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Confessions of a Reality Show-aholic

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Actual conversation…

Jason (the boyfriend) over at my apartment:  Cher, why won’t your TV let me turn the Cubs game on?
Me:  Because the DVR is on…
Jason:  Well, can I turn it off?
Me:  No, NYC Prep is taping!
Jason:  I can’t turn that off?!
Me:  Hell no!
Jason:  It’s the Cubs game!  Isn’t that more important?  Can we at least watch it on a different TV?
Me:  I don’t think so, Tori and Dean Home Sweet Hollywood is taping upstairs and its part I of their season finale.  You might have to put the game on the computer.
Jason:  You know these people don’t care about your life, right?  I don’t know why you care so much about theirs.  You watch way too much TV!

The first step in overcoming an addiction is to admit you have one, right?  Well, I can do that.  I have an addiction.  There, I said it.  It’s not just to TV though, but more specifically, to reality TV.  And not the good kind of reality TV, if there is such a thing?  Apparently, the whole country watches American Idol or at least it seems they all vote for the new idol.  I’ve never even tuned in for an episode.  Same goes for shows like the Biggest Loser or Survivor or the Bachelor, never got into them.

I like a different type of reality TV.  I’m not sure how to classify my tastes…washed up celebrities with their own shows, rich people who like drama?  But my DVR is set to the following— every Real Housewives franchise, The Hills even without LC, the City, NYC Prep, Miami Social, Millionaire Matchmaker, Kendra, Tori and Dean Home Sweet Hollywood, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Say Yes to the Dress, Dancing with the Stars and the list goes on.

The addiction started out innocently enough (don’t they all) in college with Laguna Beach and The Hills.  My roommates would get together each week to cook dinner, have some drinks and watch our favorite girls from the OC.  We envied their lifestyles—they were at the beach everyday and at bars every night, while we were in class during the day and spent our nights studying at the library.  It might have been a reality show, but it was our escape from reality.

Now? Now I don’t know what to call it.

I consider myself to be a relatively intellectual person.  You all know I love to write and I love to read even more.  That’s why I joined a book club this year.  I have my boyfriend, my friends and my family all nearby to socialize with in my spare moments of free time and yet, I’m finding myself more and more in front of TV.  (To my credit, I do work out while I watch, that’s one of the biggest benefits of having a DVR you can watch commercial free at your own convenience, but the down fall is that you can tape EVERYTHING.)

I wish I could say the addiction ends with the TV.  But did you know that you can follow a lot of these “characters” in the blogosphere?  Each cast member of the Real Housewives franchise has her own blog; the stars of The Hills and Keeping up with the Kardashians are all on Twitter.  And any celebrity web site covers the lives of these pseudo celebs.  Two of my favorites, Bethaney Frankel from the Real Housewives of New York City and Lauren Conrad from The Hills both published books this year that made it the New York Times Best Seller List!  THE NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER LIST!  Isn’t that reserved for REAL authors?!  There’s even talk that one of these books will be adapted into a movie and the other into a new TV show.

So I must not be alone.  Reality stars are hot commodities.  I’ve never been a fan of Jon and Kate Plus 8, but it’s hard not to know who they are as they are everywhere these days.  I even saw them on CNN.  When did we become so obsessed with other people’s lives?

In a way, one could say that Oy!Chicago is even a product of this voyeurism.  The advent of the blogosphere has encouraged everyone with a computer to start sharing their lives with the world.

In recent weeks, Stef and I have been told by several of our coworkers that we should have our own reality show.  (We can be pretty entertaining when we are crazed trying to assign, edit and publish stories.)  And you know what?  It’s a good idea.  I bet you someone soon will make a show about a start-up blog, it’ll be like the Office, but reality.  I’d star.

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