Between A&E's sometimes harrowing "Intervention", VH1's equally disturbing, often lurid "Celebrity Rehab," certain episodes of MTV's "True Life" series, and the new entry from TLC, "My Strange Addiction", lately I can't seem to stop myself from watching this avalanche of addiction-centric programming. The TLC show includes people hooked on thumb-sucking, laundry detergent and body building.
Partly it's these stories are really compelling and I just long to see a happy (or happier) ending at the end of the show. Partly it's just because the cases they choose are very, very extreme and almost like a magpie to a shard of tinsel, I can't seem to look away.
This fact was especially brought to my attention while visiting family over the holidays, when my mother pointed out that in the course of one lazy evening I'd just spent two hours straight watching "train-wreck" TV. I'd viewed such unique cases as a woman who eats toilet paper, a woman who consumes chalk, and a woman who sleeps with her hair dryer blowing hot air all over her…). Her verdict? That my television habits are an addiction to be conquered.
And, when you couple my predilection for addiction TV with my tendency to favor medical mystery and medical "oddity" shows, it's a deluge of too much tube time. (Good thing that my old standby for such delights as "Face-Eating Tumor" and "Tree Man", Discovery Health, will be transforming to OWN, Oprah Winfrey's new network come Jan 1, 2011.)
Anyone else addicted to shows about addiction? Ever recognize some of your own behavior in these shows?