I don’t really think of myself as judgmental – however, I did tend to look down on people that watched a lot of reality TV. It just always seemed ridiculous to be so invested in the lives of pseudo-celebrities.
But this summer, something happened. I got bored. Like really bored with what was on TV. All my regular programming was on hiatus until the fall. The Olympics were fun but I only watched a handful of events. I got so bored that I actually started to watch The Bachelorette. This is normally the type of show that I would roll my eyes at but I started to watch the premiere and then I was hooked. I found myself going out of my way to watch the show and learn the names of the guys competing for JoJo’s heart. I didn’t agree with her choice in the end, by the way.
Once the season ended, I said, Okay I’m done with the whole Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise. This was just a one-time thing. No one needs to know. Suddenly, I see previews for another show called, Bachelor in Paradise. And I realize that a few of the guys I just watched on The Bachelorette were going to be featured on this program. I decided to check out an episode and I was hooked. Each week, the show aired two days in a row. The first night always ended with a cliffhanger. So those crafty editors made damn sure you were going to tune in the next night. This stupid excuse for a reality show became my obsession for the remainder of the summer. I would watch both episodes each week, and also tune in for the live after show. I also live-tweeted and followed a few of the contestants on Twitter. I found myself actually rooting for some of the couples and betting against some of the contestants. I’ve seen every episode twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I know everyone’s name, I know who broke up, I know who’s engaged. It’s crazy. Three couples got engaged. They look really happy. I don’t think any of them stand a chance of actually making it but it was entertaining to watch. They’ve spent only a couple weeks together in a resort in Mexico, it’s just not the real world. But who knows? Maybe at least one of the couples make actually make it.
So yes, when I wasn’t working 60 hours a week, I spent my free time watching reality shows this summer. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. I get it now. I get the appeal. The future of this country is in rough shape. It’s downright scary. Depending on how the presidential election goes, we may have a lot of problems ahead. On a more personal level, this year has been a struggle for me financially so I’ve been working a lot and not spending much time online or doing anything relaxing. But my reality TV programs served as a nice distraction. While I was watching Evan and Carly form a weird but romantic relationship and while I was watching Bad Chad make an even bigger ass of himself, I temporarily forgot about my bills. I didn’t think about the fact that this country is not in a great place right now. I didn’t think about how much I hated my job. I wasn’t stressed or worried, I just let myself be entertained.
Reality TV is a great way to escape reality.
P.S. I see that Nick is going to be the next Bachelor and I WILL be watching.