There is a stage in every relationship where cuddling up to the television with your significant other becomes a nightly ritual. In fact, it becomes a routine: What better way to wind-down from the day than cozying up to dinner and little ‘tube? But, as a couple, what the hell do you watch?
We live in a golden age of television programming. Between Netflix and HBO and the 1000+ channels you pay for with your stupidly-expensive cable bundle package, there have never been more options. Sure, your girl is really into watching appointment television classics: Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Homeland, True Detective, Archer, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc. But these come and go with the season and, for the most part, are part of your Sunday night television consumption. For the other nights of the week, it comes down to personal interest and preferences.
Cable television is still a demographic-driven enterprise, so this where some all-too-stereotypical differences between the sexes come in. I hate dabbling in generalizations, but there’s no doubt that many girlfriends and wives are drawn to Bravo TV’s shallow, pedantic reality television offerings like a moth to a flame. They can’t resist each character’s so-called “aspirational” lifestyle (Subtext: OOOOOOHHHH THEIR PRETTY BEVERLY HILLS HOUSES!) and “real life” soap opera (Subtext:”LOOK AT HOW AWFUL ALL THESE RICH PEOPLE ARE TO EACH OTHER!!!”). The channel is widely successful at delivering neatly-packaged melodrama that’s irresistible. For many habitual viewers, it’s not guilty-pleasure television, either. It’s social currency for those united by their love for it, just like how a group of guys love dissecting last night’s game around the water cooler.
Personally, I can’t stand it. In fact, I fucking hate it. I think Bravo’s formulaic reality television vomit capitalizes on humanity’s very worst: the general cattiness, the overall superficiality of the cast members in every single fucking show, the spoiled rich brats who just have money magically appear in their bank accounts without working for it, the interpersonal backstabbing, the people who think they’re talented when in actuality they lack any sort of distinguishable talent. It’s not just soulless, but entirely soul-sucking.
Yet, life — and the battle for the television remote — is about compromise. It’s only fair your partner gets to indulge in their entertainment preferences when you spend your weekends watching 20+ hours of football. So, in the interest of domestic tranquility, every night tens of thousands of loving husbands and boyfriends cuddle up on the couch to endure hours watching Bravo’s pointless primetime trash with their wives and girlfriends.
This has led me to believe that Bravo can be a boyfriend’s arch nemesis, so I’ve come up with 20 things you can do while watching Bravo. You’ll be a dick for doing all these things, but you can always write off your immature, douche behavior as being an aftereffect of watching Bravo, the network that brings out the worst of people anyway.
1. Politely suggest watching something you’re both mutually interested in. Throw out neutral shows you could concede on, like Iron Chef or House Hunters. Even if you land inside the Kitchen Stadium for a couple minutes you’ll lose this battle eventually at the commercial break when she flips to Real Housewives of Wherever the fuck.
2. Go to another room. Watch TV on your tablet there in peace. If watching sports, make loud, enthusiastic noises to send the message to the other room that you’re really, really enjoying yourself.
3. Remind your girlfriend that no one who’s a celebrity on Bravo is actually famous in real-life. This will piss her off. Continue doing it for each show.
4. Form opinions on the hottest girls on each show and express them out loud, especially for shows like The Real Housewives where the women are cougar-status and easily twenty years older than you. This is sure to piss her off.
5. Bitch about about how much better Bravo was when Bethenny Frankel was on like three shows a week. Google “what happened to Bethenny Frankel?”
6. Sign up for Tinder. In front of her.
7. State that all these people have no jobs of substance and they’re probably responsible for America’s general moral decay. Post that on Facebook, then tag your lady in the rant.
8. Complain about the Bravo promo announcer’s grating, obnoxious voice every single commercial break. Remind her that you’d rather have your nuts go over a cheese grater than hear it again.
9. Keep a tally of how many husbands or boyfriends on Bravo are wearing gingham shirts.
10. Ramble on about how big of a Bro Captain Lee Rosbach is for captaining a yacht while watching Below Deck. Google “how do I get a job on a yacht” in front of her, then momentarily consider cashing in your 401k and working on a yacht.
11. Watch videos on your phone at full volume. Send the message that you’re bored and whatever the Real Housewives are blabbering about is petty and terrible.
12. Actually get excited about Million Dollar Listing. This will win you points. Show genuine interest in the impressive NYC and LA property porn displayed in the show. Praise Ryan Serhant’s uber-douche, shark-like business tactics.
13. Be the one person in the world who actually plays Andy Cohen’s nightly drinking game. Get belligerently drunk by the first commercial game and make fun of the guests. Eventually, try to call in. If you make it past the screeners and on-air, tell him you’re only calling because your girlfriend makes you watch this shit.
14. Watch The Princesses of Long Island and spend most of the episode talking about the girl from Long Island you dated in college.
15. Loudly exclaim all the frustrating ways the guys on Vanderpump Rules do not act like a regular group of guys.
16. Play “Marry, Fuck, Kill” with the cast members of The Singles Project as a couple.
17. Make fun of WASP-Y Southern names like “Shepard” while watching Southern Charm.
18. Use commercial breaks to remind your girlfriend the people who sign up to be on Bravo are terrible, shallow people.
19. Contemplate out loud how big of a loser sadomasocist you have to be to have millions of dollars in the bank and still subject yourself to spending time with Patti Stanger just to find a girlfriend.
20. Take a little bit too much interest in watching the divorce show Untying the Knot, just to send a subtle message that this is what watching too much Bravo TV together can do to a man.