America’s Next Top Model

17 Apr

As you might imagine, my wildly exciting life as the mother of a 7 month old and wife to a graduate student involves lots of leisurely dinners out and stimulating conversation.  Oh, wait, no – what I meant to say was television – my life involves lots of television.

Many of you may know that Nathan and I have nearly polar opposite tastes in television programs.  He tends toward animated stuff, comedies, the discovery channel and anything where people have to survive in the wild (aka programs based on my worst nightmare).  I tend toward dramas (anything Aaron Sorkin’s coke-dusted fingers have touched is a safe bet), cheese (FAME!), HBO/Showtime (How can anyone NOT like Weeds?), and all things reality on Bravo.  Our tastes align in a few magical places – The Office, Arrested Development, Top Chef, and (wait for it) America’s Next Top Model.

Now, let me say right here and now that there are a number of things – I mean, arguably the premise alone, that make this show anti-feminist/anti-women.  Tyra has done some inexcusable stuff.  For me, it’s like knowing you should not crane your neck to look at the traffic accident – that doing so makes you part of the problem – and then doing it anyway.  Oh, and also, that accident somehow makes you crack up and bond with your spouse.  Okay, so maybe this analogy isn’t rock-solid, but you get what I’m saying.  ANTM is no good, but it’s awesomely bad.

How we got hooked on Tyra’s crazy antics is unclear – but we both LOVE to watch the outworkings of her totally oblivious and unchecked narcissism.  For me, I think watching Nathan watch ANTM is where the magic happens.  I truly wish that I could (in good conscience) secretly tape him while he watches this show and share that footage with you.  Since that’s not a viable option, I’ll just say that there are many gestures, many comments (most of which are heartfelt, and directed at the contestants), and an inevitable point during each episode where Nate will sit for a period of about 30 seconds with both hands clasped over his mouth/eyes and shake his head back and forth in disbelief.  He also says a variation on the following each week:  “How many times does she have to say it?!  Black tank top and jeans to panel!  They never listen!!”

In case you missed it (and believe me, if you didn’t see it, you MISSED it), here are some quotations from the latest installment of  America’s Next Top Model:

Contestant:  “I’m smart, but no one believes that about me because of the way that I am.”

(Nate saying “Jay Manuel” in different voices, accents)

Contestant:  “Some people are, like, thinkin’ about it too much.  I’m, like, not thinkin’ about it enough.  Hardly at all.”

(Nate:  “You know, this show is good for me to watch, because it’s just like hollywood.”  (to be fair, I think he was mostly kidding).)

(Nate:  “Pausies for Pizzas”  – hits pause and runs with leaps from the living room to the kitchen to get more pizza – presses play – sings “pausies for pizzas” throughout.)

Contestant:  “It’s really hard.  Like, you try posing on a subway.  It was MOVING!”

One of the Jays:  “No more thinking.”

Contestant:  “I actually thought it looked really well.”

Tyra:  “When we come back, we’ll announce which one of your subway stops is now approaching.”  Tyra loves a theme and will carry it through to the end regardless of how frayed the thread becomes.  She is nothing if not committed.

(Nate:  (when asked what one of the contestant’s name is)  “Beatbox McGillicuty.”)

Tyra:  “We like your pictures, but when you talk at panel, you always have something to say.  This attitude of always having to defend yourself is not the attitude of a top model.  People won’t like you if you’re always talking.”

And a weekly personal favorite of mine – Tyra:  “Congratulations.  You are still in the running towards becoming America’s Next Top Model.”  Is there a more awkward way to say that?  Because if you can find one, you should email Tyra – I’m sure she’s interested.

Fucked up?  Absolutely.  Fantasticly bad television?  Yes, indeed.

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One Response to “America’s Next Top Model”

  1. shanghaicowboy April 20, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    As someone who has endured the horrors of ANTM and survived to tell the tale, I thought you might like my recent review of the Cycle 13 finale http://shanghaicowboy.wordpress.com/. Cheers

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