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Extreme Couponing? 6 TLC Shows That Turn Humanity into a Sideshow

If you follow my writing you’ll know that I have confronted the beast known as TLC before.  And the fact that they know longer officially call themselves “The Learning Channel” hasn’t stopped me from taking them to task for airing what is arguably the most morbidly dimwitted programming on TV today.  You can’t just call yourself by your initials and switch from educational programming to programming that may actually be so awful it ruins society and not be made fun of for it.  TLC, you’re ridiculous.

Amidst a sea of shows that tell you what clothes to wear and showcase the circus car vaginas of some families, TLC has a growing penchant for focusing their cameras on people who, for lack of a better word, are human cartoons.  They’re oddities.  They’re the fringes of good taste and common sense and they have no business being featured on television whatsoever.  These people need help, not a spotlight.  This shit is whack.


If you weren’t aware of what kind of PT Barnum-level shenanigans the twisted programming directors at TLC are into, take a look at their schedule sometime. The odds that there isn’t at least one high-level executive who watches all the episodes from within his candlelit dungeon in a leather gimp mask while flogging himself and inserting needles into his genitals is too hard to calculate.  Not convinced?  Check this out;


Extreme Couponing


In what Dante would have categorized as the first sphere of hell we find Extreme Couponing.  These people are only mildly sick in the head.  This show focuses on people who are deranged and OCD about shopping.


We’re not condemning people who are smart shoppers, these coupon people are impressive. They can turn a good 30 hours of research and printing coupons from the internet into thousands of dollars of free groceries, that’s pretty cool. But on the other hand, why in God’s name do you need a spare room full of Lysol and Raisin Bran?  Just because you can buy 100 boxes of trout-flavored crackers for $5 doesn’t mean you should.


Every episode of this show features people who are apparently stocking the world’s worst bomb shelter full of tons of ludicrous shit that they don’t need, just because they could get it cheaply.  I can get a good deal on a hobo’s shoes, but I’m not gonna.


And while we’re on the subject of preposterous, coupon doesn’t deserve to be used as a verb, it really doesn’t.  Somehow, as a society, we let garage sailing creep into the vernacular, and antiquing, and ever since whatever cheap ass people do to save money on garbage has become an unnecessary verb.  This needs to stop.


Hoarding: Buried Alive


Fearful that A&E had stolen a silly ass premise form them and might steal some of the market of sickly voyeurs who like watching the mentally ill on TV, TLC stole the premise of a show about hoarding.  So if you’ve seen Hoarders on A&E you’ve seen this show.  And, if you watch it on A&E you get the added bonus of not being deluged with terrible TLC commercials that convince you the entire network is run by little people.


The gist of any give episode is to follow two seriously mentally unstable individuals into their home which is ostensibly full of crap.  Clothes, cats, infomercial junk, literal garbage, whatever, these people bring it home and pile it up to unsafe heights until it’s rotten and infested with vermin and puts their life and the lives of their families in jeopardy.  Then the show helps them clean up while they freak out.  Yay!  Picture Dr. Phil if he was a maid.


Toddlers and Tiaras


Have you ever wanted to watch an hour of really perverse child abuse?  Now’s your chance!  Toddlers and Tiaras follows the world of child beauty pageants in a way that’s far more disgusting than the name implies (and it should imply a good deal of disgust already).  Witness soulless, empty parents forcing their kindergarten-aged children into slutty outfits and Depression-era whore makeup.  Behold children as they spout shallow, abominable vitriol to their own parents; making demands like entitled little trolls.  Cringe as parents literally, brazenly abuse their children in the real, non-metaphorical physical sense which has lead to actual investigations by Child and Protective Services.


The most stunning aspect of the show is how it really has no redeeming  qualities on it whatsoever.  You feel at once sorry for and disgusted by the children and you just loathe the parents.  When’s the last time you sat down in your comfy chair and thought “man, I’m looking to feel some disgust and loathing?”  And if you did think that, you probably just watched some Eastern European porno.


My Strange Addiction


An episode of this show featured a woman eating the ashes of her dead husband. Is there anything you can say about that?  People would literally have paid to watch someone do that in a circus once.  They called those people geeks.  They’d eat the head off of chickens and whatever.  Now they eat ashes, or maybe toilet paper, or bathroom cleaners – all things featured on this show.  Are you learning anything here?  Being enriched in some way?  Are you even being entertained? Because dude, that’s sick.


The show succeeds on the Jerry Springer principle, that human suffering becomes infinitely more enjoyable to watch the more terrible it is.  So people with a bad relationship is kind of entertaining, but people who turn their children into tiny, taffeta-clad monsters are like a parade.


I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant


The name of this show is hilariously accurate in terms of what it is, and also so very sad.  I didn’t know I was pregnant is the kind of thing people say just about never.  I didn’t know where I put my keys, I didn’t know you were in the bathroom, I didn’t know we were out of milk, these are things you don’t know.  Pregnancy is a 9 month event in which a second human being develops inside your body.  If you don’t know this you could just as easily not know you’re white or perhaps not know that you’re actually shitting yourself right this second.


The show was cancelled in July due to low ratings, possible because there’s no way any episode can be different than any other episode if it’s based on something you didn’t know.


Freaky Eaters


Hey, remember My Strange Addiction?  What if we did the same show, only with actual food products?  So like a show about people who eat…food.  But like weird amounts of it or whatever.  That’s cool, right?  No?  Well suck me, we’re doing it anyway.


Freaky Eaters covers such riveting topics as someone who eats a lot of tartar sauce, someone who likes to eat syrup, and even one person who eats cheesy potatoes.  Let’s read a plot synopsis; “A woman only eats fries, and her daughter is following in her footsteps. They are both cured after eating cucumbers and she no longer eats fries as a staple food.”  Praise Jesus, the healing power of cucumbers strikes again!  Long live the green phallus!


If you take a shine to the idea of watching someone eat 40 ice cream bars every day then this may very well be the show for you.  Of course, if that’s the sort of thing that entertains you then wait here, we have a box of odd-shaped screws you can sort.

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