I abhor reality TV.  That said, I sure watch a lot of it.  I blame the writers strike.  When I was on the early weeks of chemo, there was very little to watch on TV.  I tried to read, but found I had difficulty concentrating and read the same paragraphs over and over with little comprehension.  I tried to listen to books on my mp3 player while knitting.  Can’t hear the kids when I do that.  And that’s bad.  I’m pretty sure one of those attempts ended in the kids eating two entire boxes of granola bars.  Or feeding them to the dog.  I’m not sure. 

Enter America’s Next Top Model.  At first I sort of watched it with a skeptical eye during the many marathons of the show that ran during the strike.  Soon you find yourself invested in girls.  “She’s just trying to make a better life for herself and her family.”  “She’s helping the world to see another kind of pretty…”  etc.  So now I’m addicted.  I tend to see them in reruns on MTV or VH1, but I know if a marathon is on that day, I’m not getting anything done.  I will say I also like the photography.  It’s amazing what lighting, makeup, and digital retouching can do.  Here’s the girls with Paulina, almost as harsh a judge as Janice Dickenson.

Which brings me to my new favorite.  America’s Best Dance Crew.  I’m sure I’m way too old to be enjoying this show as much as I do, but man, those kids can DANCE.  I refuse to watch Idol and some of the other shows because of how negative they are.  Seriously, I don’t find mean people all that entertaining.  At least on last season, and so far this season, the judges are kind and constructive.  Well all except Lil Mama.  Week to week I have no idea what that girl is saying.  Something about bringing it hard.  She seems like a nice person, but yeah, no idea what she’s talking about most of the time.  Shane Sparks is an amazing dancer and choreographer and along with former NSYNCer JC Chasez gives great critiques that the crews take to heart and come back even better the next week.  I’m truly amazed at these dancers.  Some of what they do really defies gravity.  The other thing that I love about the show is the camaraderie and mutual support of all the crews for each other.  They really seem to respect and care about each other.  I loved that in the first season, when a crew was cut and their flag dramatically fell, it was picked up by the remaining crews who then held it high for one last time round the dance floor in tribute.  To me that is a show of real decency and sportsmanship that is lacking in many competitions.  So yes.  I’m 34 years old and completely addicted to ABDC.  I probably watch more MTV now than I ever did as a teen.  (Well, we didn’t have cable back then so that might have had something to do with it.) This is Fanny Pack.  I think they’re cool.

Lastly, a rant.  The Real World.  Once upon a time, this was a show about how people from different backgrounds get along.  Now it is a show about how people from different backgrounds drink lots of alcohol and have inappropriate relations with too many different people.  Sometimes it’s akin to soft pRon (don’t want the spam).  Now I don’t know if this means I’m a little jaded, but what happened on last night’s episode disturbed me.  This season takes place in LA where the various cast members are trying to get jobs in the entertainment business.  MTV set them up with a guy from movies.com to teach them about how to be correspondents.  Fine.  The guy mentions that he’s been battling cancer over the summer, but is doing pretty well.  OK.  The guy calls from the hospital to say they’re running some tests.  Hmm.  The guy passes away.  Now this is truly horrible.  What I wonder is even more truly horrible.  Did MTV pick the guy BECAUSE he had cancer to add drama to the show?  I hate that this even occurred to me.  I mean, this all happens in a one hour episode.  In no way do I wish to diminish the tragedy of this man’s death, but I can’t help wondering if he was exploited for ratings.  Shame on them, if they did.