Thursday, August 7, 2014

What I've Learned From TLC Shows

During school, while I've been going to classes and doing homework, I've been digging into shows that are aired by the TLC network.  You know, "Sister Wives," "19 Kids and Counting," and "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding," to name a few.  Yes, you can go ahead and judge me.

I call these shows my crappy TV shows.  I watch them during breakfast and when I don't want to think very seriously about anything.  But even though I call them my crappy TV shows and watch every season available just because I can, I'm still learning something.  Learning something from a crappy TV show?  Impossible, right?  Nope.

I have increasingly realized that this network is all about different life styles.  It's for people like me who don't live as a fundamentalist Mormon family would.  It's for people like me who only have one sibling and not 18 siblings.  It's for people like me who don't struggle in a marginalized culture and who would never dream about hosting lavish parties full of what I'd call gaudy clothing and accessories.

The people in these shows lead lives that the average American person doesn't lead.  It's a consensual voyeur experience.  People who don't live lives like these ones are allowed (I'd even go so far as to say welcomed) to look, make their judgments, hear from the people living these out of the ordinary lives, and ask questions about things that are just beyond our comprehension-- things that we would only understand if this situation were ours.

TLC has taught me tolerance and understanding.
I'm uncomfortable even thinking about having a huge and very conservative family.  But I've really come to admire the Duggar family for raising the number of children that they did and homeschooling them all, even if those are choices I wouldn't make for myself or my future family.  

I know that I never want to be a sister wife, but I love hearing from the four moms of "Sister Wives" to get an idea of what it's like to be in the situation they're in (and it has gotten intense, although I haven't finished all seasons of the show yet).  From listening to them, I've learned a little bit about why they wanted to be a sister wife and what's in it for them.  The wives have companionship with each other that wives from separate families just don't have-- can't have, because they aren't joined with the same man.  I'm not a fan of the husband though... I guess I haven't learned tolerance for him.

"My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding" was interesting because I wasn't aware of gypsy culture.  I thought that it was a bad term to use and I didn't realize that they still existed (for lack of a better way to put it).  My idea of a gypsy is very old-fashioned-- wagons, small groups, rural... I'm not sure what else.  So to get a more updated version of this culture was interesting to learn about.  They certainly love their special occasions, and they love it when they're celebrated grandly.

Watching TLC shows certainly isn't a good replacement for watching National Geographic documentaries or the History Channel, but it's a treat to learn about identities and lifestyles that are remote enough where I could have gone my whole life and not have heard anything about them.

Have you learned anything from seemingly crappy TV shows?

Thanks for Reading!


No comments:

Post a Comment

I love your comments! Comment away!