Shows I Watch on Commercial Breaks

Another scintillating topic, I know. Here is how exciting my life is: most nights, I go home, listen to NPR for two hours while on the computer, maybe make something to eat from a box (I am happy to stir a spoon in hot water or push buttons on the microwave, but I don't really like the idea of any other kind of preparation to make a meal), and then turn on the TV at 8 and work on one of these holiday projects I've got to get done in the next 72 hours. At 8, really the only thing going is House or one of the Law and Order's. I usually pick House because I love the Hugh Laurie character (though I do wish they developed more plot lines where he was romantically interested in someone. I know this goes against his cactus-y persona, but it would still be nice). And I hate commercials, so usually, I'm not just watching this one show, I'm watching House and sort of watching another show for two minutes in between the ads. The in-between shows are mostly all reality programs that I can never imagine watching for longer than 90 seconds at a stretch. They include:

1. The Hills: Anything more than 2 minutes of this show in a row and I start to feel like I might be sustaining brain damage. I read or heard somewhere that The Hills is bad mostly because it's this fake show pretending to be a reality show, but none of the characters can act. That's exactly how I feel, like it's hard to watch because no one on the program has the talent or brains to even muster up what might pass for sincerity. Or else it's like watching a really, really high quality film shot in real time by a group of fairly unimaginative 10th graders. Nothing much happens and no one being filmed is interesting or funny or even trying to be interesting or funny. So, it's also sort of like looking at an aquarium with these pretty fish in it that swim around in the same small pool and not much happens.

2. Wife Swap: I have a hard time sustaining interest in this show too, because it also seems pretty fake-y or at least formulaic. Each week, they take take two diametrically opposed families (let's say the Redneck vs. the Intellectuals) and switch the families. In fact, it's almost always that same pairing of opposites...A really down-home traditionally-modeled household where mom stays home to school the kids and dad is a lumberjack and then you pit them against a namby-pamby looking family where the kids go to day care, mom works, and dad stays home. As I am not a fan of conflict (real or made up), I can only watch this show in snippets and have to change the channel anyway when the faux husbands and wives are yelling at one another.

3. Any of the Real Housewives series: You just cannot believe how full of money and shit these women are.

4. Intervention: It's fascinating, but also distressing. Except when you see an episode like the one I watched in 2 minutes stretches last night--this one was about an alcoholic woman who used to be married to a rich drug dealer and so got involved in the drug life-style that way, but it was like watching a Saturday Night Live skit about the show--she would get so drunk and they would have these scenes of one-on-one videotaping of her, but she wasn't making any sense and was difficult to understand and her hair was flying all over the place and she would begin crying in this loud, tearless way that sort of sounded like she was barking, so then that started to be more surreal and funny than sad.

I heart TV!