The following post originally appeared on BAH on 17 August 2009.
I seem to have hit an all new low with regards to trashy reality television. Why? Because despite having way too many channels of programming to choose from, I found myself unable to look away from VH-1′s Charm School. Here’s how it happened. It was a Sunday afternoon and we had plans for later in the day right around supper time. Since dinner at home was out, we were going old school with supper. You know supper, that earlier version of dinner or later version of lunch.
I like supper to be easy and fuss free. Heck, I like most things to be easy and fuss free, this is just one example. Our menu was Bon Appetit’s Mustard Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli Slaw from Smitten Kitchen. The broccoli had been slawed and the shrimp was chilling in its mustard bath in the fridge. So I had at least an hour before I had to be back in the kitchen. Flipping through the tv guide, anything that looked promising had either already started or wasn’t on till after we’d leave. I know, I could have just picked up a book. Or folded laundry. Or scrubbed the toilet. Any of those would have been more productive and satisfying than the trainwreck that is Charm School.
The premise is to take a group of women who express a desire to change their lives for the better and put them to the task of doing so. Those who excel make the Dean’s List. Those who don’t go to Detention and may be Expelled. So they basically take a bunch of insecure women and put them in a group living situation with copious amounts of alcohol at their disposal. What do you think happens? People get ugly, petty. It’s every bad day you ever had in middle school only with tequila. That’s a hot mess.
And group dynamics take over. It’s like watching a pride of lions hunt prey as the dominant ones band together to single out the weaker ones. You want to look away as the weakling gets pulled away from the herd and slaughtered. Really, you do. But you can’t. It’s that powerful.
I’m all for self improvement. Sometimes all it takes is changing the channel.
Adapted from smittenkitchen
- 1 bag broccoli slaw
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, well shaken
- 1/3 cup mayo
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
Combine the broccoli with the cranberries and onion in a bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a separate small bowl. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour approximately half of the dressing over the broccoli and mix to combine. If the slaw is not moist enough, add additional dressing to taste.
Keeps for up to a week in the fridge.