Train Wreck Theory: Why I Love a Lil’ Bit of Trashy TV

Before we get into this, I want to say that I do have a degree in English. I am educated. I do read. In fact, I have a job that forces me to use my brain daily to hope that a foundation will give our programs money. With that being said, I am not the typical demographic for trashy reality TV, but it is an addiction.

I don’t go all out and watch Real Housewives of (Insert geographical region). It isn’t all that I watch, but I come from the generation that grew up watching Real World and saw Reality TV peak with the overly dramatic Jersey Shore. Now, I cannot turn away from the even more troublesome Party Down South.

I know how bad this is. The show is as awful as the people that star on it. They are misogynistic, under-educated, binge drinking, functioning alcoholics who treat each other like crap. The men treat women like objects to be conquered and they are encouraged by the females who encourage the disgusting behaviors. The women parade around in their underwear or bikinis, vomiting up an entire weeks worth of alcohol, fighting over guys, and sleeping with each other on camera. We could go on and on about how awful this show is (and all of the subsequent sequels that may come up), but that’s been done.

What I love about PDS and other shows like it is what some call would call the “Train Wreck Theory.” This theory is simple to follow, if something is so terrible, yet you can’t look away, it’s due to the Train Wreck Theory (AKA Rubbernecking Syndrome). I cannot stop watching these shows because, in my mind,  I cannot imagine it getting any worse, but somehow they find a way to impress me every single week and by impress, I mean completely lose all hope for humanity.

Watching immature narcissists binge drink their way into D list celebrity stardom is the only rational way to close out a long work week. Let’s face it. By Thursday night, all of our brains are mush. Picking up a book after getting chewed out by your boss for a looming deadline that is out of your control seems like a chore. Honestly, I just want to turn my brain off and watch something that helps remind me that I made some good choices in life.

I want to see them crash and burn. The TV knows what I want to see. I want to see drunken debauchery that I will never again experience. I want to see the drama that I left behind in college. That self-involved and self-destructive behavior that leaves a path of destruction in it’s wake. These TV shows are like a tornado that rips through a town and gives it a bad name. Furniture gets destroyed, people get injured, at some point everyone is in the bathroom crying for it all to end, and, of course, someone is there to videotape it all for my viewing pleasure.

It’s all bad, I know that. But so is the sun, sugar, alcohol, cigarettes, red meat…you name it. That doesn’t stop people from doing those. Judge me all you want. This is some low quality, trashy television and I’m 100% OK with it.

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