TAKE a look at that photo of me up there. In the little TV screen up above. The glasses, the brushed hair, the quizzical look. I look like the sort of person who watches intelligent television, don't I? The kind of person who exclusively watches ABC period dramas and SBS documentaries, and gets excited over new Jane Austen adaptations. The sort of person who gets a thrill when parliamentary question time runs long.
WELL READERS, IT'S TIME TO COME CLEAN.
My TV tastes are far from highbrow. In fact, I have a trash television addiction.
This kind of shot in a promo is basically guaranteed to get me watching.
If its “stars” are normal people selected for their ability to act like complete bogans in front of the camera, I'll watch it.
If its central premise is a ridiculous competition with nonsensical challenges and dubious prizes, I'll watch it.
If it has no real plot but lots of good looking people wearing great clothes and regularly sleeping with each other, I'll watch it.
If it features people undergoing bizarre medical procedures, I'll watch it.
Although I do draw the line at anything with the word “Kardashian” in the title.
Basically if television were food, I'd be eating fried chicken, Twisties and fairy floss every night, while shows like The 7.30 Report and Lateline called forlornly to me from the vegie crisper drawer.
And with the explosion of new digital channels heaving with leftover trashy programs the other channels didn't want, I fear my addiction is getting worse every day. So in line with step five of the 12 step program to ridding oneself of nutrition-free television, I am hereby detailing the exact nature of my televisual wrongs in the hopes that I might overcome my affliction.
At the very least I might find some like minded TV Guide readers to start a support group with me.
"What's the drinking age here again? 16?"
The plot of this teen soap has gotten increasingly ridiculous over its four seasons, not that it ever really made sense to start with. A bunch of impossibly attractive, rich teenagers – one of which owns and runs a hotel (realistic!) – flit about New York in improbably expensive clothing and divide their time between drinking champagne, scheming ways to bully each other on the internet and sleeping with each other. Totally stupid, completely superficial and frequently irritating, but it's SO easy on the eye. And brain.
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK CITY
"We all hate each other."
Pretty much Gossip Girl add 30 years, but real. (If your definition of real includes Botox, silicon implants and vacuous discussions about charity galas.)
Hopefully one day the Jersey Shores girls will be able to afford that costly separation surgery.
The fact that this show about a bunch of hard-drinking, bogan, Italian-Americans in which nothing much happens has made it to season three, with season four in the making, boggles the mind. The fact that I love it so much is even more confusing. It is so low-minded, the entire premise for the show can be expressed in a simple equation: BOGANS + HOUSE + ALCOHOL = TV. People with names like Snooki, Jwoww and The Situation camp out in a house for a few months to drink, party and sleep with anything that moves. I can't explain why I enjoy watching this so much. As I said, it's a problem, people.
If these were bottles of Shiraz this would accurately reflect my typical working week.
Here's another show based on a simple equation: FREAKS = TV. This week's episode was about a bloke who couldn't eat anything except Yorkshire pudding. I don't even know what Yorkshire pudding is, but you're telling me this guy can't eat anything else? PASS ME THE REMOTE.
I tuned in to this reality medical show the other night and saw a man getting a haemmorhoid examined. AND I KEPT WATCHING. (I told you I had a problem).
Well, that's it. I mean, I could go on, but they only give me this one page. I asked if they could take the TV listings out this week to give me more space and the editor said no.
Over to you - what do you think of trash TV? Feel free to send me an email to the address below, subject line “I can't believe you hate Two and a Half Men but you'll happily watch this s***”.
This article was first published in the Adelaide Sunday Mail's TV Guide on February 20, 2011.