Freak Show & Tell: Kelsey Does Not Need Your Forgiveness
Every week, television documentaries present us with so many unusual people, with so many strange and/or disturbing problems, you might find it hard to keep up with all of them. That’s where I come in! Here’s an unflinching look back at TV’s Week in Freak Shows.
Couples Therapy (VH1)
Who Is This Now? Kelsey.
Why Are We Watching Her? She’s trying to close the book on her relationship with Ghostface Killah.
How Did She Get Here? Kelsey brought Ghost to an in-patient couples therapy program to work on their issues, only to learn once she arrived that he’d been dating another woman since before he met Kelsey, and was still seeing her, so they broke up.
What’s the Grossest Thing We See? When Kelsey tries to get some closure on the ugly way Ghost decided to spring her other girlfriend on him, Ghost magnanimously tells Kelsey he forgives her. Kelsey, understandably, is confused as to what he might need to forgive her for, and he replies that he’s no longer angry that she brought him on this show. But that’s not the only indignity Kelsey experiences in this episode: When she reveals to some of her fellow patients that she doesn’t masturbate, Jon Gosselin and his girlfriend Liz Janetta give her the gift of a vibrator.
What Have We Learned? Apparently, Jon doesn’t understand it would be weird to give Kelsey a sexual aid so that, whenever she uses it, she thinks of him.
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Hoarding: Buried Alive (TLC)
Who Is This Now? Blane.
Why Are We Watching Him? He and his family are getting ready to undertake a major cleanup of their hoarded house.
How Did He Get Here? His mother, Lea, used to have a part-time side business buying various consumer goods and reselling them online. But when she started dating a man who sounds like he might have had a compulsive shopping issue, she hoarded the house full of items to sell and, later, with the usual hoarded items (which is to say: undifferentiated worthless crap).
What’s the Grossest Thing We See? Because Lea filled his bedroom with stock for her online business, Blane, who looks to be somewhere between the ages of 10 and 13, shares not just a bedroom but a bed with his grandmother.
What Have We Learned? Lea’s family is a lot more permissive about close relatives sharing intimate space than, say, mine is?
Preachers’ Daughters (Lifetime)
Who Is This Now? Megan.
Why Are We Watching Her? Her wild ways have been deemed worthy of documentation for TV.
How Did She Get Here? Her father is a clergyman, so that she’s not particularly pious is all the more noteworthy for its irony (which I doubt are the exact words with which the premise of this show was pitched to Lifetime).
What’s the Grossest Thing We See? Megan’s father, Jeff, emotionally tells us, early in the episode, that he recently lost his well-paid job manufacturing custom machinery, a position he’s held for 28 years. He believes that now is the right time for him to go into ministry full-time, though it will lower the family’s income considerably — among other things, they’ll have to sell the family home and move into a smaller one. So when Jeff and his wife, Darleen, sit Megan down to say her father’s lost his job and that there will be less disposable income — “God has brought us to this point,” Jeff says — Megan replies by asking, “Is he gonna provide the money to go tanning?”
What Have We Learned? God does not subsidize tanning.
Watch the full episode here.