Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
Ali and I had a long day together full of photo shoots and lots of gabbing. As Ali is 22 and I’m 29, she teaches me about magical things like when Facebook was only for college kids and how there used to be a seperate high school Facebook. What! Who knew. Ali is also an expert on reality TV, particularly Big Brother, The Bachelorette, The Bachelor, the entire Real Housewives franchise, Cheerleader Nation, and Justice for Victims of Crime. So when I like to feel like I am not a shut in and want to know something about the goings on of pop culture, I turn to Ali.
Funnily enough, my favorite reality show ever aired in sunny Belgium. It was the year I was living there working for the trilingual nation’s government that I became obsessed with it. The premise was, who ever stayed awake the longest won a large amount of cash. So they shoved all the contestants into a really warm room with lullabies playing and lots of big pillows and stuffed animals to recline on. Then they had them preform insanely mundane tasks like counting hundreds of beans or repeating the same sentence over and over again. Slowly, people would nod off and face immediate elimination. Whoever could fight the bowls of warm milk and feather beds took home the cash. Now that’s entertainment!
But Ali assures me that we are the kings of reality TV over here and that I should be tuning in always and often for shows where complete strangers screw and agree to marry each other because they are handed a nearly frozen red rose. What a country!
Ali telling me about the wise ways of reality TV after hours at Washington Life.
Friday, July 16th, 2010
I am not a big time TV watcher. Sometimes if I am doing something extremely mindless, I will turn it on as background noise. But most of the time I just scream, “why do I pay $150 a month for something I don’t turn on!!” And then I remember my guilty pleasures and sign on the line.
There are four things I will go nuts for on television: anything on the Lifetime network; the show Friday Night Lights; any beauty pageant at all; and all cheerleader reality shows, especially Cheerleader Nation. When actually written out, that makes me look like a very shallow Texan teenager with extremely high levels of estrogen.
This is not the case! I blame the cheerleading thing on years and years of competitive gymnastics as a kid. I remember flying through the air in a leotard and how much I loved it and curse the mid-atlantic region for not being a more cheerleader-friendly area. Surely, if I had grown up in Dallas I would have taken my gymnastics background and flipped and twisted my way through high school and college, like the gals on Cheerleader Nation.
I’m not exactly sure how I came across the Lifetime gem filmed in Lexington, Kentucky, but as soon as I did, I was hooked. And now the show is being re-aired! It just so happens that I have a kindred soul at work, as Ali is also manically obsessed with the show. When things are slow we recite cheers and google the crap out of all the girls who were on the national championship team. Chelsea! (knocked up and at the University of Kentucky), Amanda (cheering for Tennessee), Ryan (cheering for Alabama) and all the rest of them keep us entertained for hours.
And maybe even more than the girls, we love their coaches, Saleem and Ms. Martin. Today we discovered that Saleem has his own series of expert DVDs available on Amazon. I bet the award-winning coach can even teach lunatic magazine journalists how to cheer. As you can imagine, they are at the top of our Amazon wish lists. Go Dunbar!
Ryan, Mia, and Chelsea.
I just found out you can order Saleem's "Winning it All" cheerleading videos on Amazon. Tempted, tempted.