TLC's human shockfest My Strange Addiction returns for a fifth season on New Year's Day with the one-hour special I'm A Living Doll, which explores the lives of three people who undergo radical plastic surgery, extreme diets and other appearance-altering means in order to look like human dolls.
The special premieres Jan. 1 at 9/8c, followed by two more new episodes at 10/9c. Among the stories explored: A woman who dresses up like a pony every day; a single mother who drinks paint; two identical twins who haven't been apart for more than 30 minutes in 20 years; and a 26-year-old who eats mattresses, consuming a total of eight beds in the past 20 years.
My Strange Addiction continues on Jan. 8 at 10/9c with cases including a 33-year-old man who has spent $100,000 on plastic surgery to look like Justin Bieber; a woman who chews on dirty diapers; a man who's hooked on leeches; and a woman who eats an entire palate of eye shadow in one sitting. Who's hungry?
People love to demonize reality TV as evidence of decay in Western society, but have these people actually seen a reality show lately? They aren't all vehicles of Schadenfreude and exploitation. And even so, what's wrong with that? Even Jersey Shore has its purpose.
Contrary to popular belief, reality TV serves a variety of useful and important functions and I, for one, am a better person because of it. Here's why:
Bertha loves nail polish, but isn't addicted to manis and pedis.
On Sunday's My Strange Addiction (10/9c, TLC), the 23-year-old reveals that she likes to hit the bottle... the nail polish bottle that is. Bertha got her first craving to drink the colorful stuff five years ago when she couldn't resist the smell in a salon.
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...