"I'm not crazy at all, really! I just like dolls!" Marilyn Mansfield tells TVGuide.com. Her interest in dolls comprises one of four stories on TLC's special My Collection Obsession (Sunday, 10/9c). And while she may not be certifiable, she's certainly crazy for dolls. The show reports that the part-time model and actress has over 500 dolls (she says this number includes action figures and other approximations) she's collected over the past 10 years. Mansfield, who got her stage name by combining those of Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield, has a particular love of "reborn" dolls — those which closely resemble real babies and cost hundreds of dollars (Mansfield tells us that her most expensive doll cost $1,200). In typical TLC quirk-adoring fashion, the highlight of Mansfield's segment occurs when she carts a doll that's the size of a 5-year-old child into a shoe store to have it fitted, much to the astonishment of the store's employees...
Kat Von D
TLC has pulled the plug on Kat Von D's series, LA Ink, after four seasons, but she has another reason to celebrate: she is engaged to Jesse James again, People reports.
TLC released a statement Thursday saying that the docu-series will wrap this season. "TLC has decided that the current season of LA Ink will be its last," TLC said in a statement. "The network is proud of what the series has accomplished in its four seasons, following...
Kate Plus 8
Everyone who hates Kate can feel great. TLC has canceled Kate Plus 8, which continued the adventures of mother Kate Gosselin and her brood of eight kids minus ex-husband Jon.
The network issued a statement to People on Monday that it would not renew the show for another season, adding: "By the end of this season Kate Plus 8 will have hit the 150-episode mark (including Jon & Kate Plus 8); an exceptional milestone. TLC hopes to check in with Kate and the family periodically with specials in the future."
My Strange Addiction
My Strange Addiction (Sundays, 10/9c, TLC) can be a hoot, but this is sad: 26-year-old Casie mourns her dead husband by carrying his urn with her virtually everywhere. But it doesn't stop there. In the clip below, she's preparing food for him. ("I cook what he likes. I don't eat it, but I cook for him.") She also confers with his urn on what channel to watch. Finally, she's taken to eating his ashes...
My Strange Addiction (Sundays, 10/9c, TLC) is maybe the most entertaining freak show on television now, and definitely the most guilt-free one.
While shows such as Celebrity Rehab, Intervention and Hoarders enlist subjects whose participation is possibly clouded (or motivated) by substance or mental illness, My Strange Addiction is more of a platform for reasonably coherent people to share their weirdness (since they are, after all, signing up for a show that has the word "strange" in its title).
My Strange Addiction embraces those who embrace their own eccentricities.
And, boy, are they eccentric. TLC will air the fifth and sixth episodes of the show's second season on Sunday, and by then we will have been treated to snapshots of the lives of people who are "addicted" to the likes of cycling, eating dryer sheets, chomping rocks and carrying around a pillow...
Toddlers and Tiaras
Wendy Dickey has put 3-year-old daughter Paisley in "60-something" pageants, including Miss Sugarplum Fairy, as seen on this week's Toddlers & Tiaras (Wednesdays, 10/9c, TLC). Like many featured on the show, Dickey's parenting philosophy is unorthodox. Below, Dickey talks about bribing her child with sugar, emphasizing beauty at such a young age and referring to her child as "a little turd"...
Jazz from My Strange Addiction
Meet Jazz, one of the subjects profiled on this week's My Strange Addiction (Sunday, 10/9c, TLC). Jazz has been growing her fingernails for 22 years. Her longest is 24 inches long. How she isn't a local celebrity in Atlanta, where she lives, is beyond me. In fact, how she isn't the Queen of the World is beyond me. Like, why am I just hearing about this woman now? Why hasn't she been issued presidencies and Purple Hearts and Congressional Medals of Calcium and Nobel Cosmetic Prizes? She is amazing, and her hands are by far the wackiest things I've seen on TV all week (and I watch America's Got Talent, so that's really saying something)...
This is just lovely: Below is a few minutes of the official premiere of TLC's new tear-jerking series Surprise Homecoming, which airs Monday at 10/9c. In it, Ingrid, a woman coming home from serving overseas, reunites with her mother, Estine. It is a surprise, hence it being featured on a show called Surprise Homecoming. The emotional outpouring that follows is overwhelming...
Tori and Brock
TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras (Wednesdays at 10/9c) is often criticized for exhibiting bad parenting, but this week's episode is garnering the opposite response. We were introduced to Brock Ritter, a now-8-year-old, self-described "diva," who lives in Michigan and pursues his interests in dancing, pageantry and occasionally dressing up like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, despite teasing and what society dictates as gender-normative behavior. (Watch a clip of Brock in action.)
We spoke with Brock's mom, Tori, about letting her son be himself, pageantry criticism and what Brock's father thinks of all this...
No show provokes a gut reaction like Toddlers & Tiaras (Wednesdays, 10/9c, TLC). Those who aren't entranced by the very specific, extremely odd cultural world of child beauty pageants tend to wring their hands and decry the behavior on display as despicable or abusive. Reality TV has a way of bringing out the armchair psychologists, but to tackle the issues the show brings up, we thought we'd talk to an expert on the side of the pageants: Annette Hill runs the circuit Universal Royalty Beauty Pageants that the show frequently profiles. She is outspoken, passionate and more than a little defensive over criticism. Still, she runs her business like an open book, having incorporated TV coverage from the start and keeping her pageants open to the public. (In the interest of providing full disclosure, she also invited me down to their nationals pageant in November. Should the invitation stand come pageant time, I will absolutely take her up on it.)
Below, we hit Hill with just about every critique we could think of: the idea that pageants sexualize children, the toll pageants could take on the competitors' psyches, the unease that seeing a child in full makeup can provoke, the curse of the stage parent. Gamely, she tackles the ire head on...