Shedding Some Light On Those Ridiculous Shows Your Wife or Girlfriend is Watching

Sometimes when your only friend is a woman, no matter how hard you try, you’re accidentally exposed to the girly things in life. For example, I never would have even considered the doomed-from-the-start idea of reading and blogging about Fifty Shades of Grey if I wasn’t living with someone who already owned the books.

When we lived in San Francisco, it was easy to ignore all the pointless TV shows my girlfriend watches because  A). we didn’t live together, and B). when she was at my apartment, it was understood that I’d be watching sports on the living room TV and she’d be relegated to the bedroom TV to watch her stuff. But now that we live in a one-TV apartment, the content of these shows has been slowly seeping into my brain. I feel violated by it, but there’s really nothing I can do…800 square feet doesn’t allow for a lot of isolation.

In nine short months of living together, I’ve gone from not knowing whether it was called Sex in the City or Sex and the City to being able to quote lines from about 60% of the SATC episodes. There’s no hope for me at this point.

But even a guy with no exposure to the female world knows that Sex and the City is about four way-past-their-prime women passing around STDs in New York. That one’s easy. But what about all of those mysterious reality shows that your wife is watching? You know, the ones that seem so pointless because they’re reality shows without an actual competition involved (the only kind of reality TV men watch I’m pretty sure). The ones you’d never have to subconsciously pay attention to if your cable provider would just go along with your pleas to eliminate Bravo and E! from their services.

Considering I’ve been exposed to these shows for nine months and still don’t always know what the fuck is going on in each of them, I’m assuming there are plenty of other men out there who are equally stupefied by Say Yes To the Dress Bridesmaids Edition and Kourtney and Kim and Khloe and Kris Take New York.

Well prepare to be confused no longer. I may not know all the nuances of these shows, but I do think I have a basic understanding of the premise/their reason for existing. Here are spot-on descriptions of the four TV shows I’m exposed to most often:

Keeping Up With The Kardashians/Kourtney and Kim Do New York: I know a lot about the Kardashians actually (doesn’t everyone?). Kim did the sex tape, Bruce did the Olympics, the rest of them ride coattails. The three main girls have a store named “Dash” because “dash” is in their last name. I assume Khloe runs the store because she seems to be the only one with a brain. She’s married to Lamar Odom. He’s retired from basketball I think. Khloe and Lamar are the only two who associate with the Black Sheep Brother, Robbie. Every now and then the two younger sisters (twins?), who also have names that begin with “K”, make an appearance, but they’re boring because they’re not old enough to do photo shoots or make sex tapes. I’ve also been noticing more air time for this weird male friend of Kim’s. Don’t know his name, but he’s either gay or secretly wants to bang Kim. But he’s fully in the friend zone so that’ll probably never happen. Then there’s Scott (or “Lord Disick” as his friends call him). He’s the best. He’s a star. If E! did a spinoff just about him, I’d watch every episode. I have no idea if he or his family were rich before he was part of the Klan, but he’s set for life now. No matter how him and Kourtney end up, this guy should be the envy of all men. From what I can tell, he doesn’t have a job, his girl Kourtney doesn’t even expect him to raise their kids, so he spends every waking hour either partying, meeting other famous people or driving race cars. I’m assuming Kourtney and Kim “do New York” because the family wants to be on TV as much as possible, but no network would ever let a single show run 52 weeks a year.

Real Housewives of (fill in the blank): I always assumed the housewives were wives of famous people. I never bothered to verify whether that’s true or not. I assume the show is “a day in the life” of these rich, over-the-hillish women and what uninspiring things they get up to in their city. But I feel like every time my girlfriend’s watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, they’re actually in Paris in that episode. And Real Housewives of Atlanta was taking place in Barbados or some other tropical island the one time I paid attention. So I wonder if the (fill in the blank) part is even relevant since they’re never in that city. The housewives are predominantly blonde, full of plastic surgery and definitely on the wrong side of 40 (except for the Atlanta show…those women are all black). A typical episode goes like this: All of the women except one who isn’t there at the time start gossiping about that missing person. Then they’ll all get together at one of their houses for a party, and someone will spill the beans to the woman who was missing before that everyone’s talking about her because she ruined so-and-so’s marriage. The singled-out girl will start to confront everyone else, and eventually a few of the women’s husbands get involved. The word bitch is tossed around like it’s the last day in history anyone will be able to use that word. And then all of the sudden we’re watching a reunion show where the flamboyant host is showing the women these uncomfortable scenes from the season and all the women claim to be good friends again. There are a ton of reunion shows for the Real Housewives franchise for some reason.

Four Weddings: Four soon-to-be-married women who can’t afford a honeymoon compete to have the best wedding of the group to try to win a honeymoon. The judges are the girls themselves, which seems like the dictionary definition of “conflict of interest.” So it’s like a regular wedding’s happening, with the bride, groom, all their friends and family, and then this random table of three women with a ton of cameras and lights on them. And their whole purpose is to find problems with the wedding they’re at. Sounds like a fun time for everyone. So the girls in the wedding competition do this whole thing where they’re all complimentary around each other and say things like, “Oh I like the way she decorated the banquet hall, such a great use of the natural ambience.” But when they’re talking to the camera one-on-one they say, “I just do not understand having your wedding in a banquet hall. No amount of decorating can make a banquet hall look nice. I’m giving Tammy a three out of 10 for her venue choice.” And then the girls give scores for venue, food, efficiency and dress. And then the winner gets to ride off into the honeymoon-winning sunset with her husband as the other three girls sulk back to their miserable existence.

Say Yes To The Dress: Brides who go to a wedding dress expert looking for the perfect dress. But not perfect in the way you’re thinking. Perfect in that it pleases the bride, her parents, her brothers, all of her bridesmaids, and even her weird male lifelong friend. You can imagine how well that works. And the people who run the dress shop are constantly pissed off at the brides for wanting to find the perfect dress. What, are they supposed to shop for their wedding dress the way I shop for shoes? Walk in store, close eyes, spin in circle, buy the exact pair you’re pointing at when you open your eyes. And then, when the bride still isn’t making a decision, the owner says “It’s time to jack…her…up!!” I always expect something negative to happen when she says she’s gonna jack someone up. Like she’s gonna yell and belittle them, or tell them she doesn’t want them as a customer, something. But it turns out “jack her up” means “spoil this fatso by dressing her up in jewelry, tiaras and other accessories to make her look extra special.” I don’t understand any of this.

Having all of this knowledge in my brain about these shows feels as useless as when you accidentally memorize the lyrics to bad songs. I’m not mad at my girlfriend for any of this because I know I’ll get my payback on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays starting in September.

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Topeka’s Biggest Celebrity Visits LA Then Writes About It…Sort Of

[Editor’s Note: You’ve probably noticed guest blogs popping up on the WBFF blog recently. Not only does this give me more free time to sit by the pool at my apartment complex and take random weekday trips to Palm Springs (my current location), but it allows me to tweak my resume to say something like, “Responsible for managing a team of writers on an internationally-renowned blog.” I’m happy to introduce a new guest blogger today, Matt Blanchette. And he’s not just any ordinary Schmoe…Matt happens to be the pride of Topeka…Yes, Topeka, Kansas. Feel free to read more about my most famous guest blogger HERE. Matt was our first official visitor in LA over the 4th of July week, and we did our best to stay busy. We agreed that having him write about his experiences would be a good way for other would-be-visitors to decide if visiting us in LA is worthwhile or not. For some reason he seemed nervous about writing too much in this blog post (something about boring people, which I try never to worry about), so I’ve taken the liberty of adding to his thoughts (my comments in red). Enjoy.]

First off, I want to thank Ross for allowing me to be his second guest blogger, and god help me I am determined to do better than a series of blogs about Euro League Soccer.

I found myself with some free time over 4th of July and campaigned some friends for a free place to stay. Ross and Julie were very insistent that I head west, so LA it was.

Our visit started with a look at Ross’ new “haircut.” And by “haircut”, I mean “letting it grow out in any direction for as long as possible without ever trying to tame it in any way.” Turns out, I missed the accompanying mustache by a few days. So if this whole comedy writer thing doesn’t pan out, I am sure there is a 70’s era porn star impersonation gig available for Ross. [It’s true, I haven’t gotten a haircut in at least three months. I tried to keep the mustache going for as long as possible, but it got really itchy and almost caused me to be unexpectedly single. Here are some pictures of the three-week experimental mustache and the “hair growing in any direction.”]

First stop on my trip, a hike in Malibu. Aside from getting lost looking for a lake, which turned out to be nothing more than a puddle, the highlight came from a 15-year-old girl at the swimming hole. Basically this was a cliff jump into the water, but one girl decided to stand on the edge of the cliff for 20 minutes while everyone screamed at her to either jump or die.

Long story short, after we left, three fire engines and ambulances raced towards the hole. I can only assume this is her:

[Matt’s totally underselling just how ridiculous this swimming hole scene was at Malibu Creek State Park. It was a small swimming area littered with douchey teenagers who had absolutely no adult supervision. If it hadn’t been so damn hot out, and if we hadn’t been promising Matt an awesome lake to swim in, we probably wouldn’t have bothered jumping into the swimming hole because it just seemed like something bad was going to happen with all those kids. Julie even said this out loud while we were swimming. The funny part (if there is a funny part to this story) was when we left the hole and were walking down the trail towards the parking lot. We heard sirens in the distance and joked about how they must be coming up to Malibu Creek because that girl who refused to jump fell off the cliff and killed herself. Two minutes later those fire engines and ambulances are tearing up the trail towards the hole. Anyway, below is a picture that kind of shows you what we’re talking about. And also, getting lost wasn’t a total downer because Matt & Julie got to play inside some props from M*A*S*H.]

After Malibu Creek, it was off to a Malibu Vineyard…where they happened to be shooting season one of “Ready For Love,” the new reality show from your favorite housewife and mine, Eva Longoria.

The setup is simple: a good-looking guy takes multiple women out on dates one after another. In this case Ben, the good-looking guy, had his choice of five or six very attractive, though malnourished, females. I admit, I do not watch reality dating shows, but it was wild.

One of the female producers (who we called Scissors, for her ability to scissor the girls to put them in a good mood) had the unenviable job of coddling each woman while Ben was on dates with the others. In one case a hysterical woman was only put at ease when she was handed another bottle of wine to suck on. Basically all the women sit in the “bullpen” and wait for Ben to call on them.

Ben did get some action, to which I gleefully proclaimed “They’re kissing, they’re kissing.” (I had an entire bottle of wine.)

Look for this scene on the show on NBC this fall!

[Matt’s description of the “They’re kissing, they’re kissing!” moment doesn’t come close to doing it justice. Here’s how I would have described it: “And after two hours of staring at these reality show contestants nonstop—to the point where we wouldn’t have been surprised if security had asked us to leave the premises—we finally saw Ben essentially choose his favorite girl by making out with her…at which point Matt turned into a fifth grader who was seeing two of his classmates kiss for the first time, and he exclaimed in a pre-pubescent shriek, “They’re kissing, they’re kissing!!!”]

Day two (4th of July) was Dodgers Day. If you have not been to Dodgers Stadium, don’t, or at least do not sit in left field. It is basically a stockade. Fans have no access to center or right field, nor the rest of the stadium. You have one bathroom, and one concession stand, which has limited food options (dodger dog, chips, and cracker jacks).

And check out the scoreboard:

I felt like I was watching RBI baseball 1993. Nicely done, Frank McCourt.

As for transportation options, there are none. The traffic is a nightmare, and to walk (which we did) takes about 30 minutes to get to civilization. Luckily we found a dive bar that included a shot of Patron with every beer.

But hey, at least the fireworks at the stadium were good.

[OK, I gotta stop you right there, Matt. The night of the baseball game escalated quickly because when we finally got to “civilization” and jumped inside a bar, the bartender confused me with a drink special to the point where I ended up ordering each of us a beer and two shots. And even though we decided that was too many shots, we went ahead and ordered a third shot just moments later. Other things of note that happened after those shots were: Matt contemplating drinking a beer that a stranger had left on our table, Matt buying a 12-pack of Budweiser over Miller Lite just because the cans had an American Flag symbol on them, Matt & Julie getting in an argument over the difference between a pizza with buffalo sauce on it and a pizza with buffalo mozzarella on it (I did the sensible thing and ordered the pizza with buffalo mozzarella AND got a side order of buffalo wings), and finally, Matt working up the courage to get a picture with one of our childhood idols, the Ultimate Warrior…see below.]

Most of you have stopped reading the blog by now so I will speed through days three and four.

[Matt is really underestimating how bored the WBFF blog readers are at their jobs. He doesn’t seem to understand that people have been reading my ramblings for months now.]

Going to the beach is never a sure bet in LA, as far as I can tell. We were not blessed in that arena.

[What Matt is trying to say here is that we didn’t get good beach weather, and as a matter of fact, I haven’t yet been to the beach in LA when it has been beach weather. I hope that changes soon because why the hell did I move here if it wasn’t for the beach? Here’s a picture to show you just how non-beachy the weather is every time I try to bring someone to a beach in California.]

[For some reason, Matt decided to leave out two of the coolest things we saw on Day Three of his visit: the back of the Hollywood sign (sure everyone can see the front of it from all over LA, but how often do you see the back?), and people randomly getting foamed up and washed down at Venice Beach.]

And if you plan to be a tourist and do sightseeing when you go to LA, appeal to Julie. Ross is not sympathetic in that area.

[Completely true. I will pretend like LA has no sightseeing or landmarks until you’re convinced. And if you’re still not convinced, I’ll tell you that they are all closed for maintenance.]

Also in LA, everyone seems to be in the entertainment business or curious if you are. And you “think” you see celebs everywhere, but we really did not see any that I know of.

[Wow, Matt totally glossed over the fact that on Night Three when we went to a free concert at the Santa Monica Pier, him & Julie spent the entire time staring at a group of people and debating whether one of the women was a celebrity. The entire night. I’m not even exaggerating. Matt was saying things like, “I watch A LOT of TV so I’d know if she was famous…unless she’s on one of those Real Housewives shows or reality TV.” To which Julie quickly replied, “Oh, I’ve got those covered. She’s not from one of those shows.”  This topic is ripe for an entirely separate blog…thinking we see famous people but never being able to put a name to the face.]

So I guess the point of this blog is to get others to visit LA, so I would recommend it. Maybe that will buy me a second blog.

[Gee, thanks for the ringing endorsement, Matt. “I guess Ross wants me to say LA was fun so others will visit…so yeah, it was fun.”]

[For anyone who does decide to visit, I can’t guarantee that we’ll see the filming of a not-going-to-be-on-the-air-long-anyway reality dating show, but I promise we can find a group of people to stare at in Santa Monica and discuss how each of them might be famous.]