This is the wrong decade to be on maternity leave.
In my normal, non-maternity leave life, I am too busy to watch much TV, only managing to squeeze in half an hour or an hour per day at most--some days not even that. Which is hardly the American way, and yes, of course it always bothered me that I was failing to permanently damage my brain in that very important way. Sure, the alcohol was picking up some of the slack in terms of brain damage, but there are certain types of demolition that only excessive TV-watching can accomplish. So when faced with the prospect of a few months of maternity leave, I was eagerly anticipating filling my days with mindless TV shows, hopefully emerging at the end of it all sounding like one of Miss South Carolina Teen's cheerleading buddies.
But I was unprepared for how mindless TV has become. The stuff currently airing makes the crappy shows of the '80 and '90s look like videotaped college lectures. I despondently searched the on-screen guide over and over, first adding only nature shows like Planet Earth, Growing Up..., and Nature. But that's not enough TV to fill the day, much less the day and night spent doing those every-three-hour feedings that newborns demand just to be obnoxious. So I lowered my standards and picked through the guide again, adding one or two more shows. Then about a week later I lowered my standards further and grudgingly added one or two more. And so on. Lowering my standards is something I'm pretty familiar with by now. It's how I found many of my friends. Sometimes in life you have to go for quantity over quality, what can I say?
At any rate, here's the abject sadness my TV-watching life has spiraled into:
Meerkat Manor: Combines the "you're a cerebral TV-viewer" appeal of a nature show with cheap soap opera drama as the narrator fills you in on which rodent is cheating on her lover, which rodent is trying to steal her sister's man, and which rodent is willing to kill his brother to gain social status. TV shows on Animal Planet often leave the viewer feeling as if he's learned a thing or two; this one teaches you that, apparently, rodents can be evil, conniving motherfuckers. A lot like the rodents in the next show on this list:
Rock of Love: Crack-crazed hookers battle it out for a chance to blow a middle-aged rock star who hasn't been relevant since 1989. Half the fun is counting the million innovate ways Brett Michaels covers his balding head with do-rags, cowboy hats, skull caps, and aging strippers.
Flipping Out: This one has actually become an addiction. What's better than watching an anally retentive gay guy (oh, come on--don't stoop to the obvious jokes. If you want that, go back to Obvious Jokeville and don't come back) lose his fucking mind over every little transgression of his staff members while scheduling acupuncture sessions for his cat? And the guy is insanely gorgeous, if you're into insanely gorgeous gay guys, as I know some of you are.
Snapped: True stories of real-life rednecks who kill their spouses in a diabolical plot to keep the Social Security disability checks all to themselves.
No, it's not quite what I had in mind when I imagined my TV-filled days, but it'll have to do. I can knock off a few brain cells this way, and what's left can probably be wiped out later with inhalants. In the meantime, you guys can monitor my intellectual demise as my blog posts get dumber and dumber. (Insert obvious joke here.)