One thing you should know about Trash is that I love reality television. I love the constructs, I love watching them build an edit for a contestant and how it all plays out, and I think there is a lot of cultural value in the manipulation of these stories for our entertainment. Of course, this does not make them all quality shows but it’s a window into human psyche and how certain cues and attitudes play within society.
One of those insights is that we repeatedly fall into the same traps over and over again. America LOVES a spunky underdog. We’d rather see someone try hard with a good attitude over consistent excellence. We “hate” bitchy people, but we wouldn’t be as engaged in a show without a villain to root against. These cliches and others are used in all of the best reality shows.
So let’s talk about the most consistent reality show in my life, America’s Next Top Model.
I have loved Top Model since I first laid eyes on Jade Cole.
I started watching the show with my friend who would give me a ride back to my off-campus apartment when I didn’t have my car yet. Jade’s brilliant vocabulary and antics had me hooked!
So wonderful and so fabulous.
From there, I caught up on reruns of the early seasons crying with Kelle over her snout, watching my chest go jiggle shimmy with Robyn, having sex with Italian strangers a la Shandi, and learning about tipsy-top models with Naima.
I even know the choreography to Shake Ya Body!
Wholahay? I was there.
Check ya thighs out in the mirra? I was there.
Jenna’s Chevy Impala? I was there.
Brasilia? I was there.
Hi! I’m Kyle! I was there.
I even made it through both All-Star seasons and this season with the mens! We’re talking dedication here.
Mostly to Don, but I watched it anyway!
But you know, it took all my strength to realize that I have to stop caving in to the power of Tyra. This show was once a fun way to spend a hour with fake models doing hilarious challenges. However crazy, there was always a semblance of reality to some of the things that happened. There were real designers involved. Girls went on to at least work in the industry.
This past season, all of the photos were taken on iPads in order to use “Flixel” technology. It was stupid.
The final runway show for Season 18 was for Forever 21. It was stupid.
Kelly Cutrone is STILL on the show. No one likes her. She isn’t funny. She isn’t attractive. She is the worst.
While the show is still entertaining in a way, it is no longer the same hilarious antics that kept us tuned in back in the day. We no longer have panel challenges. No more Andre Leon Talley or Janice Dickinson. It’s a chore to watch each episode because the show stopped trying. Even when we the fans didn’t take it seriously, it needed to take itself seriously for the show to work.
I remained hopeful that the show would find its ground but it simply hasn’t recovered. The judging isn’t as spirited. Even Tyra’s heart isn’t really in it anymore.
I hope that she will let the show end with dignity and then put out the seasons on DVD so that I can enjoy them forever and ever.
But I can’t watch it anymore. It is just a reminder that I’m getting old and the show has worn out its welcome on the popular culture.
Are there any shows that you’ve had to give up on? What would you suggest as a replacement?? Let us know in the comments!