The Nutless Husband's Guide to Reality TV

Here's a little pop culture crap to take our minds off of the Great Roundball Abortion of 2010.

I remember June 22, 2002 fondly. That's the day I was publicly neutered and my balls were placed in a jar of formaldehyde that sits as a trophy on Mrs.BrickHorn's vanity married to my lovely wife. Since that beautiful summer Saturday so many years ago, I have been fortunate enough to enjoy a panoply of vapid female-targeted television programming. You see, women are capable of watching a shocking amount of utter bullshit. That's why Oprah Winfrey is a gazillionaire. And, when you marry a woman, she has the right to demand that you sit with her, for several hours each week, to ingest a stream of mind-numbing, testosterone-depleting horseshit.

This shitstream of broadcast pablum comes in several flavors, including shows about:

• People cooking food you will never eat
• People buying or making clothes you will never wear
• People doing mundane, stressful, unenviable tasks like buying a house or planning a wedding
• Shallow people seeking deep emotional bonds with other shallow people
• Celebrities and pseudo-celebrities living their ridiculous lives

Over the last few years, the vacuous wasteland of “reality”-based television has grown so bloated that it is impossible to keep track of what particular flavor of video manure your brain is consuming at any given minute. But, never fear, fellow nutless husbands. The Barking Carnival has asked me to review some highlights from this wife-mandated parade of television inanities so as to better educate our married readers to the daily threats facing their minds and masculinity. Knowledge is power. The kind of power you used to derive from functioning gonads.

Anyway, here are a few worthless female-oriented reality shows I vaguely remember viewing within the past week:

The Bachelor

This is the Cadillac of female-targeted reality shows. Never mind that the quality of American automobiles has declined in the past thirty years and the Cadillac brand is no longer an appropriate metaphor for "best." You get the picture – The Bachelor is the best. I think. It certainly is the most interesting.

By now, everyone is familiar with the premise of this show. Over the course of several weeks, one guy chooses a mate from a group of 25 relatively-intelligent, pretty girls. The show is currently wrapping up its 14th season. So, since the show first premiered in 2002, that’s 14 guys, 350 girls, and zero successful matches made. ZERO.

And therein lies the true beauty of The Bachelor. This show offers an eye-opening exposition on human sexual sociology. In a matter of days or weeks, two dozen women all miraculously fall in love with the only guy available to them romantically. And he inevitably fails to reciprocate, at least in a long-term sense. He is a man, however, so he's not above a little good-natured fondling of pretty much every single girl involved. This reveals a fundamental truth about male reproductive behavior: where a man has reproductive options, he will not voluntarily choose monogamy. Instead, the sexually-appealing man will play the field until he perceives his philandering years have run out. I, on the other hand, married at an extremely young age.

The show also reveals that women are competitive, petty bitches when love is on the line. I can’t even begin to fathom how improbable the Bachelor ladies’ unanimous swooning over a single randomly-selected eligible bachelor would be in the real world. But it happens, every season. The Bachelor is, within the bounds of a given season of the show, the Last Man on Earth. And the ladies act accordingly, pulling out all the stops to win the affection of whatever random dude the producers selected for them to fight over.

If your wife is going to bully you into watching one of her weeknight estrogen fests, I recommend The Bachelor. It is the Granddaddy of Female-Oriented Reality TV. But, ironically, the show's producers have inadvertently woven a dualistic parable into the fabric of a dating game. While superficially celebrating the fantasy of romantic monogamy, the actual substance of the show reveals a misogynistic truth: 25 silly tramps may think they've found their one, true love, but, really, he just wants a good time from as many of them as possible before he moves on with life.

So, crack open a beer and enjoy the glorious triumph of man over woman. Vicarious or not, it's a victory for our team.

The Real Housewives of Orange County / New York / Atlanta / New Jersey

If I wrote synopses for TV Guide, this would be my summary of the Real Housewives franchise: "A hand-picked group of aging local trophy wives fight a pathetic battle to preserve their quickly-deteriorating beauty while engaging in petty bickering. For an hour. Seriously, find something else to watch."

In any case, the show's title is completely misleading. If these were indeed real housewives, the whole show would be about the wives forcing their husbands to sit next to them on the couch while they watched their own reality show.

Property Virgins

This show's formula is simple. A buxom, overly maid-up Italian real estate agent guides naive young couples looking for their first home through a series of fully furnished, but otherwise empty, houses.

Sandra Rinomato, star of such hits as "Property Virgins" and "Hose Appraisers"

After taking a brief look through the house, the MILFish "real estate agent" seduces the couple into a three-way in the oversized jacuzzi tub, right? Wrong. Unfathomably, without having sex, they leave and go to see another house. I know what you're thinking. "Oh, so they get it on in the second house, huh?" Nope. Instead, we see the couple tour yet another house, sit down and discuss the homes they've seen and then decide which one to buy. And then the show ends, without even so much as a bare nipple.

"Property Virgins" is perhaps the biggest tease on television. The whole thing plays out like the prelude / plot-building portion of a high-end porno. Even the title reads like it came straight off of Vivid's release list. But despite laying the perfect narrative foundation for some lucky dude to engage in the archetypal cougar / young hottie double-teaming, the show's producers elect instead to treat us to footage of a real estate closing.

"And here's the bathroom, complete with a three-person jacuzzi tub, which we will inexplicably not be having sex in."

My theory is that this show is the product of a vast conspiracy of American women to convince us that a young, red-blooded American couple and a sexy real estate agent can walk through an unoccupied home without having sex. That is an outright lie, and should not be tolerated.

Millionaire Matchmaker

In this show, the long-lost transvestite/transgender twin of the math teacher from Better Off Dead tells actually-pretty young ladies that they aren't pretty enough to date her barely-millionaire idiot clients.

Separated at birth?

I do not like this show, or its star, at all.

Keeping up with the Kardashians

Okay, so this is probably the most confusing half-hour of television since the backwards Seinfeld. Let me see if I can explain it. The show centers on the Kardashian family. Kris Kardashian, widow of OJ Simpson attorney and noted Armenian Robert Kardashian, is the family matriarch. She has remarried to America's hero of the 1976 Olympics, decathalete and cosmetic surgery victim Bruce Jenner. Together, they raise Kris' six children, four of which (three girls and a boy) resulted from her first marriage.

One of Kris' daughters is the whiny-voiced World Champion of Celebrity Ass, Kim Kardashian. Kim used to date some dude named Ray-J. Together these two otherwise-not-famous individuals shoestringed their way to fame by releasing a sex tape. She and her booty now date NFL star and noted Heisman thief Reggie Bush.

Not to be outdone, Kim's younger, heftier sister Khloe recently married NBA star Lamar Odom, resulting in confusion as to the reason for Khloe's self-assessment that she is "big-boned." The other sister, Kourtney, has an on-again, off-again relationship with her baby-daddy, who appears to be one of the fungible, self-absorbed bankers from American Psycho. Like Sailor Ripley, he wears a paisley nightrobe without ironic intent.

Ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha!

The other three Kardashian children - Kendall, Kylie and Krob (pronounced "Rob") - are far less interesting and make few appearances.

The show chronicles the Kardashian-Jenner family as they act out a series of obviously-scripted - yet still somehow completely uninteresting - vignettes. Pretty much the same shit happens every show: first, there is a buildup to some family, relationship, or stray-dog-related crisis; next, there is an emotional climax as the crisis comes to a confrontational head; and finally, the crisis is neatly disposed of as the hostile parties reconcile (or, in the case of stray dog crises, the dog is put to sleep).

Coincidentally, I follow the same cycle of buildup-climax-disposal when I view photos of Kim at

The Champ

Between the formulaic plot lines, Bruce Jenner's ghoulish plastic mask of a face, and all of the black athletes involved, I often confuse this show with the Harlem Globetrotters episodes of Scooby Doo.

In conclusion, you should avoid watching any and all of these shows. Go for a walk. Read a book. Hang-glide. Plot to overthrow HenryJames and usurp his authority as the new Dungeon Master. Just do something - ANYTHING - productive with your life, and let me write about the trite crap I waste my life watching on the television.

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