Skip

History Channel, Asleep at the Wheel!
January 31, 2012 10:51 PM   Subscribe

It's not your imagination — there really are that many reality shows about swamps, weddings, Louisiana, and cake. And here's visual proof.
posted by chavenet (52 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I run a repo business where I repossess monster-shaped wedding cakes by swamp boat. It's a nationwide business, but really the only business I get is in Louisiana, Texas, and Alaska. I have a big rivalry with 3-4 other guys in the exact same business.

I wonder if there's a show for me...
posted by mreleganza at 10:56 PM on January 31, 2012 [21 favorites]


There's really a show called "Big Easy Brides"? There but for the grace of a comma goes some rude social commentary.
posted by gingerest at 10:59 PM on January 31, 2012 [14 favorites]


I worked at the "Cupcake Girls" store for a few months the year before that show began. Glad I missed that bullet.
posted by stray at 11:11 PM on January 31, 2012


I suspect Louisiana is a popular backdrop for US reality shows because it's as close to a foreign country as many reality-show viewers will ever get. Funny accents! Strange and spicy food! Accordions!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:24 PM on January 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think it's hilarious how transparent the competition for the latest stupid reality show has gotten between the big "educational" networks these days. I don't think there's a single hit on Discovery that History hasn't copied and vice versa. This is one bubble whose pop I think I can survive.
posted by feloniousmonk at 11:25 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Funny accents! Strange and spicy food! Accordions!

People stupid enough to go on reality shows!
posted by dhartung at 11:34 PM on January 31, 2012


I suspect Louisiana is a popular backdrop for US reality shows because it's as close to a foreign country as many reality-show viewers will ever get. Funny accents! Strange and spicy food! Accordions!

Maybe. But Louisiana is very popular for Hollywood productions in general these days. A lot of filming is leaving California for places that are film-friendly in terms of tax breaks and other perks.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:35 PM on January 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


And almost all of these are on in prime time on what used to be educational channels.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 11:37 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I worked at the "Cupcake Girls" store for a few months the year before that show began

Are they as obnoxious in person as they are on TV?
posted by Hoopo at 11:42 PM on January 31, 2012


The sad part is the "visual" link is leaving off whole swaths of reality tv, much of which I'm at the mercy of since living with friends. I can brush off a lot of this stuff, but one girl I know was very into 'Ghost Hunters'. I'm still not entirely sure on what side for the It's-a-sign / It's-a-deal-breaker that fell.
posted by efalk at 11:42 PM on January 31, 2012


I suddenly have a craving for Brussels Sprouts, prepared slowly by a pair of amicable pedestrians in their landlocked Iowa funeral home.
posted by argonauta at 11:49 PM on January 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


The real problem is that the porn parodies of all these shows are disturbingly samey. We need some new genres of cheap reality TV stat so the resulting porn can be more varied.

also the shows or something, I don't know
posted by mightygodking at 11:54 PM on January 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


places that are film-friendly in terms of tax breaks and other perks.

Also Louisana is chock full of sexy vampires and werewolves
posted by Hoopo at 12:05 AM on February 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


I notice that Call of the Wildman is nowhere to be found on here.

Turtle Man stands alone.
posted by HostBryan at 12:17 AM on February 1, 2012


swamps, weddings, Louisiana, and cake.

Very few people are aware of the *full* quote attributed to Marie Antoinette: "Let them eat cake at their Louisiana swamp wedding".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:32 AM on February 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


I hoard monster wedding cakes.

*sob*

posted by longsleeves at 12:41 AM on February 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


Reality shows are the worst thing to happen to western culture since the goths and vandals.

Referring to any categorical chart of overlapping circles as a "Venn diagram" is the second worst thing to happen to western culture since the goths and the vandals.

Some argue that third worst is Cory Doctorow, but I don't really have an opinion on that.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:42 AM on February 1, 2012


Once I saw the cake ones, I gave up. Are those cakes actually edible?
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:14 AM on February 1, 2012


I hoard monster wedding cakes.

Miss Havisham, is that you?
posted by KingEdRa at 1:29 AM on February 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I blame the 2007 writer's strike. Now instead of writers, we have video editors.

All the people on these reality shows may behave quite normally, for all we know. How bizarre would we all look if someone could gather up only the meltdowns, brain freezes, and conflicts out of our day-to-day lives? (Which in my case would represent a larger percentage than I'd like to think).
posted by Peach at 2:48 AM on February 1, 2012


As a resident of Louisiana and a "colorful figure", I'd like to know when I get my own show, please?
posted by ColdChef at 3:23 AM on February 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


As a resident of Louisiana and a "colorful figure", I'd like to know when I get my own show, please?

Well, if you get it, I hope you'll ask me to do the theme music. I'm thinking a kind of NOLA second line feel (or maybe Cajun, depending) with lyrics something like:


ColdChef! see him eatin' breakfast cereal,
ColdChef! gettin' bodies set for burial,
ColdChef! he's a mover and a shaker,
ColdChef! he's your friendly undertaker

gettin' you ready to be put in the ground!
embalmin' like you want it, he's the best to be found!

ColdChef! ColdChef! ColdChef!
BRRRRRRRRRR!!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:43 AM on February 1, 2012 [14 favorites]


I'd like to know when I get my own show, please?

As soon as we can get a producer for Lake Martin Undertaker Bakes Wake Cakes.
posted by pracowity at 3:46 AM on February 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


They missed some. Lobster Wars, for instance. They would've had to reconfigure their chart for that one. Also, I think Axe Men has some stuff in both Louisiana and Alaska.

The one I watched for a while that has completely lost it is Sons of Guns. "Our local sheriff really needs a 20mm Vulcan cannon and automatic RPG launcher mounted on a half-track for crowd control, and if Red Jacket can supply him with one, it will be a big break for the business. Meanwhile, watch Kris sleep his way to the top of the company while the owner demeans his most reliable worker to the point that the guy walks off."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:32 AM on February 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


After looking at that Venn diagram, I want to hut my XBMC computer and BT client.
posted by DU at 4:37 AM on February 1, 2012


s/hut/hug/
posted by DU at 4:37 AM on February 1, 2012


Using this chart bingo-style would be a great way to determine if you need a TV intervention. Either that, or an excellent drinking game.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:44 AM on February 1, 2012


Where is the "Survival" and "Loud Science" circles?
posted by eriko at 4:52 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


We're one messed up country, ain't we?
posted by tommasz at 5:03 AM on February 1, 2012


Using this chart bingo-style would be a great way to determine if you need a TV intervention.

Other than a Sesame Street parody of what must be that Deadliest Catch show, I'd never even heard of any of them until now. Is this something I'd need an intervention to understand?
posted by pracowity at 5:19 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


and other perks.

The other perks being meth labs and pet alligators.
posted by Fizz at 5:35 AM on February 1, 2012


And almost all of these are on in prime time on what used to be educational channels.

I recall, back when "basic cable" was really taking off, the Republicans saying that this was proof that we didn't need PBS since the market would provide good, quality educational TV.

A'yup.
posted by JoanArkham at 5:39 AM on February 1, 2012 [9 favorites]


I suspect Louisiana is a popular backdrop for US reality shows because it's as close to a foreign country as many reality-show viewers will ever get. Funny accents!

Growing up in one of the larger cities in Louisiana (Lake Charles, using a relative measure of "larger"), few of my peers had noteworthy accents. I assumed this was due to television homogenizing American speech. One break from college in the Midwest, I realized they had a bit of an accent.

However, what was striking was during high school. In CYO, we would occasionally have get-togethers with other church parishes, some in less densely populated regions. It was jarring to have someone my age who sounded like my great grand-mother.

Strange and spicy food!

You mean, "food that you can actually taste?"

(Confession: I generally am snobby about reality TV. however, having lived in Ohio for sixteen years, I indulge in watching the occasional Louisiana-based reality show. I get a bit homesick for the accents and scenery.)
posted by MrGuilt at 5:51 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do all of these actually exist or are some of them made up?
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 6:03 AM on February 1, 2012


Why Louisiana?

Film/TV production tax credits. And lots of them. Among the most generous in the US.

And people will make fools of themselves for pretty much a pack of beer and a carton of cigarettes.
posted by The Giant Squid at 7:16 AM on February 1, 2012


Reality shows are the worst thing to happen to western culture since the goths and vandals.

Actually the Goths and the Vandals weren't really a bad thing that happened to Western culture, so much as they were western culture. They simply transformed specific regions of a large geopolitical entity already in a state of decline. In the case of the Visigoths in Spain, they contributed to the preservation of Latin culture and Christianity, up until the Moorish hegemony.

Find out this and more on my new reality show, Muskeg Medievalists.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:56 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why do Louisiana and Swamps get separate circles?
I kid because I love!
posted by adamrice at 8:19 AM on February 1, 2012


You know what? I defy any one of you who has watched just one episode of Pawn Stars to tell me that it is not completely and utterly addictive. I try and try, but these silly, super-specific reality shows about businesses just absolutely rivet me to the couch... Maybe I just have too much time on my hands?
posted by Night_owl at 8:42 AM on February 1, 2012


ColdChef, I would definitely watch a reality show with you! I guess I'll have to settle for sporadic visits by you and the rest of the fam.
posted by radioamy at 9:02 AM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Scene: It's the week before Christmas, and I'm on a plane headed to New Orleans. I'm making chatting with my seatmates, who are Pacific Northwesterners headed for a road-trip vacation across the South.

GARRULOUS SEATTLEITE: So where are you from?
SARA C: This little oil town south of New Orleans, you've probably never heard of it.
GARRULOUS SEATTLEITE: What's it called?
SARA C: Houma. It's not famous or in the guidebooks or anything.
GARRULOUS SEATTLEITE: WHAT???!!!!!!! OMFG!!!!!!!!!!! That's where [Name Of Swamp Reality Bro] is from. We're huge fans of [Swamp Reality Thing]. Do you know him? Do you know any of the other guys? Is that what it's really like down there? Have you ever eaten Alligator? Did you have to take a boat to school? Why don't you have a crazy accent? Which airboat tour should we take? Do you know how to make gumbo and jambalaya and stuff?
SARA C: I don't really watch any of those shows.

The rest of the flight is spent trying to make polite small talk with this group of people who are literally star struck to be sitting next to me, because of these shows.
posted by Sara C. at 9:03 AM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's been about twelve years since the cable guy didn't show up like three times running and finally we said, "Screw it!" and pretty much stopped watching TV.

It's moments like this when I think I should send them a thank you card.

At this point, if I want to watch Coldchef in action, I-55 is a straight shot and we can go for pizza and beer afterwards!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:28 AM on February 1, 2012


Well, if you get it, I hope you'll ask me to do the theme music.

That is just about the greatest thing I've ever considered in my life and now I want to be on TV ONLY so that I can two-step to your theme song.
posted by ColdChef at 9:28 AM on February 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw "Hillbilly Handfishin'" in the listings last week and figured it had to be some kind of gag, or maybe on the public access station.

I think it would be interesting to highlight the ur-show in each of the circles (and maybe color them by producer). Seeing who was a (relative) innovator and who was just along for the ride would be ... I don't want to say informative, but something.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:32 AM on February 1, 2012


The one I watched for a while that has completely lost it is Sons of Guns. "Our local sheriff really needs a 20mm Vulcan cannon and automatic RPG launcher mounted on a half-track for crowd control, and if Red Jacket can supply him with one, it will be a big break for the business. Meanwhile, watch Kris sleep his way to the top of the company while the owner demeans his most reliable worker to the point that the guy walks off."

I saw an episode of this while visiting my mom over Christmas. Someone from the "Brown Water Navy" wanted some M-16s turned into some sort of water-cooled fully automatic thing. Later we meet his "Lieutenant" who looked exactly what you'd expect a militia guy playing military would look. Then there were the really obviously scripted scenes. It was hilariously amateurish.

Pawn Stars, though, was actually pretty good.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:36 AM on February 1, 2012


If "Texas" were to be moved down a little to intersect with "Monsters" and "Wars", Toddlers & Tiaras could probably fit in the intersection there. (I kid, because I love.)
posted by peagood at 11:48 AM on February 1, 2012


Pawn Stars, though, was actually pretty good.

Love Pawn Stars. I forget which episode it was, but Tom Scharpling had some hilarious observations on the show on one of his podcasts, such as Rick's tendency to greet every customer with a joke which he then nervously laughs at:

CUSTOMER (approaches counter with a toy miniature cannon)
RICK: You're not gonna, uh, shoot this place up with tiny cannon balls, are ya? EH HEH HEH HEH HEH HEH HEH HEH HEH HEH HEH!

He also has suspicions about part of the show being forced/basically fictionalized (which I share) because Chumley's ignorant observations are a little too "on the nose," as Scharpling puts it. He imagines Chumley asking the producers between shots as asking, "Was that dumb enough for ya? Ya want me to make it dumber?"
posted by mreleganza at 11:53 AM on February 1, 2012


Chum Lee
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:10 PM on February 1, 2012


I wonder if the Ancient Aliens stuff counts as reality. It's sort of covert reality to me, exploring the terrifying scenario where the guy with crazy hair is right and everyone featured is doing their level best to destroy the tyranny of experts.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:20 PM on February 1, 2012


He imagines Chumley asking the producers between shots as asking, "Was that dumb enough for ya? Ya want me to make it dumber?"

We suspect Chumley is actually a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and will eventually reveal that he's been playing the greatest acting role ever. I picture him relaxing with a snifter of brandy between takes, wearing a smoking jacket and ascot.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:42 PM on February 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sorry, it's Chumlee.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:04 PM on February 1, 2012


Where does "RuPaul's Drag Race" fit in?
posted by luminarias at 2:40 PM on February 1, 2012


How about the inevitable "RuPaul's Drag Race" and "Hillbilly Handfishin'" mashup?

Handfisher: I think got a fish!
Drag Racer: That's not a fish.
posted by KingEdRa at 5:55 PM on February 1, 2012


« Older The secret megalopolis of the ants   |   We're here for deliciousness people. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post