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Bad Girls' Club
Posted to Teevee at 10:46 AM on Mar 26, 2007

The average age of a participant/contestant/whatever on the Oxygen network reality series Bad Girls Club is 25.1.

In other words, these are all young women. So why, when I happened upon this intriguingly-named show while channel-surfing, did I think they were all forty-something divorcees? It sounds horrible and catty, I know. But I should have guessed that a bunch of bad girls wouldn't look like teenage waifs fresh off a Vogue shoot.

I have witnessed the equivalent of one and a half episodes of this series, and that may have been all I needed to see. Full disclosure time--I have never been much into reality TV. I'm a snob. I admit it. I saw somebody eating a cockroach on Survivor once and decided the whole thing wasn't for me. But who can resist a show with the words "bad girls" in the title? Not me, apparently.

Take the Real World, kick the kids out of the house, find yourself a bunch of ex-strippers and wannabe actresses who drink too much, and invite them to clutter up your house with boas and thigh boots and you've got this show. One girl, a singer named Kerry, actually scored a meeting with notorious music manager Doc McGhee, (or, as I like to call him, Daaaaahk Mah-gheeeee, because that's exactly the way he says it) who promptly screws her over. Another resident, Zara, serial-cheats on her much-too-young boyfriend and rubs his face in it. Another woman who wears too much eye makeup fights with everybody and anybody.

This show is a trainwreck in the most honest sense of the word. I truly got the feeling someone could pass out from drinking too much or stab someone or jump off a bridge at any time. I watched it, thinking that this show, in my limited reality show experience, seemed the most genuine and candid and that these women really had issues. I realized after turning off the TV that none of these women seemed particularly happy. They were all on their way to the next thing that would temporarily make them feel not so bad about themselves. The sight of poor Kerry shopping for formalwear at a store called "wild" or "wet" or "crazy" or some permuation of the three, only to be told by Daaaaahk's secretary that she couldn't go to the formal dinner after all nearly broke my shriveled heart.

I always suspected that reality shows are so popular because pain and conflict are kind of fun to watch, especially when it's real. I think many people enjoy the discomfort and displeasure of others. This show, though, kind of goes beyond displeasure. It's watching people struggle with really dark things, and I don't know if I like it.


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