When my parents finally got cable when I was in high school, my favorite network was Bravo. They showed operas and Broadway shows on the weekend! I admit, I didn’t always watch the operas (though a someone who was learning opera, I probably should have), but I watched all the musicals. Sunday in the Park With George, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods… I watched them all. Over the summers, my mom, my sister and I watched Twin Peaks! We enjoyed every bizarre episode, even in the last part of the series when things took a turn for the ‘let’s wrap this up.’ (I’m still mad about how it ended)
In college, I watched lots of Queer Eye. Then I got hooked on Top Chef and Project Runway… and then, Real Housewives of Orange County started. I watched from curiosity- after all, I worked in Southern Orange County… the Orange County Barbies were everywhere when I ran errands or went to lunch. And still, it bored me. Out of their antics, I simply saw women who craved attention- and money that they could say wasn’t their husbands. Then it moved to New York, then Atlanta, New Jersey… and while I was looking forward to Beverly Hills (where over the top is the norm), they announced that Michelle Salahi would be joining the cast of Real Housewives of Washington DC.
So Bravo, it’s forced me to wonder what I have to do. The level of sophistication of your shows has been dropping steadily over the last decade. I mean, even with Top Chef and Project Runway, I still had to put up with the crassness of My Life on the D-List and Flipping Out. But I think this is the last straw. Just because someone’s starved for attention doesn’t mean we have to give it to them. I might just have to sacrifice Top Chef (and Top Chef Masters) because of who you think your viewers are these days.