The first step is admitting you have a problem

Allison Lasher, Blogger

The year was 2000; the location, New Orleans. If your head automatically went to “The Real World” season nine, we should be friends, and you might want to seek professional help. Either way, that season holds a special place in my heart because it was the beginning of my beautiful and dysfunctional relationship with reality television.

My name is Ali Lasher, I am a senior and I watch a lot of TV.  When I was younger, I sat in front of the television with my thumb firmly planted on the remote, ready to change the channel at the first sign of parental footsteps. I was terrified of getting caught watching the age inappropriate antics of “The Real World”  cast.

It occurred to me recently that, in a way, most of us still watch reality TV with our proverbial finger on the remote. Whether literally or figuratively, most of us are watching in secret. It’s seen by some as unacceptable to watch reality shows to simply enjoy them. We’re expected to scoff at the desperate behavior of “The Bachelor” contestants or look at “Toddlers & Tiaras”  and be outraged at the exploitation of children. They’re “guilty pleasures” meant to be enjoyed despite their stupidity or to be watched ironically. But it’s time to come out of the shadows, reality junkies. Face it: You watch the shows because you like them, and I’m here to tell you that you are not alone.

Here’s my reality resume: I am mostly self-taught, with the exception of the college course I took on the subject (more on that later). I have a small, but strong, Twitter presence filled mostly with “Survivor” live-tweeting (@lashtweets if you’re into it). And more importantly, I have seen it all, from the well-respected competition programs to the somewhat less critically-acclaimed. I’ve seen the virtually unknown (has anyone else heard of “Genuine Ken“?)  and I fondly remember the classics, like “Temptation Island”. I don’t and won’t claim to know it all, but I do love it all. And I am so excited to eat, sleep, breathe — oh, and watch — reality TV for this blog.

Now, here’s the scoop, kids: This isn’t your average TV blog. While I will weigh in on episodes from time to time, I’m not going to solely focus on episode analysis and recap. What I will do is cover trends and themes, former reality stars, scandals and controversies and everything in between.

So, if you know every real housewife by city and name, own a GTL t-shirt, or have ever pursed your lips and said “You’re Fired!” let’s shed the shame and wear our reality habit proudly. Or, if you just want to read this blog alone in secret by the glow of your computer screen, no judgment. Baby steps.

— Allison Lasher