Do you remember what the channel TLC used to be like? Once upon a time, it stood for The Learning Channel and offered programming that lived up to its name. Then, when the real estate industry was booming, TLC practically rivaled HGTV in its offerings. Whether it was buying, decorating, renovating or flipping your / that / this / my home, TLC had a program (or five) about it. And that was fine. They were interesting, gave you ideas and were generally inoffensive (although Paige Davis certainly came close to crossing that line).
Then the sub-prime mortgage crisis hit and real estate tanked. The happy endings that fueled these programs became fewer. Instead, just before the credits, a black screen would appear with a note from the producers saying something to the effect of “Joe’s house is still on the market. It’s been 15 months. He hates his life. This was a mistake. We are all doomed. Doomed. DOOOOMED!”
So, TLC had to find some other kind of programming to lighten the mood, and apparently there are only four things that will do that for us:
- Little people.
- Families that test the boundaries of the human uterus.
- People with problems. Like, “I’m addicted to meth” problems. Or, “my children are about to taken because I live in a dump” problems. Or “in a different era, I would be gainfully employed by a carnival sideshow” problems.
- Professional cake and chocolate making. (Huh?)
Apparently, if there’s one comfort in this world, it’s a giant, ridiculously-decorated cake that has been made by a little person with a crack habit and twelve kids.
I never thought I’d be saying this, but I miss Paige Davis. I will happily take her spunky, perky self and the whole Trading Spaces team over The Woman With Giant Legs, My Monkey Baby or 19 Kids and Counting (oh, how I wish I was joking about those titles).
The only way to do that is to get back to buying, selling and decorating homes. The programming will follow. Money-schmoney – I’m sure you can afford even a little project, right? Do it for me. Do it for the children. Do it for all the people across North America. Be the hero this TV-watching country needs.