Reality television started in the early 90’s just like my relationship with my husband “B”. Back then, we both liked The Real World on MTV. It was new and different, just like B and me. We also liked the same things: parties, Santana, hip-hop, mexican food and any movie with DeNiro, Pacino, Jeff Bridges and Gene Hackman. Dinner and a movie was our thing.
During our twenties, we watched Seinfeld, Frasier and Absolutely Fabulous together. We lost interest in reality tv and were busy with our careers and grad school. During our thirties, before the kids were born, we didn’t miss an episode of The Brand of Brothers or The Sopranos. This is also when we discovered Asian cinema. First it was Zatoichi, then Kurosawa and all movies with Gong Li. Then our kids came along and I can’t remember what were watching those days except Dora, Little Einsteins and Spongebob.
People change as the years go by. B and I certainly did. I went back to watching reality television about five years ago. It started with one of the Housewives shows, I can’t remember which one. Along with many ladies in my neighborhood, I now watch all the Housewives shows and a few more Bravo shows. I can also admit to watching a lot of Masterpiece Theater…especially Downton Abbey. Of course B detests the Housewives and he is right. The shows are awful and obviously scripted…but I still watch. I really can’t explain why. Maybe they are a replacement to our mom’s soap operas in the eighties.
Poor B feels lost without his movie partner. He is very frustrated that I won’t watch Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones or the latest Hong Kong detective movie. But after having kids, watching gruesome and gratuitous violence is just not fun for me. We finally did find some shows we both like: The House of Cards, Mad Men and Bill Maher. So I watch my shows and he watches his shows but he still grumbles about it. At least I am not watching the Kardashians…