Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What I Learned From My Compulsory Television At The Gym

The treadmills at the school gym have televisions set in front of them, muted with the captions on. These are always set to VH1, except for the one on the end of the row that I have to crane my neck to the left in order to see. I don't do that because I have nightmares that I'll be running and miss a stride and go flying off the back of the treadmill into the racquetball courts, and then everyone will just nod and say, 'Mhmm. I knew she was going too fast,' so I never know what's on that one.

(I feel that they all think I am going too fast because I've only ever seen four or five other people really running at all on the treadmills, and I've never seen anyone looking like they were really pushing their speed. Also, running on the treadmill is infernally boring and intolerable to me, so my RPE is significantly higher and I probably look like I'm about to die.)

It occurred to me while watching said VH1 that reality television has really gone too far.

Now, I love nonfiction television. I watch a lot of it - maybe more than scripted shows. I practically live on FoodNetwork and the History Channel while I'm studying. I watch shows like 'Operation Repo' and 'Parking Wars' without a hint of shame. I've watched and enjoyed Judy Judy.

But today I watched a show called 'Audrina,' and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why.

I gathered that the main subject was this girl, Audrina, and the cameras were following her around. But after half an hour, I still had no idea why they got the idea to follow her in the first place. She didn't do anything. She did about the same things I do on, say, a normal Saturday, except with pedicures and small dogs with atrophied legs from being carried around in handbags. She did pilates with her mom and complained about her boyfriend, and then she had lunch with her boyfriend and complained about her mom, and then her sister and her mom got into a disagreement over her brother-in-law.

How is this at all different than what I did last Saturday? Other than the fact that I wasn't wearing as much make-up at the time, and none of my conversations involved the fact that it was about time I got some plastic surgery.

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