It's true that all my life I've loved bad courtroom tv: Judge Judy, Judge Mathis, Divorce Court, etc. Maybe it's got something to do with my growing up in Chicago, where they film all those shows. Or maybe it's that I have a stronger sense of schadenfreude than the average person. But whatever it is, while I certainly like "smart" television, I really really love my dumb reality shows, too.
The dam broke three years ago when I was visiting my friend Amy. There were eight people in Amy's living room, and between the eight of us we had ten college degrees (with two people still pursuing their Bachelor's degrees). It was Friday night and all of us were glued to Amy's TV, transfixed by the Cycle 4 premiere of America's Next Top Model. I started watching and I couldn't stop. Six cycles of ANTM later, my closest friends AND both of my sisters AND my mom are hooked and in fact, Liz B. and Melissa and I will be liveblogging ANTM for Pop Goes the Library next week.
For a while I was able to convince myself that ANTM was going to be my one bad reality TV holdout, my "guilty pleasure," although I dislike using the word "guilt" in association with "pleasure" because as long as no one gets hurt, what's there to be guilty about? I fully embraced it as my one bad reality TV holdout, even bragged about how much I enjoyed it, until I was channel-surfing one day and ran headlong into the trainwreck that was season 1 of Flavor of Love. Raw chicken! Nicknames like Red Oyster! Oh, the drama! I think FoL1 was my gateway show. Since I started watching it I haven't been able to tear myself away from Rock of Love, I Know My Kid's A Star, and the like. I even watched...wait for it...Crowned. (What can I say? It was a dark time between seasons of Top Model.)
So yes, I spend my days being smart but when I'm in my pajamas on my couch, please don't interrupt me as I bite my nails seeing whether Bret Michaels will choose Daisy or Ambre.