For my first edition of “Who Okayed This,” (a segment in which I try to comprehend the logic of people in high-powered decision making positions who make stupid and inadvisable decisions) I will attempt to tackle the monstrosity that is TLC. Did you know that “TLC’ is supposed to stand for “The Learning Channel”? I’m sure you did know that, but even still I am going to point out how stupid it is because I promise no one has ever learned anything from that channel except for maybe something about how a pointed shoe and a wide legged trouser are somehow supposed to look good together or about how there are more midgets (yes, yes… “little people,” I know) than you might imagine who are willing to have all the minutia of their lives documented for a reality television show.
So yes, this channel is supposed to be about learning, and I suppose, a few years back they still kind of pretended that’s what it was about. I spent about ten minutes (a long time to look for something on the internet!) trying to find the old theme song to “A Baby Story” on youtube. I was unsuccessful, and it was not supposed to illustrate anything about learning but more about how GHETTO that network was before Kate Gosselin and her disaster of a family made them bazillions of dollars. If anyone remembers it, then you know of what I speak. I think the final line of that theme song was “Years may come and go/ but there’s one thing I know/ love is all there is when I’m with you” and this song accompanied a decapitated pregnant lady stroking her stomach behind while wearing some weird pregnancy negligee all in the softest focus you’ve ever seen… I swear to god this woman had no borders to her skin.
But that was then, and I can’t even believe I’m NOSTALGIC for that garbage. But there is a good reason why this is the case, and that reason is TLC’s current line-up, which includes the following:
19 Kids and Counting: This started as what, 17 Kids and Counting? That poor, poor woman. Okay I’m realizing I’ll have to do a whole separate post about this show. Well this show and all the other “LOOK AT ALL THE BABIES” programming on this network. But seriously, these people have too many kids and will have to stop soon because they’re going to run out of “J” names, right? RIGHT? Right… and now for baby number 25…Jo-baba…
Addicted: Way to ride A&E’s coattails, TLC. Hey, remember when A&E only aired John Cheever biographies? I miss those days. Because then they decided they actually wanted to turn a profit and the launched Intervention. And everyone loved watching these sad, distressed people yell at their families. And TLC thought “Hey! We need to jump on this bandwagon of sadness!” Thanks, TLC. Because we needed another one of these deeply upsetting shows.
Cake Boss: Italian stereotypes and stupid cakes all rolled into one! It doesn’t have the hipster allure of Ace of Cakes (The Food Network) of which it is a blatant rip off. But it does have lots of grubby overweight guys manhandling the fondant that they’re about to feed to 250 office workers in the shape of a computer tower (complete with spinning cooling fans!!) DON’T EAT THAT!
Hoarding: Buried Alive: Another A&E rip off! Come on TLC! I only needed one show that sends me into a cleaning frenzy every time I watch it! I only need one opportunity per week to watch people languishing in cat feces and rotten cabbage while their kids yell at them!
I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant: Okay seriously, you MUST have known.
Jon & Kate Plus 8: Obviously I cannot do this shit show justice in two sentences. Look for a special post on this (and some of my other favourite TLC shit-shows) in the coming weeks.
LA Ink: Yes, Kat VonD is a total moron. And yes her pants are ridiculous, but before all the good tattoo artists got so appalled by Kat hiring that Rock of Love chick as the receptionist and quit, this was actually a great show for people who like to fantasize about all the tattoos they would get if they weren’t such a chicken shit.
Little Chocolatiers: Oh boy. Oh boy. The first time I saw an ad for this one I think I actually choked on whatever ridiculous snack I was eating at the time. Man, these TLC execs love midgets little people! I don’t know what they’re thinking really… “People are gonna love watching these people who are different do things that are hard for them but easy for everyone else! Working! Having kids! Making chocolate! Dirt biking! The possibilities are endless!”
The Little Couple: See above.
Little People, Big World: See above! I told you they love midgets little people! I think that if a couple of midgets little people had fifteen kids the execs at TLC would all have simultaneous brain aneurysms.
One Big Happy Family: Apparently this people also applies to fat people? This also brings to mind the TLC specials Half-ton Teen, Half-ton Mom & Half-ton Dad. “Look at these fat people! They’re so fat! They make me feel skinny even though I am also fat but not as fat as these people! Wow I hope I never get that fat. I guess I should stop eating this brick of marble cheddar.”
Our Little Life: AURGH! SEE ABOVE!!
Police Women of Maricopa County: “Look at these ladies doing this job that men usually do! They’re police officers, but they’re LADIES! They get mad! They bust criminals! But they’re LADIES! But these ladies don’t forget their feminine side, no siree! They have pink handcuffs! And they always make sure that their nails are done! And their hair looks good! And they even go to the effort of putting on a little mascara even though they’re only busting crack addicts so the least you can do is go put on some makeup, you sorry excuse for a woman.”
Say Yes to the Dress: My feelings (yes, feelings) about this show are so strong, that like Jon & Kate plus 8 it deserves its own post. (forthcoming!)
Table for 12: Like midgets little people, and fat people and people making cakes we love to watch people with lots of kids! Why do they have so many kids? Haven’t they heard of condoms? Oh, they’re super-christians? Huh. Weird. Let’s watch!
Toddlers & Tiaras: This one is a serious mind-fuck. I’m convinced it’s actually the perfect expression of everything that is wrong with our society. More extensive post forthcoming, naturally.
Ultimate Cake Off: The only thing people like more than hipsters or Italian stereotypes making gross inedible cakes with parts that spin and light up and explode are these people doing these things really fast under a deadline and then having mean people judge their efforts and tell them they’re useless and a failure.
What Not to Wear: I understand what Stacey and Clinton are trying to do, I really do. I mean it’s good that they want women (and a couple of bewildered men) to dress the body they have and not the body they want. It’s good that they want people to look their best and be confident and all that shit blah blah blah. But do they really need to make EVERYONE LOOK THE SAME!? Wide leg trousers that skim the thighs! A pointed shoe! A handbag in a bold colour! Mixing prints and neutrals! Textured bob with caramel highlights! Smokey eye with light pink lip gloss! The What Not to Wear army is ready to eat your brains!!
That was exhausting.