What Not to Wear
Okay, I'm pretty much beer and baseball, but I have to confess that I really like TLC's "What Not to Wear".
It's not the fashion. I don't get fashion. Never have. Doubt I ever will. What I like about it is twofold:
1) Stacy London is a total babe. She's just got a look that drives me ga ga. http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/whatnottowear/stylegurus/london.html
2) And this is really more to the point. Vulnerability and sincere happiness. Each episode involves taking a generally unwilling person, embarassing them publicly (at the behest of their friends) and dragging them into a fashion makeover. They're given $5K with which to shop, and t bunch of fashion advice.
The nature of the subject material obligates the "victim" to expose themselves in an extraordinarily uncomfortable manner. How much time do many of us spend considering what we're going to wear in public. How much trepidation do many of us approach the audition of a new outfit in front of other people. Truth be told, most of us have very little fashion sense. However, polite society allows us to muddle our way through social settings without comment on our fashion shortcomings.
Imagine having 2 fashion experts litterally dress you down on national television. Taking all of your carefully (or perhaps not so carefully) thought out private choices and ripping them apart. Bottom line, even for beer and baseball types, what we choose to wear is a very personal matter, and the thought of having those decisions ripped open in public is frightening.
The result on the show is a surprising view of ordinary people at their most vulnerable... but in a helpful way. The emotions that you see are sincere and touching. People that begin the show hiding behind a cynical facade are shown to be, underneath it all, as terrified as the rest of us about their appearance.
By the end of the show, you end up with a person who has been provided a generally dramatic improvement in their appearance, as well as a body of knowledge to maintain that appearance with a degree of confidence. Having been stripped of their attempt at a defensive exterior over the course of the show, the subject usually ends the show feeling elated with the gift they've been given, while simultaneously finding it unnecessary to restrain their happiness. The result is a rare glimpse of joy at its most sincere.
So, while fashion is about as far from my cup of tea as it gets, the naked, positive emotions that result from the experience have made this a show that makes me stop surfing.