My first column of 2012 was half-confessional, half-celebratory. An admission and shameless parade in honor of a trash TV addiction.
There I was, rolling around in “Real Housewives” mud, giving human dignity the ol’ double bird. Of course, that prompted many of you to pick up your rotary telephones and leave me voice mails, the sound of clutched pearls and stomping canes providing accompaniment.
Thirteen months later, I present my own rebuttal.
That’s right, you’re reading the words of a saved woman. A woman who, in holy roller talk, went to church once and decided she found … “House of Cards,” a Netflix presentation starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.
But, before delving into my salvation, let’s address how I arrived there.
It started with a treadmill. Santa brought us one for Christmas. The gift from the jolly fella caused a re-evaluation of personal time management.
Thirty minutes on the treadmill, and 30 minutes of yoga mat work thereafter, could really cut into my “Cheer Perfection” on TLC time, or my “Dance Moms” on Lifetime time, or — ay Dios mio! — my “Watch What Happens Live” on Bravo time.
A compromise was in order. For any of those programs to be on, I self-disciplined, something productive would have to take place. Quilting a blanket for the bazaar, mentoring inner city youth, painting happy little clouds on a blank canvas — or, ya know, running on the treadmill.
But, this past weekend, while watching the highly acclaimed “Mob Wives” midplank, one of the central characters uttered something that turned the whole happy-middle bus around. It involved women, urinals and ill intentions. I felt dirty for hearing it, much dirtier for having set my DVR to hear it.
That’s when I decided “House of Cards” could be in the cards. “Downton Abbey” may be right up my alley. And “Vanderpump,” the Housewives spinoff, would be against the “Rules.” You see where this is going: Quality TV or no TV.
They say if you want to lose weight, you announce a diet. This column is probably in the same vein. The effort is about a week old in practice, after all, several months old in theory.
Still, in defense of reality TV, I’d like to note the value in some of these shows. Perhaps at an all-time TV low, the show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” put me in a choke hold about a month ago. It grabbed me and rassled me to the ground with its fascination factor.
Two episodes in, the country’s intrigue with the little girl from rural Georgia, and her dysfunctional family, came through loud and clear. It’s the same reason a show about six young people pumping their fists to really bad music in New Jersey got me. And that show’s appeal was identical to one about seven Beverly Hills women who hire caterers for catfights.
It’s social studies. It’s anthropology. It’s economics. These shows teach us about people, subcultures and trends to which some of us would never be exposed otherwise. They provide insight to the land of the free and the home of the brave, the beautiful U.S. of A.
And that’s a good thing.
That said, the moment the life of someone named Honey Boo Boo or Snooki or Yolanda starts interrupting our own lives, it quickly goes from a learning experience to a dumb-down. A few episodes provide all we need to know about country living, “meatballs” or “the (mob) lifestyle.”
If I’m going to lose brain cells, I’ll travel to Colorado or Washington and do it respectfully, legally. At least that’s the plan for now. If anything changes, well, look out for the rebuttal to this rebuttal.
Contact Xazmin Garza at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 702-383-0477. Follow her on Twitter @startswithanx.