Ton Of Love: Wow, Who Writes for TLC?

19 Nov

Let’s begin our journey with “Ton of Love.”

Ton of Love TV-14 (D), CC
Go inside the lives of three morbidly obese couples and see how their weight affects their daily lives and relationships. Including a wife forced to take care of her demanding husband, a couple’s difficulties in the bedroom and a mother’s risky pregnancy.

Okay, wow. We might as well look at TLC’s Entire Wednesday/Thursday Line-Up:

Ton of Love
The Man With Half a Body
Sarah Palin’s Alaska
A Baby Story
Make Room for Multiples
Pregnant at 70
Say Yes to the Dress
Police Women of Dallas

So much to say. So much to do. It’s just too much!

The sad thing is every single one of these shows interest me. And it interests many other seemingly normal people as well (that’s debatable!). I want to know the trials and tribulations of being obese without actually having to be obese! I want to know what they even mean by describing a man having half a body! I decided to take matters into my own hands and investigate just why we are so fascinated by TLC and why the writers continue to come up with more and more outlandish  material as we speak.

Exhibit A–Escapism.

I'd rather just watch Say Yes to the Dress than focus on my custody battle!


Would anyone rather focus on the grave state of the economy over watching other people’s strange habits and lives? Aw hell no. Escapism, or the ability to not realize your meaningless existence, allows one to feel content with their life because–at least for right now–you’re not focusing on your mundane life. Hey, maybe my life isn’t so bad. Maybe cleaning toilets is actually rewarding! I can’t pay the rent, but at least I have a full body! My kids may annoy me but at least I don’t have 19 children! The list goes on and ours lives continue with our resulting positive outlook.

What is the root of escapism? I remembered learning about it in my psychology courses so I decided to go back to the MADCAT database. While researching for this entry I discovered that I no longer have access to the library services (now this is depressing!). Fortunately, Google Scholar saved the day.

And all I wanted to do was learn...!

Escapism relates to much more avenues than simple reality television. Escapism can be an excuse for alcoholism and binge eating. Okay, so reality TV is definitely not the worst case scenario.

The results from psychology research studies on reality television are pretty obvious. They all point to the happiness stemmed from escaping your problems, even if it’s just for a half hour segment.

So…Why, TLC, Whyyy?

Historically TLC, previously known as The Learning Channel, was not a channel with high ratings.

Learning, Ick!

In the 90s TLC was a place for learning and “Ready Set Learn.” Learning-not such a popular form of entertainment apparently-just wasn’t effective in gaining ratings. That’s where the shift came in. “Cable in the Classroom” turned into “Trading Spaces” and “Ready Set Learn” eventually led to “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”

Culmination of all the poor ratings factors–> Reality Television.

Learning doesn’t yield good ratings and ratings matter more (even if that means we have to turn in the academia for a better education on obesity).

As for the results, I look forward to TLC and their newfound creativity in writing, even if I won’t be learning about the newest book series. Because that’s what TV is for anyways, isn’t it? Right?

Where do we go from here?

Please, for the love of God, read a book!

If only between commercials, let’s start reading again!


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