Have you ever watched more than one television show about the making, eating or selling of cupcakes? If your answer is “yes” and you’re not in some way connected to the cupcake business, I’m worried about you. And not just about your adult-onset diabetes.
I can’t be the only person surprised to learn that there is a show on television devoted exclusively to cupcakes. To find out there are at least three of them is troubling. Normally I would say “to each his own,” but “Cupcake Wars”? Really?
When the reality TV craze started years ago with “Survivor” and “Big Brother,” I used to wonder what was wrong with television. It turns out that was the wrong question. Now, after the success of “Jersey Shore” and programs about multiple Kardashians, hoarding, pawning, extreme fishing, ice truck driving and very unreal housewives of Who-Cares, it seems the question should have been, “What is wrong with television viewers?”
Have you been following the MTV hit “Teen Mom”? Neither have I, as I am older than 13 and no longer think turning 16 is the biggest thing that will ever happen in my entire life, the life that my parents are trying to wreck. “Teen Mom” is a spinoff of the previous MTV reality show “16 and Pregnant,” and it “stars” the same cast of teens, celebrated for making poor life choices.
I thought maybe it would be good for teens to see how hard it is to be a teenage parent, to learn that raising children isn’t a cakewalk even for mature, well-adjusted women with responsible partners. Surely the 4.5 million teens who watched the first year’s finale learned an important life lesson.
Then I looked at the Facebook comments for the show. Here’s a typical comment (with the original spelling): “I’m 17 an preganat I would like to be apart of the show.”
Well, who hasn’t misspelled things on Facebook? It’s hard to type with your thumbs. More disturbing is that someone thinks being 17 and pregnant is the road to stardom. Why waste all that time and money on singing and dancing lessons if all it takes to get on TV is to be a baby mama? You’d think there was a national competition to be the first one in your high school class to have a baby shower.
If the teen mom could learn to make cupcakes, there’s no telling how far she could go on reality television. Maybe she could get engaged. Planning a wedding is also a good way to become a reality TV star. Not planning any old wedding, but a huge, expensive wedding that will impress all your friends with how much money you’ve wasted. Because, as every teen bride knows, the more you spend on your wedding, the longer the marriage will last. Just ask the Kardashians, whichever one had the weeklong marriage.
The good news is that it doesn’t matter whom you marry. A reality TV bride will spend much more time picking a wedding dress than she will a groom. Practically any guy in a tux will do. What’s really important is the cake, the paper the invitation is printed on and the DJ. The husband is just there for ceremonial purposes, like a ref at a hockey game. A husband is also a good thing to drag along when your friends start having over-the-top weddings.
What’s odd is that there are 21 reality shows about weddings, but only 12 shows about being wives. It seems getting married is twice as popular as being married. Is it because the husband is always in one room watching “SportsCenter” and the wife is in the next room watching wedding-planning shows? Or vice versa?
Well, I guess that’s why we have Dr. Phil’s reality show — to sort it out when it all goes south.
Jim Mullen’s newest book, “How to Lose Money in Your Spare Time — At Home,” is available at amazon.com. You can reach him at jimmullenbooks.com.