It’s time for another confession. I’ve actually mentioned this once before, but only briefly and in passing when discussing some of my lazier unemployed moments, and at a time when I was doing it so infrequently that I couldn’t classify it as a routine. But now I’ve crossed the line. I do it every day. On purpose. And, even worse, I sort of look forward to it.
Every morning I tune in to Live with Kelly and Ryan. I don’t understand my attraction to this show. I used to despise Regis and Kathy Lee, and I couldn’t stand Kelly Ripa when she and Regis co-hosted. Now that I think of it, I may be having an epiphany as I write this that perhaps it was Regis that brought out the worst in everyone all along! As for Ryan, I didn’t watch American Idol, but I never understood how Ryan Seacrest became famous hosting it, nor how it parlayed into hosting a New Year’s Eve special. And yet, somehow Kelly and Ryan together are enough to get me hooked. Ryan Seacrest has somehow toned down Kelly’s manic level of enthusiasm to a more personally palatable level.
No matter what’s caused the shift, the horrifying part is that I now find myself organizing parts of my morning around the show. I’ll pause it when I go to check on laundry or refill my coffee mug. If I’m watching another show on Netflix around the same time, my internal alarm clock goes off just shy of 9am, and I’ll pause what I’m watching–even when it’s good stuff like the new season of Master of None–to get to Kelly and Ryan. I scan the digital guide to see who the guests will be before the show starts, even though I’ll watch regardless of who’s on the show. I’ve even Googled the backstory of hosts and how Ryan and Kelly ended up as new(ish) and permanent co-hosts. Yikes.
It’s concerning for a number of reasons, the most alarming of which is that the show is just not good. Despite both hosts being veterans in the business, there’s this sort of awkward and not-very-polished vibe to their conversation. It’s sort of like watching a train wreck, but also sort of endearing like watching kids in a school play who are trying really hard even though they really suck. Their guest interviews are so incredibly short and sometimes it’s like they haven’t done the legwork to prepare properly. They have flubbed the title of TV shows that their guests star in, and they’ve even said the wrong last name of one of their guests. They read questions from paper. At times I’m horrified that I’m still watching, and I contemplate changing the channel, but I never pull the trigger to select another show.
Sure, you might say that 9am isn’t exactly prime time for other television viewing options, so maybe I’m just settling for the best of what’s available. The reality is that there are about a million other things I could be doing, like looking for work, writing, reading, watching Netflix, cleaning the house, going for a walk, researching prospective employers and clients. The list goes on and on. But no, instead I find myself truly engrossed in and hopelessly addicted to Live with Kelly and Ryan.
I hang my head in shame.
ps. Except you better be sure I’ll still be watching on Monday when their guest is our very own Prime Minister Trudeau…