Reality TV Addiction

The other day I did some quick calculating (this is a lie; anything involving math takes me an hour) and figured out that Boyfriend has only been home 6 days since August 18th. Six! That leaves over 3 weeks when he was gone, which adds up to a lot of hours of bad reality television shows watched in an effort to distract myself. I know, I know, I could’ve been reading a book or something noble, but sometimes a girl needs to just zone out. If you figure I was soaking up 3 hours a day on the weekdays and 8 on the weekends (conservative estimates), what does that average out to? 5.5? Multiply that by x, where x equals the number of days Boyfriend was in India or Cincinnati or DC and you come up with OH MY GOD, MY BRAIN IS MELTING.

Not every reality show I indulged in was particularly terrible, but there is a certain level of, shall we say, grossness that comes with watching a scripted drama trying to pass itself off as reality in any number of staged situations. Such gems included Project Runway, Million Dollar Listing, Real Housewives (New York and New Jersey), etc. Halfway through The Best Three Weeks for My Cable Box, I started to notice something funny about some of the “characters” (because that’s essentially what they are); they reminded me of other people I’d seen before, and not just because I’d watched the same episodes multiple times already. Lots of the faces looked familiar, but I couldn’t place them.

It finally clicked for me when, in the middle of a marathon of Million Dollar Listing New York, a car commercial came on with a cameo appearance by Tom Brady. So that’s where I’d seen one of the brokers on the show before! He’s a dead-ringer for the Patriots quarterback, although a much crouch-ier version. My friend Hunter came up with that word, it’s a combination of creep and douche.

Uncanny, am I right? And then it’s like the floodgates to whatever bizarre part of my mind is responsible for recognizing faces opened up and I couldn’t watch anything without mentally comparing them to the visual rolodex in my head. Shit got weird for a while.

Near the end of Boyfriend’s hiatus from America, I got really into old MTV reruns of Real World/Road Rules Challenges. You know what I’m talking about, the good old days of MTV from the early 2000s where they would have a million different gauntlet-style battles, wherein a bunch of 20-somethings, aiming to stay relevant after their respective season of their other reality show had ended, lived in Island villas and competed in pointless battles of physical strength and there was lots of scheming and conniving to eliminate fellow teammates and lots and lots of hooking up. Too bad they don’t air repeats on tv anymore, but at least there’s Youtube. You know what’s on Youtube? EVERYTHING. Including Real World/Road Rules Battle of the Sexes from 2003, the show that introduced me to hot dudes with French accents by way of Antoine de Bouverie. I’m pretty sure he is what started the entire French Man obsession, all those years ago.

Thanks, buddy. Call me, maybe.

Another contestant was Tonya, of Real World fame, who I figured out looks just like one of the idiots from Teen Mom 2. It’s like a reality tv gold medal, trying to see which of these girls can out un-class the other.  And before you get all judge-y on me, NO, I don’t watch Teen Mom. Even I have standards. Sidenote: you try finding a picture of a slutty former porn star-turned-Real World contestant with all her clothes on. And they say blogging isn’t hard work.

They could be past and future versions of each other. Don’t worry, 17 year old girl with twins, you will grow up and still be on MTV!

And then there’s another Real World contestant, Robin, who looks sort of like Scarlett Johansson. I said “sort of” because it’s not identical, and it’s harder to see it in photos than it is when she’s talking on screen.

Also, if Robin’s boobs get any farther apart they are going to end up in her armpits.

Like I said, I don’t always watch such inarguable garbage. Project Runway is actually a respectable show. It’s won Emmys! And the drama is always contained to things like “You stole my sewing machine!” not “You stole my man!” But occasionally, there is a contestant so ridiculous that the only comparison I can make is…well, here you go:

Aside from the fact that Kooan could barely speak English, he provided so much entertainment in the time he was on the show. Here, he is wearing a bright blue jumpsuit that he has tied around his waist. He’s the spitting image of a Sanrio cartoon.

If you made it through this entire post and a) didn’t roll your eyes and b) still want to associate with me, congratulations! I tried to scale it back; I have an entire post dedicated to America’s Next Top Model look-alikes that I’ve spared you from.

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September 13, 2012 / random / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 12

12 comments

  • I have absolutely no idea who any of those people are nor those programmes. Sorry!
    But omg how airbrushed is that first photo of scarlett johanssen. she makes me laugh, you see all these siren photos of her looking like blonde bombshell at awards ceremonies and then in real life she’s a scuffer with a pig ring through her nose and skanky hair. Why would you do that to yourself when you’re that beautiful? x

  • Hahaha, your comparisons are pretty good. My roommate always thinks he can spot doppelgangers but secretly, he’s terrible at it. Okay, it’s not a secret – everyone thinks he’s terrible.

  • I’m sorry lovely but you lost me at the sentence ending in ‘douche’ xx

  • I’m having a fairly miserable morning here doing something I’ve been dreading (and of course putting off for, like, EVER), and I at least can safely say that this post made my morning! MDL, PR, RH (NYC and NJ)…I’m on board for all of those. I can grab a marathon of Flipping Out now and then too. Your comparisons are uncanny. And they’ll have me watching more closely now. As if it were my, you know, duty.

  • Ha ha ha- saved the best for last- the Kooan/Afro Ken comparison is so funny and that guy totally carries himself like a cartoon character.

  • Wow, that’s a pretty amazing trick. No, really, I would think these things, but my brain would never make the connection. And, then, I would just be frustrated. The trick would do very well at cocktail parties, or for blogging. :)
    I have sort of weened myself off reality shows, but every once in awhile they somehow get their death grip on me. Suddenly and unexpectedly, I find myself mesmerized by why all the Kardashians are fighting (again), who the new agent is on Million Dollar Listing LA (doesn’t matter), and whether the bachelor and bachelorette will stay together (they won’t). You’re right, it all makes for great mind candy.

  • i suspect you may have officially lost it! just sayin’ ;)

  • Erin, that it too funny! Did you notice Scarlett and Robin have mirrored beauty marks on their cheeks? When I saw the first photo of Tom Brady in your post I thought it was a young or very face-lifted Gary Busey…

    There is nothing better than a good reality tv marathon once in a while. When I was sick I watched pretty much a whole season of teen mom only to miss the grand finale. At the end of the day my brain had turned to mush. I am addicted to all the house and home related shows like Million Dollar Listing, Flipping Out, Million Dollar Contractor or House Hunters. I always want to move right into the places that they show or I have an opinion on what I would do with the space…

  • Dude, don’t even be ashamed. While Ban has been gone I’ve watched about four seasons of Four in a Bed, non-stop. If you thought American reality TV was pikey, try watching some low-budget British! What is this Four in a Bed, you ask? Well, basically, four rival B&B owners battle it out to determine who runs the best value-for-money bed and breakfast.

    It’s…so bad it’s gone past rubbish and back to addictively shawesome (taking a leaf from your friend’s book here and combining “shite” and “awesome”.) All I’m gonna say is people get really catty when their full English breakfast doesn’t have poached-to-standard eggs. MEOW! Better not let those beans touch the fried bread. HISS!

    So, you see, no matter how much you’ve over-thought or processed the telly you’re watching, it will never, EVER, be as pathetic as what I’m doing over here.

    Don’t even get me started on Coach Trip.

  • love this! i don’t know of any of these people, (except scarlett) but your powers of observation are awesome!

  • Haha, my boyfriend is the same with the TV. I’m afraid that his head IS going to melt from all the crap that he watches… Myselt I should try to stay away from the computer instead!

  • […] celebrity doppleganger? I’m embarrassed to have to ask for help given my previously stellar track record with this sort of thing. If I do say so […]