Guilty (and pathetic) pleasures

I’ve developed a hopeless love-hate relationship with my Bright House Networks-hosted Digital Video Recorder, which allows me to record pretty much anything I might miss on television at any time on any given day of the week. Which means I’m drowning in a sea of reality television and I can’t seem to come up for air because it’s so bad yet sooo, sooo good.  

I haven’t quite figured out the true value of Bravo’s two new endeavors, Welcome to the Parker (about the behind-the-scenes happenings of a ritzy Palm Springs retreat), and Flipping Out (about OCD-suffering, Los Angeles-based real estate “speculator” Jeff Lewis and his wacky staff). But you better believe I watched the premiere of both and I’ll continue to watch ’em until, like in the case of CBS’s godawful Pirate Master, I become completely disgusted with myself and, before taking a minute to think about it, erase them from my DVR menu entirely.  (On a side note, CBS has officially cancelled Pirate Master. This news came around the same time as the news about the apparent suicide of one of the show’s eliminated contestants, Cheryl Kosewicz. Coincidence? I think not.) 

I’ve also been tuning into Rock of Love (see photo). I haven’t fully committed to this reality dating show with Poison’s Bret Michaels serving as the object of affection for 20 eligible (and slutastic) ladies, but said ladies are making it very, very hard for me to look away. They’re just so damn dramatic and nasty and at all times watchable, and Michaels is totally down with all of them, including a weight-lifting cowgirl who CANNOT be a real woman. 

Also on my reality TV radar: Hell’s Kitchen and Top Chef, the former offering culinary disasters at every turn, the latter featuring delicious dishes that make me want to eat eat eat; Making the Band 4, because I’m somehow drawn to those precious moments when P. Diddy actually cracks a genuine smile; and Last Comic Standing 4, which really and truly stinks. None of the comics who are actually funny seem to have made it beyond the semi-finals save LaVelle Crawford, who frequently performs in the Bay area. I have nothing to say about Big Brother 8 other than I’m watching it due to habit, and suffer from equal parts enjoyment and annoyance; and Scott Baio is 45 … and Single, mostly for those awkward moments, which are pretty much all the moments that have been recorded.   The good news? I have also developed a keen love for Robot Chicken and Flight of the Conchords. Both are spectacularly funny and rather smart. Can these shows save me? Of course not. But at least they make me laugh. My other horrible addiction of late: celebrity gossip blogs. I’m ashamed to say that I currently frequent three different ones. This has greatly reduced my need to waste money on People Magazine. Conversely, it’s also reduced the amount of brain cells I have left to about 10. (Maybe 20, if I avoid PerezHilton.com’s godforsaken, highly addictive, gossipy-to-the-point-of-abusive online rag.) But I’m drawn to the randomness as much as the juiciness. Like the “Golden Gals Gone Wild” art show. Or Jessica Alba grocery shopping braless.  

What are your guilty media pleasures of late? Tell me and reassure me that I am not alone in my consumption of awful media.

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