The Non-Celebrity Apprentice

Like any good all-American, TV-viewing family, we spend more time than I care to admit watching reality shows. On the one hand, I’m proud to say that we’re reformed Real Housewives and Celebrity Apprentice viewers; we haven’t watched either show for the last two seasons. On the other, I’m not proud to say that it wasn’t because of some great moral awakening. (Whoa, crazy-double-negative!) It’s because I would end up swearing too loudly at the vanity and inanity of it all, and it hurt my eyes to watch The Donald for too long — like staring into the sun (or the depths of Hell). I could also feel the IQ being leeched out of my brain. Not a good feeling. However.


NOW our nights are peppered with reality shows that involve two tracks: 1) Junk (picking through junk; making something out of junk; selling junk) and 2) Killing Things. Oh, I can’t wait for the spam that’s going to come out of this.

We watch Pawn Stars, Hardcore Pawn, Storage Wars (but only the original, like CSI), American Pickers (a family fan favorite!), Auction Kings, The Show About Buying Foreclosures at Auction in Arizona, etc. etc. Where or where are the days of a simple Antiques Roadshow and a few House Hunters?!

We watch shows that involve Swamp People, River Monsters (and, as T-Rex informed me this morning, the behind-the-scenes spinoff, River Monsters: Unhooked!), American Hoggers, Billy Badass Beating Bees (and smokin’ dope). You get the idea.

To make matters worse, the boys in my life — T-Rex and the husband — are fascinated with both tracks. In fact, my better half seems especially taken with the hoggers. I believe he was only half-joking last night when he said he might like to apprentice with Jerry (as long as the gig comes with subtitles). I might have believed him if he had told me he wanted to apprentice with the cute chicks, but no. No, he wants to apprentice with the big guy.

Jerry Campbell, American Hoggers (AETV) 

Which is funny because he wouldn’t want to get anywhere near a freakin’ hog, let alone wrestle one to the ground. He just likes that the dogs ride around on top of the Jeep.

If you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, I’ll sum up the majority of these shows for you:  take what was once a unique profession that now everyone thinks they can and want to do, throw in a bickering brother and sister vying for their dad’s attention (or bickering competitors), add some cool theme music and graphics, and voila! The new reality TV show.

I’m not sure which would be more dangerous:  hoggin’ or “pickin'” with Frank (Frankie) and Mike of American Pickers. Every week they’re one step away from having a barn fall in on them or contracting tetanus and they have to deal with rather interesting “antique” hoarders collectors, many sporting ZZ Top-style beards.

Come to think of it, the two tracks may not be all that different.

I’m starting to think the most dangerous show would be the one where the wife/mom finds unusual and interesting ways to disconnect the TV.


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