Hannah Star How I Met Your Exceedingly Un-Funny Mother*

It’s Labor Day Monday, and unsurprisingly – because what else does one do when all stores and restaurants are closed? – I’m sitting on the couch in sweatpants watching the Here Comes Honey Boo Boo marathon on TLC. For the sake of my credibility and somewhat intelligent reputation, I’d like to say that I think this show is awful. But…that just isn’t true. I love this shit. I could watch it all day. Wait – I am watching it all day. Now, I know there are high quality, Emmy-winning TV dramas and sitcoms out there that I could be watching. So why in the world am I watching a hillbilly family grind road kill into sausages instead?

By the way, for those of you unfamiliar with this 2012 Toddlers and Tiaras spin-off, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo follows six-year-old beauty queen Alana Thompson (a.k.a Honey Boo Boo) and her questionably-hygienic-yet-loveable redneck family. “Rednecks take a bath, mud wrestle, and waterslide all at the same time,” Honey Boo Boo’s mom just declared as she sprayed her mud-covered children with a hose in the family’s front lawn. And earlier in the episode, I got to see Honey Boo Boo’s mom discussing the “neck crust” that’s festering in the folds between her many chins. Seriously – this is a show. That I watch.  

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve tried to watch critically acclaimed, so-called “better” shows – you know, ones with scripts. And trained actors. And I just. Can’t. Do it.  Like, How I Met Your Mother? With the frequency with which people quote the damn show, I thought for sure it’d be laugh-out-loud entertaining, or at least have a gripping plotline (you know, who’s the freakin’ mother?!). But I was sorely disappointed to discover the script is totally cheesy, and that the show features so much overacting Allison Hannigan that I sincerely wanted to turn inside out, starting from my eyeball crevices. 

And then there’s Big Bang Theory – ouch. Again, we’ve got a super cheesy, overworked, trying-too-hard-to-be-funny script. Watching it, I feel like the show’s trying so, so hard to get me to laugh – and yet I don’t find anything funny – and the result is that I just feel outstandingly uncomfortable.  Here is an actual Big Bang Theory joke. Nerd: “Once you open the box it loses its value.” Girlfriend of nerd: “Ya, my mom gave me the same lecture about my virginity.” LOLZ, GET IT?! It’s just so contrived. Oh, and then somebody yells “bazinga,” and it’s all over for me. 

Put simply, when it comes to scripted TV, if I’m too aware of the fact that a joke is trying to be a joke, or that the actors are actively acting (a phenomenon known to the theatre world as “shmacting”), then I’m just not interested. In fact, I’m uncomfortable. 

Making these kinds of claims about popular TV shows, I’m aware that I might come off as exceedingly pretentious. But really, I’d only be exceedingly pretentious if, instead of watching TV, I committed myself to reading classic works of 19th century British literature or collecting pieces of French Rococo porcelain or something. But I don’t do those things; I still watch TV…I just watch worse TV.   

Because even though shows like I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here or Love and Hip Hop in Atlanta have little to absolutely no artistic merit, they’re also not explicitly trying to illicit reactions from me. There’s no laugh track. There’s no shmacting. They’re terrible shows, yes, but they don’t try to amount to anything more to that. And, strangely, that’s what I respect about them. In other words, I’d rather contentedly watch Honey Boo Boo do finger painting with her pet pig than have top shmactor Allison Hannigan positively beg me to laugh at her jokes, you know? 

In case you were curious, here’s an entirely shameless list of my top ten favourite garbage TV shows, in no particular order:

  1. The Bachelor/The Bachelorette/Bachelor Pad
  2. The Real Housewives – particuarly New York City, New Jersey, Beverley Hills, and Orange County
  3. Teen Mom – at least, until Amber Portwood went to rehab/jail…then shit just got depressing.
  4. Top Chef
  5. America’s/Canada’s/Britain and Ireland’s/Australia’s Next Top Model
  6. Masterchef…jeez, that one’s pretty embarrassing
  7. Kitchen Nightmares
  8. More to Love – okay, this was pretty much The Bachelor, except with overweight people
  9. The Biggest Loser (speaking of overweight people)
  10. Cupcake Wars

They all sounds like quality programming, eh? Granted, there are a few scripted TV shows that I can tolerate; they’re not all entirely unwatchable. I can watch True Blood, but that’s mainly because it’s the closest I’ll ever come to having sex with Alexander Skarsgard. I still think the acting and the plotlines are pretty gosh darn terrible. And I can also tolerate New Girl, because ideally I’d like to be Zooey Deschanel when I grow up. 

But, when it comes down to it, I’d still take the shitty reality shows over the sitcoms or dramas any day. And evidently, I’m not the only one; A few weeks ago, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo had higher ratings than the REPUBLICAN NATIONAL FUCKING CONVENTION. And thousands and thousands of brainless TV-watching Americans can’t be wrong, right?

 

Comments

I completely agree, I absolutely hate HIMYM.
I also hate Big Bang Theory, and all the other quick easy sitcom trash that has started to become the average show these days.

More to love is the greatest. It may be a rip off, but I am glad its around

Thats a brilliant title for a fat-bachelor show

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