TLC: The Anti Role Model

By on September 10, 2014

 June Shannon aka Aalan "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson [photo Janet Mayer  PRPhotos]

June Shannon aka Aalan “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson [photo Janet Mayer PRPhotos]

Remember when the acronym “T.L.C.” stood for something? More specifically, do you remember when it stood for “The Learning Channel?” I do. Apparently, its network executives don’t even remember that the channel actually served a purpose. Rather than refer to itself as The Learning Channel, the channel has stopped trying to deceive its viewers and has just gone with TLC. When you look at the list of shows the network airs on a daily basis, it is easy to see why.

Here is a sampling of the shows TLC is currently airing: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, 19 Kids and Counting, Sister Wives, The Little Couple, Say Yes to the Dress, Long Island Medium, Toddlers & Tiaras, Breaking Amish, My Strange Addiction, I Found the Gown, Hoarding: Buried Alive, Buying Naked, and Craft Wars. And I left several programs off of this list.

Essentially, the network is selling us circus freaks. And they are making a killing.

Tell me, what is educational about an overweight white trash family that enters their overweight, audacious child into beauty pageants? Speaking of beauty pageants, tell me how Toddlers and Tiaras isn’t absolutely sickening. Where is the educational value in a show about a group of abhorrent women living vicariously through their mannequin children? How far does TLC expect its viewers to suspend their disbelief with a show like Long Island Medium? What groom doesn’t cringe at the bridezilla behavior being displayed and taught on shows like Say Yes to the Dress and I Found the Gown? Is anyone else sick and tired of the Duggars being rewarded for selling their pregnancies for profit? 19 Kids and Counting? And Counting? A responsible doctor would have sewn that woman’s vag shut a long time ago. And while on the subject of long, long ago is on the table, how hilarious is the concept of an Amish mafia? At least after a hit is ordered, they can custom build the coffin for their victim. And with a show like Hoarding: Buried Alive, who is the bigger victim? The subject of the show, or the victim watching it? The show is a fucking disaster, literally and figuratively. I haven’t seen that much trash in one place since….well….I happened to have the misfortune of seeing a commercial for an upcoming episode of Honey Boo Boo. See what I did there? Full circle baby. Full circle.

What is frightening, and perhaps more telling, is that the general public eats this shit up. 19 Kids and Counting and Toddlers and Tiaras are each on their seventh seasons. You don’t make it seven seasons on television unless advertisers are clamoring for a 30 second spot during your show. And they don’t waste their advertising dollars on shows that don’t have the ratings to justify it. That means that Joe and Jane TV Watcher are making a conscious decision to devote a half hour time slot to one of these brain rotting atrocities. And Americans wonder why the world perceives our country as a bunch of uneducated, self-entitled rednecks.

Perhaps TLC actually is The Learning Channel. It can teach foreigners about our American ignorance and arrogance. It can teach decent human beings on how not to behave. It can teach how obsessed Americans are with white trash culture, and how it cannot turn away from a train wreck. It can teach how scripted reality television is. It can teach that a large percentage of our population is heading toward idiocracy. And finally, it can teach what lengths a network will go to appease the general public, even at the risk of selling its collective soul.


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