Winners & Weepers

28 Mar


Now that summer is almost upon us, you know what’s coming: reality shows. And you know what’s coming front and center on the reality show bandwagon – Contestants Who Miss Their Kids. Argh!

If you’d told me ten years ago that I could sit through visuals of people weeping for their children and feel nothing more than mild (sometimes even extreme) annoyance, I would have called you a liar.I mean, what kind of monster do you think I am? (Don’t answer that!)

I don’t have any of my own – and God knows I’m not in any kind of rush to get some anytime soon – but if I chose to have a child, through either adoption or childbirth, and had to cut myself off from all or most contact from them while undergoing stressful amounts of competition… I would not be a happy person.

Reality show contestants are frequently unpleasant people and even if they’re normally nice people, the mind games they eventually play to win the game renders them hideous – if forced to share quarters with people from any of the shows (and that includes you, Amazing Race!) I’d either be crying into my pillow every night or manically strangling towels named after my housemates in the bathroom every few minutes. When you add the stress of living with these strangers to the stress of carrying out tasks (or performing for that matter) while being recorded all the time, it’s a wonder more people don’t snap.

Digression: Actually, I’m stunned we don’t get to hear more about the behind the scenes drama on American Idol. There must have been some fun times in the Idol house when that Norman guy was put through this year, for instance. It’s the only time I’ve ever felt it’s too bad they don’t have a confessional camera. And in the same vein, the only show where I totally buy the on-camera camaraderie is So You Think You Can Dance. I don’t know why but the top 12 couples always look like a truly supportive group, maybe because they’re divided up into couples who have to trust each other for the simple reason that their physical well being often depends on it.

But really, who looks at a contestant on Top Chef or Project Runway or whatever, sobbing because they can’t speak to their kids as often as they like or because they aren’t there to tuck them into bed at night the way they always do, and doesn’t roll their eyes – at least a little? Be honest! You’re a much better person than me if you don’t.

There’s a tinny quality to the whole thing, perfected in the Idol audition clips I think – “I’m singing for my daughter! This means so much to my two year old! That one, there on the rug. It’s all about her, not me! Yes, the one who’s fussing because she’d much rather be playing with her building blocks. But don’t worry, she’s really invested in Daddy’s success! Aren’t you sweetie? Don’t poke me in the eye, you little – erm. Ha ha, she’s such a little pistol, isn’t she? Daddy’s gonna win for you, baby!”

Meanwhile all baby wants is some mashed up banana and a Barbie doll to dismember. Oh, and a nap. That would be really awesome, thanks.

And if the “contesting for my child” nonsense isn’t enough, the kids come in handy for a passive aggressive goodbye too. “Yeah, I’m getting kicked out because the judges think I suck. I’m happy though because I’m going home to my baby. It’s been so hard for me to concentrate here because my head’s over there with my child. But it’s all good. At last I know where my place is – no. No sir, not at the bottom – it’s at home, see? With my child. But it’s hard, I won’t lie. I really wanted to do this for her. Now I’ve got to go home and tell her Daddy couldn’t do it. But I know she’ll understand that the reason I couldn’t was because I loved her too much. Yep, she’s still two. A very smart two.”

Maybe I’ve got it all wrong, maybe they really do feel that way about being separated from their kids. In which case I’ve got a tip: stay at home. Coz nothing in life comes without a price tag attached. I learned that from the teevee. Which cost a lot of money.


Posted by on March 28, 2009 in Life, Television


17 responses to “Winners & Weepers

  1. pitu

    March 28, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I hate reality tv but my mom said SRGMP Hindi winner Vaishali was moaning on and on and on about missing her kid and guest judge Asha Bhosle promptly put her in her place 😀 It’s kinda what I like abt Asha- she says what others only think 😉

  2. Sujatha

    March 28, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Love the new look!

  3. memsaab

    March 30, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Wouldn’t it be marvelous if they ALL stayed home with their kids and then reality shows might go away altogether, leaving room for some actual entertainment?

  4. Chandra Singh

    March 30, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Amitra,

    Love your new look! The baby picture looks really cute too 🙂 I just wonder for reality shows, how much of what’s shown is really true..
    Anyway, I love your blog and would really like to add you to my blog roll! I’m with – we are a large and growing (500,000+ visitors per month) website focused on movies and celebrities – our Bollywood homepage is at We’ve read hundreds of Bollywood-related blogs and we think yours is awesome! We would love to explore more ways of tapping into your expertise if you are interested.
    Look forward to hearing from you!
    Thanks! 🙂


    April 1, 2009 at 12:01 am

    “Contestants Who Miss Their Kids” – Yeah, right! And I’m betting this is what would’ve transpired, for real, in the days/hours preceding that plane-ride to get on the Reality show. 🙂

    “I’m doing this despite my kid(s)” sounds way more believable than “I’m doing this for my kid(s).” Dunno about dads, but offer any real-life mom (of a toddler) a month’s (or a week’s, heck, even just a day’s) break away from that punctilious prattler pouched in her pallu, “dictating” her every move, and watch her eyes well up with tears of unbridled joy (not pangs of unbearable separation)!

    And ah, your closing lines, with that “Tina Fey” touch — priceless!

    P.S: Ramsu, if you’re reading this and wondering what the pun/acronym is all about: WAIS is an IQ test (and if you didn’t know this, who would?), WOMBAT is any activity one engages in (e.g. Reality TV) that’s a Waste Of Money, Brains, And Time, and the wordplay angle: A wise Australian marsupial — thought it went well with that li’l “pouch potato” I talk about. 🙂


    April 1, 2009 at 11:58 am

    P.S: Dang, they switched URLs on that 3/31 comic strip I refer to above. Here’s the latest link from the archives.

  7. Amrita

    April 1, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Pitu – I’ll watch anything with “Top” in it. When I’m a gazillionaire, I’m gonna hire Nathan from Top Design to come design my house for me. Also So You Think You Can Dance because let’s face it, you can’t NOT watch something with Cat Deeley in it. But even they’re not immune to the “i miss my baby” gig. And of COURSE, they have it in India now. Coz the kid doesn’t have enough uncles, aunties, grampa, gramma, neighbour aunty, chowkidar, maid, etc to spoil it rotten.

    Suj – thanks! 🙂

    Memsaab – oh you think its bad now? Wait until Jay Leno gets the 10 oclock spot. we’ll be lucky if we get to see anything at all.

    Chandra – thank you, I just noticed your email. Checking out your site now 🙂

    Wais Wombat – (love the id!) I never thought of that! 😀 Lolz, I just spent half an hour on that site. Sigh.

  8. Mamma Mia! Me a Mamma?!?

    April 2, 2009 at 1:51 am

    We’re not doing any better over here, let me tell you that. You wanna know the latest? “Mummy ke Superstars” or some such croc like that! It’s a ‘reality’ singing competition where moms are around their kids, egging them on, encouraging them, arguing with the judges…

    Sigh! Can’t you just feel the love already?

  9. Confused

    May 28, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    What the heck is up with the Nazi baby???????????????????

  10. Maria

    July 4, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    ok, there’s a picture I think is repulsive. Not funny. Not funny at all.

  11. Effy

    July 7, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    It is supposed to be funny? It’s missed. To laugh of martyr of million people is classified as a crime for me … You’re stupid !

  12. Wais Wombat

    July 7, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    What is really NOT funny is that the morons at WordPress took the cutesy yellow “see me grin” emoticon and ran it thru the shredder! Tell me you didn’t notice the look and color of the darned thing now — like teeth not brushed for a whole week…what more evils will WordPress perpetrate on its loyal users/readers? (Stay tuned…)

    As for flaming literalists (who obviously haven’t heard of, let alone endured, toddlers torturing the living daylights out of parents), I can never wonder often enough why they wouldn’t content themselves with living life *outside* the blogosphere, for they seem to find it hard-as-hell to fathom what their business is, once they barge inside, other than bristling! (Just my observation.)

  13. Jas

    December 25, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Absolutely tasteless picture. Take it down NOW!

  14. Markos

    February 1, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Cant belive this, people are stupid, but some day the this baby will tell his mother “F U”

  15. me

    February 2, 2010 at 8:02 am

    When the baby grows up…
    I think he hate that pic!


  16. aiko

    February 14, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    get over it, you can laugh but not everything

  17. marine

    March 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    je trouve cela vraiment d’une horreur ceci n’es pas un personnage très comment dire bien, alors en faire en bébé c’est vraiment inamissible !

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