I'm a little bit ashamed of what I'm watching on TV these days. I feel like I've really hit the bottom of the barrel when I'm watching things that don't even have their own threads on Television Without Pity. I've been watching this reality dating show on TLC called "Must Love Kids," where 3 single mothers are each thrown half a dozen guys to meet, and they're going on dates with them and introducing them to their kids, and whittling the numbers down, slowly.
This is a sad show. But not for the reasons I initially thought it would be. I actually don't think the biggest problem is that it's reprehensible parenting -- sure, it's probably not terrific to throw your kids on a reality TV show, or to introduce them to all these guys who want to date you, but I'm assuming any woman going on this show is probably dating a whole bunch in real life anyway, so these kids are probably meeting a lot of weird guys they never see again and are used to it already, and at least the producers are hopefully screening these guys to make sure they aren't serial killers. And I can imagine that single mothers who want to meet someone would find it frustrating to go through normal channels and keep finding out that the guys they meet aren't interested in someone who already has kids. But what's sad about it is the guys, kind of. They show these clips of awkward dates where the two people have nothing to say to each other, and there's clearly no connection, the woman is saying "he just kept talking, and we didn't really have much of a connection at all," they show clip after clip of the guy talking and talking and the woman yawning and clearly bored, and then cut to the guy: "we had such a great connection, I thought she was great and we really bonded and I'm really looking forward to another date." And I'm sure it's all in the editing, but they're just making these guys seem so horribly desperate -- and subjecting themselves to this competition where the winner gets to date a woman who cares so much about her kids that she's throwing them on a reality TV show. Yay. And most of the guys are coming off as just a little creepy, and when you throw kids into it the show just... I don't know, I'm creeped out and saddened when I watch it. I'm sad for these women who are so desperate to find someone that they're going on a reality show to do it -- because it's not a glamorous show like The Bachelor, and being on a TLC reality show isn't catapulting anyone to Hollywood stardom, and one of the mothers has this sad-looking apartment, and I just feel bad for them. And for the guys. And for the kids. And for the camera crew that has to film this.
And maybe this is way too judgmental, and I'd think differently if I were 10 years older and single and didn't think wanting to be on a reality TV show was in and of itself indicative of some sort of character flaw.
In other TV news, after reading the articles about Estelle Getty's death I decided to DVR a few Golden Girls episodes and just watched the two-parter where Rose has a heart attack and is in the hospital and found myself tearing up quite a bit because Betty White reminds me of my grandma and I'm still sort of mourning her stroke and the loss of a good bit of herself. Although of course feeling lucky and grateful that she's doing as well as she is. But it's still hard.