Does anyone else remember when TLC was called “The Learning Channel”? That’s right folks; the network that brings you educational gems such as “Toddlers & Tiaras” and “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” was actually founded in 1972 by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare along with NASA and was dedicated to “providing real education through the medium of TV”. How the times have changed, but I digress…on with the news!
TLC has ordered two more series to feed the ravenous appetite of their audience for southern style reality shows. “Welcome to Myrtle Manor” and “Gypsy Sisters” will both debut in early 2013. “Myrtle Manor” which TLC General Manager Amy Winter describes as having “the elements of ‘Honey Boo Boo’ and the kind of culture we love with a little bit of a ‘Melrose Place’ element” will follow the daily dramas of the citizens of a trailer park. “Gypsy Sisters” is a spinoff of TLC’s “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding” and will look deeper into the American gypsy subculture. Oh good, more exploitation of families personal lives for entertainment!
TLC is not the first network to be jumping on the southern-themed bandwagon recently. The addition of TLC’s shows comes on the heels of MTV’s small-town West Virginia version of “Jersey Shore”, called “Buckwild”. When confronted with the reality that TLC programming is perpetuating negative stereotypes with their programming choices, they said “We always want big fun characters, and some regions rise to the top”.
So much for learning and education. Do you love or hate the reality shows TLC has to offer?