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Wonderfully Awful: Reality Roundup!


a blogumn by Robin Rosenzweig

As the holiday season kicked in, many of my favorite scripted television shows went on a nice, long hiatus. As a result, I’ve been given a lengthy chance to catch up on some of my old favorites from reality television-land, as well as get to know some shows I hadn’t yet discovered.  Sure, Jersey Shore is on that list, but anything that needs to be said about that show has already been said and/or fist pumped.  So let’s take a moment to discuss what else has been making appearances on my so-bad-it’s-good reality TV radar.

Steven Seagal: Lawman

Steven-Seagal-Lawman-Record-Breaking-Debut-500x676At first glance, one would think that Steven Seagal: Lawman is one of those contrived shows putting someone in an unlikely profession for the sole purpose of zany hijinks ensuing, much like that VH1 classic New York Goes To Work.

But the apparent story here is that about 20 years ago – about the time that Seagal’s film career started to go to the direct-to-DVD route, he joined the Jefferson Parish, Louisiana sheriff’s department. And he’s been rolling with them ever since, up to and including the time that A&E sent their cameras along for the ride. The result is a show worthy of its own drinking game.

Here’s how it works: take a drink every time Seagal’s driving partner Col. John Fortunado seems exasperated by Seagal’s chattiness. Take a drink when Seagal has one of his E.S.P. (as in Extra Seagal Perception) moments where he sees criminal activity and the camera flashes to show something very specific that only Seagal can see.  And finally, take a drink every time Seagal mentions he’s been practicing martial arts for 20 years. You’ll be practically chugging every episode from this one alone. Enjoy!

Say Yes to the Dress

SayYesDress2A weird thing happened after I got engaged and started shopping for wedding dresses. A switch flipped in my brain and I turned into one of those people who watches Say Yes to the Dress and thinks about how much I can totally relate. It’s shameful, but I have grown to accept it.

Say Yes to the Dress takes place in ginormous uber-salon Kleinfeld’s in New York City and is as much about the exasperated staff as it is about the brides. I’m not sure what I like best about the show. It could be the idea of someone trying to sell something that’s priced similarly to a used car but in order to do so, must not only make the purchaser feel beautiful and happy, but also please her mother and a gaggle of her girlfriends. Or maybe it reminds me that although I chose to try on dresses multiple times at the same store before finally making a decision, I can compare myself with people on this show and know that ultimately, I was entirely reasonable.

But let’s be real – the real reason I watch is to make judgments on people’s bridal gown choices. I’ve become *that* kind of bride.

The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love

pilotbachelorI actually abandoned The Bachelor years ago, but thanks to a total lack of current Monday night alternatives, I’m back on The Bachelor train. This Bachelor is previous Bachelorette reject Jake Pavelka, a hunky pilot that seems to only own two shirts: a pilot’s shirt and no shirt.

He seems to clearly want to find his wife, which makes me wonder why he came to this place. But never you mind, because I just came for the ladies’ embarrassing behavior, the obvious crazy people and good old fashioned, all-American shirtless Jake. Here’s hoping this will be the most explosive season yet!