Reality Rocks - Archive

This Is Where I Stop Being Polite…And Start Getting Real

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

Back when I was in college, taking a mass communications class with a bunch of cappuccino-sipping intellectuals, our professor asked us to list of all the television shows we watched in any given week. This was my list:

The Real World
Singled Out
The Price Is Right
Star Search

...you get the idea.

I was so busy scribbling my own personal TV guide on the classroom's whiteboard in a Sharpie-fumed fog, I didn't notice until it was too late that every other student's list looked more like this:

Meet The Press
The MacNeil/Leher Hour
Masterpiece Theatre
60 Minutes
Brideshead Revisited

Oops.

So, after this little experiment, I braced myself for a professorial lecture on the brainstem-liquidating effects of craptastic TV, but instead the teacher cocked his head to one side, thoughtfully scanned the whiteboard, and said: "Well, either this is the most unusual group of 18-year-olds ever assembled in one room...or Lyndsey is the only one here telling the truth."

Ha! Take that, you clove-smoking snobs!

Since then, I've never apologized for my deep and abiding love for/obsession with lowest-common-denominator TV. Yep, any tiresome person out there who self-righteously brags about how he never watches TV because he's too busy listening to NPR or studying the complete works of Milton or reading The New Yorker can kiss my you-know-what.

See, that wonderfully open-minded communications professor taught me that it's possible to be an intelligent, educated female (um, that's me) and still have American Idol contestant numbers on speed-dial; still fiercely debate whether Dilana or Lucas should win on Rock Star: Supernova (a rather moot point now, considering the colossal black hole into which Supernova sank, but hey, it seemed an important issue at the time); and still circle the upcoming airdates for Bret Michaels' Rock Of Love, Paula Abdul's Hey Paula, and I Love New York 2 in red on my calendar. So you culture snobs can wax rhapsodic all you want about Grey's Anatomy or Lost or Heroes or Friday Night Lights; I'll take So You Think You Can Dance, Breaking Bonaduce, or Celebrity Fit Club any day of the week, thank you very much.

So after frittering away many valuable office hours standing around the water cooler discussing the finer merits of Sanjaya's ever-changing hairstyles and ever-faltering vocals, the Pumkin/New York spitting incident, that Ace Young/Brian May showdown, Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston's toilet talk, or even whatever happened to Bands On The Run champs Flickerstick (remember? ¡El Dangeroso!), I finally have a legitimate, professional justification for my reality-TV fixation: this very blog! How thrilling for me that now when I sit in front of the boob-tube for, say, The Surreal Life, I can say it's purely for "work" purposes, because this new blog will cover all the goings-on in music-related unscripted television. No doubt my old college professor would be proud.

So does this mean I can expense my cable now? Um, not sure about that. I'll have to run that by Accounting later. But either way, this is going to be damn fun.

Happy reading and happy viewing,

Lyndsey Parker

View Comments