I have to admit, I am a bit of a TV snob. I do watch a lot of it — not much else to do when you’re a stay-at-home mom and your kid isn’t big enough to make a mess yet. Plus when Grace is napping and I get a chance to do some stitching, it’s nice to have something to listen to. Most of the time I don’t so much watch TV as listen to it.
So I usually watch a fair amount of BBC America. The shows there seem to be a little better quality than the spate of “reality TV” shows. It also helps that I am a bit of an Anglophile. :o)
Tonight there was a show on called “Holiday Showdown,” which is reality TV done British style. Two families are thrust together and go on each other’s ideal vacation. Each family gets a week to show the other family what is so wonderful about their vacation spot.
I had never seen the show before, but I knew there wasn’t much on at 10pm anyhow. I decided to check it out while I waited for my daily dose of Iron Chef.
The two families BBC chose for this episode was completely different. One was athletic and active, and the other family was quiet and a lot more sedentary. The Joneses (the quiet family) was from Wales, and they got the first week for their holiday. The Jenkinses (the active family) was not very enthusiastic about the Joneses’ holiday, as it consisted of renting a canal boat and floating down Britain’s canal system. But they were willing to “give it a go” and keep an open mind.
The holiday was to be spent completely on this boat. This meant eight people (four adults and four children) sleeping on a six-foot-wide boat about 60 feet long (and you think YOU lived in cramped quarters, Chele!! *wink*). The Joneses’ mother showed everyone their sleeping arrangements the very first day. Very proudly she showed off the best bed on the boat, an actual double bed large enough for two adults, and very proudly she announced it was HER bed. The other couple was relegated to a bed that was created by folding down the kitchen table (sort of like your extra bed, Chele). I found that quite rude, since I was always taught that the host gave up the comfy things for her guests. When folks come to visit, I always insist they take my bed, and I’ll sleep on the couch. It’s only fair in my eyes.
The Jenkinses were bored out of their respective skulls on the boat trip. Instead of showing off the loveliness of the English countryside, the Joneses’ mother chose a route that wound through industrial areas and even underneath one of Britain’s main highways. She loves industrial architecture — which I can’t figure out why. But the Jenkinses were very polite and tried to enjoy themselves so as not to spoil the Joneses’ holiday.
After a week it was time to switch roles, and the Jenkinses were ecstatic. Finally they got to do something fun! They all went to this resort in Britain, where there is always something to do. It’s not quite Disneyland, but it’s sort of like a cross between the county fair and an amusement park. The Jenkinses made every effort to include the Joneses in activities they may not otherwise have tried, but the Joneses had their minds made up that the place was too loud, too crowded, and too much. And that, of course, sparked controversy.
It made me mad that the Jenkinses endured the most boring outing of their lives, quite politely, but that the Joneses couldn’t return the favor and just at least pretend to enjoy themselves. I realize that controversy is what makes folks tune in to these shows, but I just found the Jones family excruciatingly rude. The mother was one of those people who had always gotten her way and was extremely obnoxious about it. I can see why kids whine and cry, and I can understand the stresses of being on a holiday that you’re not enjoying and having cameras in your face all day. But I cannot abide women who whine — grown women!! The Jones mother just whined and literally cried her way throughout the holiday because she wasn’t enjoying it! She spoiled the entire holiday for everyone.
I really hope that my kids aren’t whiners. I realize that sometimes kids are tired and cranky, and they end up whining about things on occasion. But full-scale, constant whining I can’t stand. And to have that kind of whining and crying from a grown woman who isn’t getting her way — absolutely disgusting. I wanted to reach through the TV and throttle that woman. Plus she was passing on the whole “I am entitled to be spoiled” attitude to her children as well. That’s completely inexcusable.
At least she’s the one who has to deal with her kids. Payback can really be a bitch. :o)