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Freelance writer, webmaster of realityshack.com, chief editor at applemagazine.com, contribtor to TechLife News and maketecheasier.com, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

And THIS Is Why I Love Reality TV: Move Over Ty Pennington


– Christina M. Rau / GatsbyGirl

Sparked by a discussion in the Reality Shack forum with Aurora (that reveals how late I am in writing my column this week), I’m thinking about marrying Andrew Dan-Jumbo. Then my thought changes—perhaps marriage isn’t the way to go since Evan Farmer is quite a cutie. So maybe I could get engaged to one and date the other. Or be engaged to both. Or simply date both. And then Jason Cameron comes to mind and I get all confused. While You Were Out offers an abundance of strapping young men who can drill a hole like no one’s business (there’s that phrase again—why am I using it and what does it mean?).

Then just when I think there are already too many men, too little time, Faber Dewar and Carter Oosterhouse from Trading Spaces pop up, which brings me to reminisce about when Ty Pennington was on the show in the early days before he became larger than life and a bit too skinny on Extreme Make-Over Home Edition. And Eric Stromer on Clean Sweep toddles into my head as well, making for a sweet tooth extravaganza on all the eye candy. And I even wonder what happened to Steve on Monster House from TLC’s mother network The Discovery Channel.

Hooray for TLC for making so many gals so very happy. And I’m sure many guys are happy as well. I mean how can anyone deny the complete hotness factor going on over at the TLC network? Their slogan is “Live and Learn.” That’s exactly what all these buff builders help me do all the time. Ty Pennington was just the beginning of TLC’s master plan. But as Ty has moved over to ABC and now hocks his own line of stuff at Sears, so many others have fallen quite nicely into the TLC hottie-with-a-hammer line-up.

We learn a whole lot. We learn how to paint, weld, hammer, staple, sew, sweep, sand, hot glue, drill, saw, screw, tape, hang, level, tear down, measure, lift, finagle, improvise, plan, and finally create. The talent on these shows is varied and impressive. Yes, these shows have many female carpenters on them as well whose work is outstanding too. However, that’s not what this column is about. I’m not talking about girl power today.

Today I’m talking about objectification of men who have tool belts. I’m pretty sure the TLC people knew what they were doing when they cast these guys for the job. They weren’t thinking, I wonder if people will watch him for his craftsmanship. They were thinking, I know people will watch if he takes his shirt off every now and then. Because that’s what the television industry is all about—Home improvement with heartthrobs.

Speaking of shirts, the number one reason to watch While You Were Out is to see what Andrew Dan-Jumbo’s shirt says. He’s always wearing some graphic tee (that’s a t-shirt with graphics and a slogan, not an explicitly erotic tee, which I don’t think I would object to in any case). He and Evan have a lot of funny, good times banter. It makes re-doing a room quite entertaining.

All the guys have great personalities. They’re all a tad wacky. They’re all a whole lot funny. And they all have inventive minds and highly skilled craftsmanship. Basically, they’re all the guys Mom and Dad want standing beside their little girl at the altar (or wherever it is people stand if they don’t get married in a church).

[b]And THIS is why I love reality tv[/b]: Learning is guaranteed to be fun. It’s funny. It’s witty. And it’s great to look at.

I’ll take Andrew or Carter or Evan or any of those guys over Martha Stewart and This Old House any day. As a matter of fact, I do watch them almost every day. Not even whole episodes. I just watch until I get a glimpse of a flexed bicep hammering away, and that makes me one happy girl as I live and learn from TLC.

So thanks, TLC. That’s a life lesson that’s easy to stick to.

Have a favorite carpenter? Email me: Christina@realityshack.com or visit http://christinamrau.blogspot.com.


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