Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Monday Night Meltdowns - At least it's not me!

I watch a lot of television, no one should be surprised by this. I love television, I really do.

I have two favorite nights for TV, Monday and Thursday. But they are my favorites for two very different reasons.

Thursday night TV consists of Community (quit dicking around and watch this show already), The Office (you can go ahead and end now, you guys), 30 Rock (still funny, still valid) and Parks and Recreation (worlds WORLDS better than The Office). And in the early fall for a few weeks, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It’s my night of comedy and laughs and good times. It makes me happy.

Monday night TV, on the other hand, is my night of “ least I’m not that guy!”

Monday night consists of Intervention and, depending on the time of year, Hoarders or Heavy. What are these shows, you ask? (You are probably all familiar with these shows).

Let me say first, I know that the people on these shows have real physiological problems and every single one of them needs help and I hope they each get it. And I am not even here to mock, I am here to share my fascination with the world. Join me:

I have heard this said about Intervention, “I prefer to watch things that are actually happy.” Not me. I like to watch other people be miserable. It makes me feel better about myself and my place in life. That is shallow as all hell, but I am more than fine with it. You are reading a blog on the internet from a crazy, vulgar woman who can barely entertain herself, not spiritual enlightenment from the Dali Lama.

While watching Intervention, I am usually one part uncomfortable, one part fascinated, one part terrified and maybe a little bit of a half part relieved that it’s not me or anyone I know.

One Intervention that sticks out in my mind is a mother and son in a co-dependant relationship from hell. They both drink Four Loko* and make each other drinks and sit around making fun of people that tell them they have a drinking problem which they scoff at, as if it’s news to them.  

I remember very little about this Intervention as they all seem to run together in content as it’s the same pattern with every show. The addict in question was good at something at some point in their life, life took over and they lost all will to go on and they turned to drugs because drugs make it all go away except they may kill you, will for sure ruin your teeth or veins, they are expensive, they will alienate you from your entire family and they keep you from doing anything worth doing forever. And then when the addict is days away from dying the entire family comes together and breaks it down for them and basically says “Get help, like, now. Kthanksbye.”

And what really, really confuses me is that when the addict is being intervened on, they are always so surprised??? There is no way that they don’t know what is going on. They are told they are in “a documentary about addiction” yet none of them ever piece together that they are actually on Intervention for an intervention. Some of them even get there and they are like “I’m on Intervention, aren’t I?” Big, fat duh. What did you think you were on? Obviously expecting a crackhead to know what is going on is ridiculous of me, but come on! Crack is whack, for sure, but what do drug addicts do besides sit in front of the TV and watch television? I am going to say nothing. If there is one audience of people that can boost the ratings of any show, it’s addicts (put down the pipe and pick up Community!).

Hoarders, oh Hoarders. It’s nothing less than amazing. Seriously. If you want your mind blown without the possibility of one day appearing on Intervention, watch Hoarders.

You know that box of old notes from middle school and high school that you don’t throw out and you don’t know why but you just feel you need to keep them for nostalgia sake? Or the first doll you ever had that you tell yourself you are going to keep until you have a daughter to give it to even though it never makes it into her arms? Or how about that old sewing machine that you plan on one day dragging out to go back to sewing, if you just had the time? We all have something like this, am I right?

How about all the pet hair that your dog sheds that you keep in sporadic piles on the floor in fear that if you throw it away that it will significantly shorten your pet’s life? No? The designer knock-off bags that you spent your life’s savings of $200,000 on to make you feel whole and now you’re filing for bankruptcy? Still nothing? I got it, I know you have rat skeletons that you collect for fun just gathering dust in your family room. No?! Seriously?!  

The things I mentioned above are actual episodes of Hoarders. There are people that actually do this and much, much more. Most of them can’t even walk into their homes and they are forced to live on their property in a trailer which they then fill up with even more crap.

Did you know there is such a thing as Adult Protective Services? I didn’t either until I started watching Hoarders. Adults have to be saved from THEMSELVES! And boy do they get pissy when someone tries and throw out their bag of rotted food or their dead cats or their loads of animal feces. It’s amazing and sad. Never forget sad.

What makes Hoarders so entertaining, to me at least, is all the questions. They don’t live in working homes as every room (including bathrooms and hallways) is full of dolls or handbags or rats so…How do they shower? How do they even pee? Where do they sleep? Do they eat there? Can they even stretch their legs? Does the refrigerator work? SO many questions…most of which are never answered. It matters not, though. I still love this show and I can’t wait for it to come back. However, it has been replaced with a hell of a show…

Heavy is new and I have only seen the first four episodes of it but I love it so far.

Heavy takes morbidly obese people and helps them lose weight. They don’t win money or anything like that, they just win being able to breath and walk up and down stairs and general mobility that most people take for granted. They win a few more years on their lives instead of dying alone in a house that has to be burned down because they can’t get a forklift in the door to haul their ass out to be buried in a landfill.

Have I cried every episode that I have seen of Heavy? Yes, yes I have. It’s a great show. Everyone goes into it saying they can’t do this and they can’t do that but in the end when they do the final weigh-in after six months, I tear-up every time. They are always so happy and proud of themselves, it’s amazing to see that kind of transformation and the joy on their faces. It also makes me feel like a lazy piece of shit because if a guy that weighs 600 lbs can get on a treadmill or a Stairmaster, so can my lazy ass.  On the other hand, I also say “Hey, I weigh the amount they just lost, I am doing a-ok!” (btw, I have lost 3 lbs, I am doing reasonably well???).

So if anyone out there is about ready to slit their wrists, tune into A&E on Monday nights. You will feel the dread and fear leave you almost immediately. That is a guarantee. And if not remember; down the road, not across the street.

*I am really super curious about Four Loko. I know it is disgusting, banned in certain states, may cause a heart attack and immediate cirrhosis of the liver and probably gives you a hangover that makes PBR hangovers look mild, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try it. Just a sip, really as I am sure any more than that would cause me to vomit up a week’s worth of falafel, but yeah. Just a sip. Maybe even a gulp, but no more.


Holly said...

I have always wondered how the people on Intervention don't kknow they are on that show. I don't believe it. How do they even find enough addicts willing to let someone document their addictions? Maybe they offer drugs in exchange for videotaping a few weeks of life.

Stacey Garrett said...

Holly, yes! I have often thought that A & E just traded regular old drugs in order for them to play stupid. What is the deal there? I know if I sat at home and drank and did drugs all day, I would do nothing but crochet and watch tv. All day. How do they NOT know?!

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