If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit next to us – and hand me the remote.
Darlings, when it comes to our television viewing habits, they are, to say the least, eclectic. If the major television networks all went dark tomorrow, we’d barely notice it. Not only do we not watch most mainstream network television, we tend to recoil from its lowest-common-denominator, sugar-coated productions reflexively. Whenever one of the network shows reaches water-cooler status, we’re the first ones to roll our eyes at its mention. In fact, we recently had the chance to interview one of the cast members of Lost and had to cram 4 seasons of episodes into about a two-week period just so we’d be able to ask semi-intelligent questions of her (more on that later). And hey, we can admit when we’re behind the curve – we’re absolutely addicted to the show now, 4 years after everyone else made it the water-cooler topic du jour.
No, kittens, we’re not mainstream TV viewers at all. We’re Cable Queens and proud of it. Don’t mistake that for snobbery on our parts. It’s not like we get all excited at the latest Masterpiece Theater or whatever else they show on PBS during its soon-to-be-daily pledge drives. Ninety-nine percent of what’s shown on cable TV is pure trash and that’s what we love, precisely because its not boiled down to bland pablum for the masses. When we’re not proclaiming the entertainment value of, say, Ghost Hunters on the Sci Fi network or Clean House on Style, we’re watching the Korean soap operas on the stations that can count their viewership in the hundreds (it’s amazing how much of the plot you can figure out when you don’t speak a word of the language). We’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that we watch the kinds of shows that absolutely no one else brings up at a cocktail party.
Above all else though, there is one genre that always holds our interest: the makeover show. We can’t help it. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching walking trainwrecks defend their shitty clothes and get dragged kicking and screaming into something approaching style. We’re always amazed at what a good haircut, some decent makeup tips, and 5,000 dollars worth of new clothes can do for the average woman. It’s the judgmental aspect that appeals so much – much like Project Runway. You can sit smugly on your couch and trash them for their poor choices and then at the end, trash the stylists for not doing a good enough job improving them (“NO! Don’t give her a bob! The bitch needs highlights and layers, not a blunt cut! JESUS!”)
Foremost among them is of course, TLC’s What Not To Wear. Stacy and Clinton rule our world and in our eyes, they can do almost no wrong (although most of the women do walk off the show looking like they raided Stacy’s closet). Then there’s Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, of course. Not quite at the top of the heap, but the second season showed huge improvement over the first and we’re sure that we’ll be tuning in for the inevitable season 3. We tried to get into Lifetime’s How to Look Good Naked and, well, there’s only so much entertainment value in watching a flamboyant gay man tell chubby girls how beautiful they are. We did enough of that in college, thank you very much. As horrific as it was, we kind of miss Extreme Makeover, mainly because every single woman went home looking like an aging stripper and every single man went home looking like a closeted televangelist. It was uncanny.
But there’s one secret pleasure and it’s one of those shows that seemingly no one else watches: TLC’s Ten Years Younger. Kittens, this show is a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. It’s always some single mom working something like 6 jobs who hasn’t had a haircut or teeth-cleaning since the Clinton administration and subsequently looks decades older than her age. Worse yet, they make her stand in a soundproof box in public and ask people to guess her age. The results: painful but of course, incredibly entertaining (to us, anyway).
The reason we’re bringing this up? Well, it’s a roundabout way of tooting our own horns again. You see, we recently interviewed Ten Years Younger‘s brand new host, Kyan Douglas, formerly of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and you can find excerpts of the interview once again on Metrosource’s web site. Our take? First off, Kyan was very sweet and grounded and approachable which, frankly, we didn’t expect. For whatever reason, we kind of assumed he’d be a little snotty or flakey and he really wasn’t. Secondly, it sounds to us like the show is being slightly re-tooled and could be headed for some major improvements (because it really was one of the trashier makeover shows out there). One thing’s for sure: we’ll be there on our couch when the new season starts later this month, wearing our bitch pants and sharpening our claws, as usual.