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[personal profile] gordonzola
Living in San Francisco means you don’t need to get cable if you are not TV obsessed. With just an antenna you can get all the major networks, PBS, and a few indie stations. Occasionally at my parents’ house, on vacation, or at a motel I will watch something and my mind will get blown. This is really on TV?

I’m looking at you, Dance Moms.

But we got ROKU for x-mas and I have been checking out those reality shows* that seem so intriguing when I’ve seen them advertised on my TV holidays. OMG. Most of them are so bad that they trigger my depression. I realize these things are subjective. I’m not judging anyone who likes these shows. I’m just saying I’m glad I didn’t waste money on cable all these years.**

Here’s what I have been watching. Anything I should check out that I haven’t found yet?

Old episodes of Top Chef
These are great. The only Top Chef I had ever watched was the one season that is on DVD and a few episodes of Season 3 that I watched while stranded on the tarmac on a two hour flight delay on the way to Seattle to sign a contract with my agent. I had no idea there was no Padma in season 1. They have made some really smart moves over the years… getting rid of the caterers and home chefs, making better challenges with better food etc. We watched the current season as well and I just wanted to say, again, that all of you who had sympathy for Beverly and hated on Sara were just wrong, wrong, wrong. The thing about this show, which differs from the horrible “Hell’s Kitchen”, is that the contestants are talented and the judges, for the most part, seem legit.

Storage Wars
It took me a bit to get over the horrible premise of the show. People bidding on the possessions of others left behind in storage lockers is not something that would be allowed in a just society. But, on the other hand, I find it fascinating to see how things get to thrift stores. Except for maybe Brandi and Laura, no one is really likable on this show, but I have to admit that the buried treasure aspect of the storage lockers carries this for me. I really do want to know what’s in there and what it’s “worth”. I got kind of addicted to this show.

Pawn Stars
This show, on the other hand, is just awful. It combines the unlikeable aspects of Storage Wars with a scripted arrogance that made it unwatchable. The only episode that I saw, the main dude bought a cannon for $30,000. At least on Storage Wars you get the feeling – with a couple thousand being about the biggest bid– that the folks making the money on the lockers are not too far above – and sometimes clearly below – the people they are making money off of. If you have $30,000 for a cannon, my sympathy is gone. Plus they mock people who come in with things of no value. Whatever dudes.

Work of Art
This show is actually pretty awesome even though Stagey and I only half way through season one. Reality show of artists? It makes no sense! Here’s one day – MAKE ART! An acquaintance was on Season One and didn’t do very well – and some of the “artists” are terrible – but hey, Top Chef had some real terrible cooks in season one as well. [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid wrote about these episodes when they came on and I really wished he tagged his entries.

Project Runway All-Stars
Just not the same without Heidi, Tim, and Nina.

RuPaul’s Drag Race
I know lots of you love this, but I was bored. It owes a lot to America’s Next Top Model for sure, and maybe I just watched too many episodes of that show, but it has all the fake drama and arbitrary rules that I began to hate about ANTM. I’d probably need to watch more episodes to have a coherent analysis – or come to like it.

American Pickers
After about five minutes I wanted to punch these assholes in the face. Two dudes self-importantly drive around the country looking for poor people to exploit. They strategically bother people until they give in, lowballing them despite the fact that some appear senile or unaware of where their next meal will come from. After the Rev, these folks definitely have a date with the firing squad for crimes against the People. Plus they have a goth-y gal back at home base who seems to be trying to be that goth girl on that military cop show or that quirky computer girl on that serial killer show.*** The only thing of value in this show is that it could inspire hatred of the entire capitalist system based on the ruthless actions of two Randian douchebags in a van.


*I consider Project Runway and Top Chef to be the crowning achievements of this genre, btw.
**Being able to watch Giants games would certainly be a mitigating factor, however.
***The difference between punks and Goths in a nutshell? Punks hate representations of themselves on TV and view all such fictional representations as sell outs. The Goths think it’s cool to have one of their own working for 1. The military and 2. The cops. That may be a lot of things, but cool will never be one of them.
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