2011-02-05 / Editorials & Letters

Lighten up: It’s time for quality, reality TV

By Dawn Weber

Although I keep trying to forget, it’s winter. Still. So lately I’ve been plopped on the couch like a proper Midwesterner. Watching the boob-tube.

Now that I said “boob,” and I have your attention, I ask you: Where are the regular people? Where are the Ohioans?

All this diversity in entertainment, all these faces in all these different skin tones, yet one thing stays the same - everyone is achingly beautiful and disgustingly fit.

I want to punch them.

As a Buckeye, (State Motto: Eat Your Food - There’s Nothing Else To Do) I’m feeling, well, under-represented. Where are the wrinkles, the paunches, the bellies, the double chins? Where are the split ends, the receding hairlines, the mutts, the American cars, the crappy jobs. Where are any jobs? Do these people work?

Holy Toledo, where are the old people? What have they done to the old people?

Just look at the “Desperate Housewives.” Why so desperate, skinny witches, I mean -ladies? Someone take your botox docs? Gorgeous little minxes, all of you. Chiseled cheeks, perfect hair, long legs, flat tummies, jutting hipbones...

Hipbones. I remember them from such decades as the 80s.

Want to see a Desperate Housewife? Come visit me in January. Add bored, complaining, housebound kids and 11 piles of laundry. Toss in an elderly parent requiring attention, a rag-tag collection of needy pets and a good 20-lb. stress-induced muffintop.

But it’s not just the nighttime soaps. No, even the reality shows are in on it - “Jersey Shore,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “Big Brother.” For the most part, the participants in these programs look like they stepped out of fashion magazines...or at least out of high-end brothels.

There are a couple exceptions - for one, ABC’s “The Middle.” Although located in a fictional Indiana, it’s pretty accurate in Mid-America interpretation, with freakishly short Frankie, freakishly tall Mike and their wonderfully weird kids. In a messy, badly decorated, Midwestern house, schlumping through life like the rest of us.

And there’s TVLand’s “Hot In Cleveland,” featuring the usual skinny witches, I mean - supermodel types poking fun at Ohioans. But we can take a joke. Especially since the sitcom also stars a glorious, riotously funny, yay for old people Betty White. The cast may have a laugh at our expense. But they soon find themselves appreciating Midwestern living, just as the Victoria Chase character said in the pilot episode:

“Cleveland: Where everyone is eating. And no one is ashamed!”

Darn straight, Victoria. We are not ashamed, and we won’t be ignored. We are Buckeyes - tough nuts!

Heartland homeys, it’s time to take back the tube and tell Hollyweird: Listen up! We want to see some more “average!” We want hard-working folks living in twostory, mill-worker row-houses, with beat-up Fords and a crabby mom who needs her roots done. Kids with messy hair, glued to electronic boxes! A dad scratching himself in front of the Ohio State game! A dog who wets on the floor! Sometimes!

Now THAT’S my house - I mean, some quality, reality television.

Dawn Weber is a Brownsville wife and working mother of two pre-teens. She blogs at http:// www.lightenupweber.blogspot.com

Return to top