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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

TLC shows are guilty pleasure watches

Just in the U.S., 80 million viewers tune into TLC in 2021.
Photo Credit: Photo via TLC Discovery under creative commons license
Just in the U.S., 80 million viewers tune into TLC in 2021.

Once The Learning Channel, turned infamous for their unique casts and themes, TLC has a variety of shows that can cater to anyone’s guilty pleasure. Watching these reality programs can make their audience feel better or worse about themselves in comparison to the out of the ordinary lifestyles.

For Better or for Worse 

When watching reality TV, it is only natural for viewers to compare their own lives to the ones that the TLC cameras follow. 42.57 percent of surveyors chose “I feel better about myself after watching TLC”. That means these out of the ordinary shows help viewers with their self esteem.

Ashley, a Senior at Colonia High and an avid watcher of “90 Day Fiance” and the “1000-lb Sister” says, “I watch TLC shows knowing that my life could be could be at a much different position then it is right now. Different in the way that it could be worse.”

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Even though the majority of voters believe TLC shows make them feel better, those that feel indifferent comes to a close second with a 2.97 percent difference. 39.6 percent of surveyors chose “I feel indifferent about myself after watching TLC”. To many, reality shows may not provoke much self reflection. TLC shows could just be a time to watch drama in others’ lives.

Just in the U.S., 80 million viewers tune into TLC in 2021.

Some Viral Moments 

You may not have watched a TLC show from beginning to end, but you have probably seen a clip of a TLC show. Here are some viral scenes that spew tons of emotion:

  1. “Cringe at First Sight” may not be a fan favorite show, but that doesn’t stop it from being infamous.For their first meeting of two stranger, they share a kiss which love could possibly stem from. However, this would be 27-year-old Josh’s first kiss and it was as awkward as a first kiss can be. YouTube records that this single clip has over 12 million views.
  2. This scene in season 4 of “90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days” between Ed and Rose has been remixed and edited many times. In its original form, 54-year-old Ed tries to build up the courage to tell his 23-year-old girlfriend that he doesn’t want any more kids. Before he does so, a hilarious dialogue is exchange. Rose says, “I like the view”, looking out to the resort. To which Ed responds, “You do? You’re my best view”. Rose makes a “neeh” sound with a cringing expression. TLC shares this scene on YouTube.
  3. The Slaton sisters of “1000-lb Sisters” showcase their ups and downs while losing weight to receive weight loss surgery. Frustrated with constantly helping Tammy, Amy brings up her concerns with Tammy’s unchanging behaviors. Amy tells Tammy to grow up and Tammy replies with, “You first”. Amy fights back saying , “I’ve been grown–I pay my bills, my bills are paid!” This scene is available to watch on YouTube.

Fan Favorite TLC shows

The Declaration conducted a survey where takers chose their favorite TLC show:

34 percent said that “90 Day Fiance” (or any spin offs) is their favorite TLC show. “90 Day Fiance” is a reality TV show where Americans sponsor their foreign fiances using the K-1 visa. This visa is used exclusively for foreign fiances of US citizens who have 90 days to marry each other.

25.7 percent said that “My Strange Addiction” is their favorite TLC show. Each episode of “My Strange Addiction” features 2 adults with obsessive behavior. They have a dangerous or life-threatening addiction which is taking over their life.

17.8 percent said that “My 600-lb Life” (or the spin off: “1000-lb Sisters”) is their favorite TLC show. “My 600-lb Life” shows Americans weighing over 600 pounds and their journey to undergoing a high-risk weight-loss surgery. The show also featured the Slaton sisters, Amy and Tammy, in season 9 episode 12. The two sought help with their weight loss journey. With viewers loving the dynamic and humor of the two, TLC created the spin-off “1000-lb Sisters”.

15.57 percent said that “Say Yes to the Dress” is their favorite TLC show. In a Manhattan bridal salon, brides find their wedding dresses with the help of professional salon associates. When they have chosen the dress, they like to  ‘say yes to the dress’.

4.95 percent said that “Cake Boss” is their favorite TLC show. Inside the Hoboken, NJ family run bakery, Carlo’s Bakery, Buddy, his family and staff produce request specialty cakes.

1.98 percent said that “Dr. Pimple Popper” is their favorite TLC show. Sandra Lee, a famous doctor in the dermatology field, films blackhead extractions and cyst dissections that have become .

The Origins of TLC

The original TLC before its reality show takeover, was an educational program. In 1980 the Appalachian Community Service Network was renamed to The Learning Channel. History and science documentaries were the core of the channel.

Discovery bought TLC for $31.5 million according to Business Insider. In order to receive a mainstream audience, TLC included reality shows in the mid 90s. In 1998, TLC completely re-branded replacing their educational programs with reality or talk shows.

However, a significant 68 percent or surveyors says that the reality TV shown on TLC is educational in some form. One or another, these shows help viewers not repeat the same mistakes as the casts.


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About the Contributor
Rachelle Saerang
Rachelle Saerang is a 17 year-old in her Senior Year of Colonia High School. She is involved in Asian Culture Club, Fashion Club, French Honors Society, National Honors Society and Rho Kappa. Rachelle is best described as an advent "thrifter", costume design analyzer, traveler at heart, amateur sketcher, and a poet in private. Although she can listen to all languages and eras of music, her absolute favorite is anything that makes her feel like the main character of a coming-of-age film. Her preferred works of written literature are anything set in the 1800s, sci-fi romance, and foreign fashion magazines. Being that her favored subjects are English and Art, she hopes to find a career path in a combination of the two so long as she is commuting by plane. In her second year working for the newspaper, she hopes to inform and entertain readers of Colonia High's Declaration.

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TLC shows are guilty pleasure watches