But then, I prefer my bad TV to be of the fictional variety.

May 18, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Thanks for posting this :-) I am not sure why it is, but I know i will be spending way to many hours watching these shows than walking my dogs or hiking or something.

May 18, 2012 at 4:04 PM

. . . . .

One day, I came into the living room to see my daughters watching a program about some woman who imbibed her own urine.

The follow segment was another woman who snacked on dirt. And … it only went down from there:

Mothball snorting. Relationships with cars. Cat food ingestion. More.

If it’s strange television, it must be summertime …

May 19, 2012 at 9:08 PM

I would say that 90% of the shows I watch regularly could be identified as “Guilty Pleasure shows.” Also — I am a sucker for I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant! I could watch all night. So ridiculous!

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