The year is 2016. Thanksgiving. I'm eating dinner with my family. The Kardashian Family gets brought up, and I express how I keep up with Kardashians. There are audible groans from everyone in my family despite the gender and age differences. Let's stop shaming people for their affinity for reality TV.
Let me say I live for reality TV. "American Idol?" Great with the original three judges. "The Jersey Shore?" Amazing. "Catfish?" I don't understand why people can't use Google without Nev and Max's help but I'm fine with this as long as the show continues. "Keeping Up With The Kardashians?" Yes. "The Bachelor?" I just want to see Chad as the bachelor. Yes these shows are trashy, but I'm clearly not watching them to be intellectually stimulated. I'm not here to pretend Sammi and JWOWW duking it out is teaching me anything farther than that they can't throw punches to save their lives.
The reality is that I'm watching TV to relax. I'm not here to challenge myself farther than I have to when I'm relaxing. If people choose to relax this way, who cares? There are people on "My Strange Addiction"eating pottery and dating their cars in their free time. I'm just watching them do that in my free time.
And why does reality TV have this bad rep? Let me tell you, watching Odell Beckham hitting the whip after a touchdown or Frank Underwood committing murder does not make me smarter than if I watched Kim cry after losing a diamond earring in the ocean. Let's not pretend watching a sloth swim on "Planet Earth" instead of Gordon Ramsay yell at chefs on "Hell's Kitchen" will make up for my other poor decisions.
The thing is, a lot of us are ashamed to admit to watching trash. You can act superior for telling your friends and loved ones that "The Bachelor" is a heaping pile of garbage, which it is, but you're also filling out brackets and ranting about how Nick is an idiot for letting Rachel get away. It's ok. There's nothing to hide. Nick is an idiot and it's ok to embrace the trash.
Creators and producers of TV shows are experts of getting their audiences to experience the lives and worlds of their shows. You're lying if you never wondered what it was like to be obscenely wealthy in Calabasas. Or what's it's like to get paid to party with equally tanned people at Seaside Heights. Or having to create a dinner with pig's feet, chocolate sandwich cookies, dragonfruit, and broccoli rabe. We're fully immersed in these worlds, not matter how trashy, and able to not think for an hour for a few laughs.
Let's agree to let people live. There are people doing much worse out there than watching Snooki get punched in the face. So kick back, relax, and enjoy the best foolishness entertainment has to offer.