Sunday, August 26, 2012

Guilty Pleasures: Don't tell the bride I love Wedding shows

Last week I presented a call to arms. Sick and tired of being ashamed of liking so called low culture I decided it was time to come clean. So sometimes I like things that are not considered cool but considering the fact that these things are usually referred to as “popular culture” it doesn’t seem right to be ashamed of it. In an effort to get more people to admit their guilty pleasures, and as such create a safer space to enjoy popular culture, I am going to be admitting one of mine every Sunday. Seeing as I already spend Sunday in a haze of shame and guilt from whatever happened on Saturday night it shouldn’t be that difficult. This week I have chosen to admit one of my darkest secrets: I love Wedding shows. 

I realise it’s a contradiction but I can’t help it, I am a romantic cynic that just really loves wedding shows. By wedding shows I am referring to reality TV shows that deal with all the wonders of weddings, the plans, the party and most importantly the dress. It might be an archaic tradition that perpetuates patriarchal control but damn it’s fun to watch. I love the drama, I love the craziness, heck I even love the love (but mostly I love the dresses).

My favourite show is Don’t Tell the Bride, it’s English but Australia has its own version going now too, not sure about anywhere else. Basically what happens is a couple gets give a bunch of money to plan their dream wedding, the catch is that the groom has to plan the whole thing without any input from the bride - they can’t even see each other. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues. While I’m well aware that it perpetuates gender stereotypes and I’m sure the groom’s do most of the stupid things on purpose, it’s still incredibly entertaining… One day a bride is just going to say no, and I want to be there to witness it.

Honestly though, I will watch pretty much any reality TV show that involves weddings, they just make me all giddy inside taking away my feminist principles and leaving me praying to look like a princess. I guess I don’t really have a problem with weddings per say, it’s just the whole having to spend the rest of my life bound to one person. I plan on living for quite some time, and all that time with same guy seems excessive. Besides it doesn’t really seem right to do it until everyone can.

That’s not the point anyway because wedding shows don’t actually make me want to get married; in fact they do the exact opposite. Sure the wedding is fun but man is it stressful, and it certainly doesn’t bring out the best in people. Seriously I don’t know how anyone actually goes through with the wedding after all the planning drama. It sucks for them but it’s good for all of us that are watching. And yes I am well aware that it’s not really “reality” and anything that actually is real is edited until its dramatic enough to make for good television but you know what I don’t care. I mean come on, does anyone actually watch “reality TV” for reality?

...if you do watch “reality TV” because you think it’s actually “real” then umm maybe you should google it - man I feel like I'm tell a kind that Santa is not real.

Reality TV gets the bum end of the stick as far as what is considered worthy culture because well, it’s pretty much the definition of trash. But you know what it’s super popular, so chances are you watch and like at least one of the many reality TV program’s out there. Just because wedding shows happen to be my thing doesn’t mean it has to be yours (my kink is not your kink and that’s OK). I also happen to have a weakness for real estate shows like - Location, Location, Location and Escape to the Country. And just because I don’t watch any singing competition shows like X-Factor, because of that one time Rob Mills got voted off Australian Idol and I never got over it, doesn’t mean I don’t understand the appeal. Reality TV is fun, embrace it.

Sure it upsets me that TV networks keep making more reality TV and less scripted shows because it’s cheaper, but that doesn’t mean I want reality TV to disappear completely. I’m pretty sure the world would not be any better off if Masterchef stopped airing, although it might be nice if it wasn’t on every single day!

So there you have it, as much as I complain about reality TV (and I do complain a lot), I’m guilty of loving it just as much as you. I do think that more people should give the scripted shows a chance (check out some of my recommendations here and here), but don’t be ashamed of loving a bit of trashy reality TV. I can guarantee you are not alone.

Thanks for embracing the trash with me, don’t forget to admit your reality TV sins in the comments.