If you’re looking for a cliche joke to tell your friends over pumpkin-flavored beers this weekend, make a reference to how TLC stands for “The Learning Channel,” then pause and wait for everyone to laugh uproariously.
Because the network that once taught us how to trade spaces with our design-challenged neighbors now just parades bizarreness in front of us on a daily basis. It’s amazing and it’s genius and I’m certainly not complaining.
But I am starting to feel like they’re possibly trolling us with all their programming. Every week it’s more and more ridiculous to the point that I’m beginning to think they’re just sitting around and playing mad libs during their show development meetings.
You know, just seeing how many nouns they can string together in a row until they come up with something like, Little Shop of Gypsies.
Which brings me to their newest show Little Shop of Gypsies. It premiered last night, just two days after TLC premiered a special about the half-ton killer. The Half-Ton Killer! What did they google to find that woman? (And how many bonuses did the finder get?)
Anyway, fabulous week for TLC. They swooped right into the hole that the season finale of Abby & Brittany left in my heart and filled it with gypsies. SO MANY GYPSIES!
For those of you who somehow missed this show last night, let me give you the basic premise.
Thelma Madine’s the most famous dress designer when it comes to the gypsy and traveller communities. She’s basically on the level of David’s Bridal for these people and they pay her a lot of money to design their dresses. So she wants to give back to their community by training two of them to become fabulous dress designers. Therefore she puts an ad on Craigslist and hires the two most qualified candidates.
She does not do that. She decides to turn her job hiring process into a game — a game that TLC will coincidentally film and profit from during a TV series. Talk about Breaking Amish. (Just kidding, I know that one doesn’t work as well.) After a long day of observing gypsies and travellers she chooses the ten most likely to be able to join her company.
Then she tells them that the two most extraordinary of those ten will get a full-time job with her company. But here’s the twist, women in the gypsy and traveller communities never work. Instead they get married young, have kids young and spend their lives cooking and cleaning for their families.
On one hand, this job gives them an awesome opportunity to have jobs outside of their home, learn about independence and possibly gain some valuable self-esteem. On the other hand pitting 10 uneducated teenage woman against in each other in order to get a job that they’re not qualified for could possibly destroy them.
The only way to find out is to watch the show and see which direction their lives take. And while I’m not sure which way it’s going to go, I do know that watching girls stab each other with pins is great fun for viewers.
I’m already psyched for this Team Margaret and Team Bridget drama and it bodes well for this season. Also, I hoping that by the time this show starts wrapping up in a month or two, TLC has something even more scandalous up their sleeves.
Like Big Factory of Grotestquely Large People or Jon & Kate Plus 8 Minus One Twin Multiplied By A Family of Talking Bears.
(Photo: Channel Guide)