According to some people, this was a big week in television, with the finales of Dancing with the Stars, The Biggest Loser, and American Idol converging in a perfect storm of appointment viewing. For you, I watched none of these programs. Like all those people who were supposed to get Raptured last Saturday, the event sort of passed me by. Or maybe I just make slightly different television appointments.
I really meant to write about this last week, but all I could do was hiss, “That’s no way to behave at The Manor” over and over again. I found that does not make for compelling recapping copy. Anyway, now that we’re two episodes in, I can safely say that after a strange, Danielle Staub-tastic second season, the RHONJ are back, in full effect (now, with 100% less Staub), and with way more family drama than is probably necessary or healthy for anyone involved. And by “anyone,” I mean the entire population of the Garden State. Will I continue to watch these ladies give outsiders the wrong impression of my home state? That’s like asking guacamole to stop being delicious.
And the battle rounds rage on! Seriously, it’s week three of four. Seriously, for all the good things The Voice does — like making people sing awkward, competitive duets in a boxing ring — the snail-like pace is a killer. While I’d never want the explosion of programming we see on Fox whenever anyone on American Idol breathes, I’m wondering if future incarnations of the show will do more to keep viewers amped from week to week (or episode to episode). Still, it’s an interesting ride. Cee Lo cried. Also, Adam Levine is trying to do something interesting with his facial hair. Adam Levine should not try to do something interesting with his facial hair.
Just when I thought watching teenagers struggling with pregnancy and strained relationships was emotionally taxing enough, they had to go and make season three. I’m starting to feel like the Michael Corleone of teenage pregnancy-based reality television. Despite my growing reservations, I thought I was doing all right so far. I held my ground even as things degraded into domestic violence, some boyfriends were revealed to be even slimier than those of previous seasons, and I found myself becoming increasingly wary of the fact that the participants are very much in danger of falling into the Real World-esque trap of becoming too aware of the medium. Really, I was doing all right. But then we got episode six’s pregnant teen, Kayla, whose anorexia caused both emotional and physical problems over the course of her pregnancy. MTV devoted a full 90 minutes to her story and I called my mom at least twice for emotional support and to thank her for being herself.
Technically, the above information is no longer correct. And that leaves me feeling empty and sad inside. But after a two-day long, star-studded surprise goodbye extravaganza and a final hour of being encouraged to follow my my passion, I can honestly say that Ms. Winfrey has left me better than she found me. Thank you for the years of slumber parties at Maya Angelou’s house and, most importantly, Nate Berkus.