So I think that I was feeling guilty about spending so much time this summer watching NYC Prep, a reality show on Bravo that followed Upper East-side teens living the Gossip Girl “reality”
(okay whoa, speaking of Gossip Girl–three girls just walked into the cafe looking straight off that set–meaning that summer is over in Iowa City–oh how catty of me! those of you who know know exactly what I meant. Actually these girls look super sweet and have really cute glasses, too. but their hair is teased just a bit too high. there I go again. AHH I blame this on NYC Prep…)
ANYWAY. so I needed some good education reality show to watch. Where to turn where to turn?
A couple weeks ago I stumbled across 1940’s House in the library. GASP! I didn’t even know they made any spinoffs of 1900 House–a show I was in love with when it first aired on PBS when I was in High School. FANFLIPPINGTASTIC–the lessons I have learned from that show have always stayed with me. For example, if your family wants to volunteer for an opportunity to live in a whole other time with fun costumes and new toys such a printing press–DO IT if you are eleven years old. However, if your family wants to volunteer for an opportunity to live in a whole other time where you can’t shower or wear makeup but still have to go to your regular school–DON’T DO IT if you are a teenage girl.
So 1940’s House was just as wonderful! I learned super interesting things such as: a women was fined 10 pounds for feeding old bread to the birds during the war because it was against the law to feed anything to animals that was still consumable by humans.
I haven’t yet reserved Pioneer House/Frontier House, but I will (Steve is super excited about that one. But I’m not so much because their clothes probably won’t be as fun…)
BUT MANOR HOUSE! OH MANOR HOUSE! Quite possibly one of my favorite reality shows EVER!
This one takes place in almost the same era as 1900 House, but instead of a Middle-class family in London, the BBC got volunteers to be servants and a family to play the British Upper-Class family lording over the servants in an Edwardian Manor House in the English Countryside. OMIGOSH the DRAMA! and such brilliant, subtle drama that was given time to evolve–none of the MTV “lets give them too much alcohol so they jump naked into the hot tub together on the first night” crap (which would have been very non-Edwardian btw. or would it? the show kept referring to King Edward as “the Playboy King”). It is just absolutely fascinating to see how easily the volunteers succumb to their roles. The servants do occasionally revolt, but for the most part they take pride in their work–and surprisingly is how oblivious the upstairs’ family is of that work! The family gets sucked into their life of leisure so quickly and seamlessly (except for the lady’s sister) that it is almost creepy! And of course there is an illicit love story that is just so adorable. so WATCH IT.