p13035776_b_v8_aa#1 TV show, Monday, 11/14/16

11.34 million viewers

What it is: The latest episode of the celebrity dance competition show, featuring semifinalists Calvin Johnson, Jr., James Hinchcliffe, Laurie Hernandez, Jana Kramer and Terra Jolé. Have you heard of any of those people? I hadn’t heard of any of those people.

The election of Donald Trump has made me regret my previous attempts to find redeeming value in reality TV. I think we can say for sure now that it is objectively bad. Still, Dancing with the Stars doesn’t have the noxious nastiness that pervades some programs of its genre (to the extent that it even qualifies as “reality” as opposed to plain old competition shows); judging by this episode, it’s actually positive to the point of extreme corniness, with the contestants and host and judges all constantly smiling and joking around and complimenting each other. Maybe they got all their schadenfreude out of the way in the earlier episodes, which apparently featured people I’m actually familiar with like Ryan Lochte, Rick Perry and Amber Rose. I admit that I see the appeal of watching a Republican Texas governor fuck up a box step or whatever. I guess we’ve all got a dark side.

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