TLC the poster child for reality TV

Max Lankford, Staff Writer

Admit it. We have all been bored out of our minds searching for something to watch on TV. At some point or another, we have all been looking for some drama to captivate our minds for at least an hour. I know I have, and time and time again, when there is not anything interesting to watch, I go to my favorite channel: TLC (not the 90’s girl group sensation).

TLC is, in my opinion, the poster child for reality television. A lot of the channel’s programs depict real situations, setting it apart from other reality channels. TLC programs typically do not have any added or imposed drama, allowing for the weight and reality of the situation pictured to be the drama. With that being said, here are my top three favorite TLC shows (in no particular order).

If you feel like your room is a mess but don’t have any time to clean it, watch “Hoarding: Buried Alive.” Trust me, you’ll find time. This show follows hoarders (people who have difficulty parting with their possessions) who have pretty much “buried themselves alive” in all of their possessions. While the show is entertaining, it can also be painful to watch at moments, because the hoarder’s possessions often get in the way of keeping close family relationships. Most of the episodes conclude with the hoarder seeking psychological and organizational help.

Quite possibly one of the most popular reality TV programs of all time, TLC’s “My 600 lb. Life” has certainly earned its place in the reality TV hall of fame. “My 600 lb. Life” centers on the one-year weight loss journey of a dangerously overweight person. The show does a very good job of remaining positive throughout the whole experience, and never paints the person losing the weight negatively. This show (similar to “Hoarding: Buried Alive”) does not feel like the typical reality TV show. The situation of having to lose a drastic amount of weight quickly is very real, and very scary at the same time. The show emphasizes themes of good health and resilience. Almost all of the episodes end with the overweight person having lost an incredible and inspiring amount of weight.

Saving money is important in today’s society, but the people filmed in TLC’s “Extreme Cheapskates” take saving money to a whole new level. The show follows the lives of individuals obsessed with saving money at any cost. The show, like most other TLC shows, is filmed like a “reality documentary,” making the actions these people take in order to save money all too real. In one episode, a woman with a six-figure job dumpster dives for all of her meals. In another, a man covers himself in cornstarch in his own home in order to stay cool during the 100-degree Texas heat. This program is equally entertaining and concerning, because most of the actions taken to save money are not illegal, meaning that these people choose to live a cheap and sometimes unhealthy lifestyle.

TLC programs are different from other reality TV shows, because TLC drama feels real and not forced. These are my three favorite TLC shows, and I hope this list gave you a few new shows to consider for the next time you browse the TV.