I was raised by unconventional aging hippie/beatnik parents in a totally conventional suburb north of Boston. I grew up in a household that prohibited processed foods, toys that required batteries, video games, and cartoons. Needless to say, cable was totally verboten – my mother witnessed someone smashing a piano on MTV while she was pregnant and promptly canceled their service lest her offspring be exposed to such horrors. I didn’t even realize that there were channels beyond PBS until I was around 8 or so. My entire view of television was shaped by the enriching triumvirate of Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and Reading Rainbow, which I watched happily while playing with wooden blocks. While this upbringing is pretty much responsible for me a) being made fun of a LOT as a child and b) reading more books than is probably healthy, I can safely say I’ve turned out alright – especially now that I can afford my own digital cable subscription and can watch all the shitty TV I want.
Currently, my favorite show is The Soup. In high school I used to go hang out with my most culturally advanced friend (she still is, actually – are you reading this, JTL?) and watch the original Talk Soup during the John Henson era. The show fell off my radar for a while after that until I discovered its most recent incarnation – The Soup, with host Joel McHale. Joel McHale is a total dreamboat, and he keeps me company every Saturday or Sunday morning while I have my coffee and try to piece together the previous night. The extreme scourge of horrifically bad reality television has provided amazing fodder for McHale and his team, and the show actually protects me from having to watch any of it directly. Instead, I get all of the highlights (lowlights?) pieced together in a neat half hour, with great commentary. Here’s the best stuff I could find on YouTube: