COLUMN: New year, new guilty pleasures: TV’s best mindless shows

By Colleen Loggins

I don’t know how many of you worked over break, but I will bet that a lot of you were unable to return to your jobs. I personally was told a few weeks before break that I would no longer be able to work at Crate and Barrel.

Now, I had been working there for four years and did not expect to be out of a job, even in this economy.

So when the news hit me, I had no idea what I was going to do with four whole weeks of free time.

I realized that I could use the time to be productive and do things like work out every day, put together a photo album and apply for jobs and internships.

Then I forgot all that. Instead, I got sucked into the absolute worst, and therefore, the most entertaining, TV shows that are currently corroding our minds.

These are my top 3:

The Real Housewives of Orange County (Bravo)

I am a huge fan of any of the “Real Housewives” shows, but I particularly enjoy watching the O.C. housewives. These are the original housewives, and some of the most entertaining people.

Recently, they added Gretchen to the cast of characters. Some people think that she is just a gold digger because she is an attractive 30-year-old with a 50-something wealthy fiance, but I think she has a fun personality.

It is hilarious that Tamra “just doesn’t trust her,” because it is so obvious that she feels threatened by Gretchen. Is Tamra no longer the hottest housewife? Vicky, who is equally threatened by Gretchen, has been let down again in her quest to find someone as domineering, psychotic and neurotic as herself.

Be sure to watch tonight at 9 p.m. to see if they successfully screw Gretchen over by making her drink until she’s blacked out or by trying to get her to hook up with Tamra’s 22-year-old son. Also, is anyone else disturbed that Tamra wants her son to hook up with the woman she greatly dislikes? Or that she wants to hook him up in general?

Rock of Love Bus (VH1)

I told myself I wouldn’t watch it because I haven’t seen any of the other seasons, but I just couldn’t help myself after hearing that one girl used an inappropriate orifice of another as a drinking vessel. I’ll let you figure out which. Even Bret Michaels thought that was wrong. I’ve only seen two episodes, but I think I might be hooked.

In the first episode I saw, Bret made the girls pretend to marry him. First of all, that chapel in Indianapolis must have been really hard up for money. There is no other explanation for why they would allow the skankiest women in the world to dress up in hooker outfits, walk down the aisle and make a mockery of the institution of marriage and the church in general with a man who plays tonsil hockey with anyone who has implants. Just when I thought that I couldn’t stand the show, they announce that they are going to Champaign.

Obviously, I had to watch it again last night when they went to the David S. Palmer Arena (oddly enough, it’s in Danville) to play hockey against three members of the Illini women’s hockey club.

I love how Lacey, the crazy red-head on “Rock of Love” and “Charm School,” was able to come back on the show and had to don a U of I jersey. I believe this is the closest she’s gotten to higher education in her life. Perhaps instead of playing hockey, they all should have taken advantage of their location and tried to learn something. Then, Bret would have at least learned that we don’t pronounce the “s” in Illinois.

I laughed for quite a while when one girl popped her implant after trying to shoot a Bret Michaels baby doll into a hockey goal (don’t ask), then later got kicked off for making fun of Bret’s hair. Overall, I didn’t want to watch this show, but now I am engrossed and can’t get enough.

Bad Girls Club (Oxygen)

There really is nothing better than watching girls who are completely crazy in love to fight on TV. The “Bad Girls” will fight girls who dare to look at them for too long, but also fight each other when they have nothing better to do.

The only girls I like on the show are Sarah and Tiffany because they seem to be the most normal (so far). I cannot stand Amber M. – the tiny blonde girl who is like that annoying little dog constantly jumping up trying to nip you while barking its head off.

Amber number two is a crazy narcissist who loves talking behind everyone’s back and loves guys that should be on VH1’s “Tool Academy.” Ailea can’t wear anything but a vest with a tank-top or T-shirt underneath, and oh yeah, she’s certifiably insane.

Kayla is just an attention-starved crazy self-proclaimed hustler who is not above making money by being a phone sex operator or a stripper. Too bad she just left the show and now Tanisha (crazy pot-banging girl) is back.

And Boston a.k.a. Whitney is from Boston. Boston, Boston, Boston. There is no way you could forget that because she reminds people every five minutes. The show is totally addictive and if you aren’t watching it, you probably should be.

Colleen is a senior in Media who thanks the Illini women’s hockey club who knocked the Rock of Love Bus girls on their butts. She can be reached at [email protected]