As you probably already know, I love to subject myself to the worst of the worst that the world of television entertainment has to offer. Yes, I am looking at you, Tyra Banks. Last week, after I tucked the kiddos into their tiny people beds, I grabbed a nice cold adult beverage and flipped on the good old boob tube. After flipping through the first 1000 channels without any luck, I finally settled on TLC. What I saw not only frightened me, it fascinated me at the same time. And that, my friends, is the best of both worlds.
I really didn’t know what I had got myself into until it was too late. You see, TLC tends to do that to you. Before you know it, you’ve watched 13 hours of little people wearing tiaras baking fabulous cakes while having 19 kids and counting all while flipping properties in Sarah Palin’s Alaska. I don’t know how how they do it. It’s a complete mystery. 30 minutes into this new show, I finally realized what the hell I was watching. I don’t know if it was a momentary minute of sobriety that finally let it set in or my subconscious letting me know just how low and ultimately stupid I have become.
On my television screen, two words blazed into my skull forever. I can’t unlearn what I saw that night. In fact, I am not sure I even want to.
Yes. I watched an entire show dedicated to the oddity that is people and their crazy couponing ways. I spent approximately 60 minutes of my life that I will never get back watching people clip coupons and save money on their grocery bills. That’s how low my television standards have become.
In my defense, the people featured on Extreme Couponing aren’t your average penny pinchers. No. Not even a little bit. Your average coupon clippers aren’t extreme. Getting $1.00 off a box of Corn Flakes isn’t in the least bit extreme. But getting $5,743.00 worth of groceries for $241.00? Now that’s fucking extreme, folks.
This show surprised me in a couple of ways. First, I was completely surprised that I watched a whole show about cutting coupons. That, in itself, is no small feat. But the way they captured my attention was all kinds of sneaky. Underneath the facade of “Watch me! I’ll show you how to save money!”, lies something much much darker than you would expect. The people featured on this show are sick. Yes. You read that correctly. They are not what you or any licensed mental health professional would call “normal” by any stretch of the word. Because let’s face it. That wouldn’t be extreme or interesting at all. Nobody wants to watch a show called Normal Couponing, right?
Instead, we get to see stories of people that are CONSUMED with saving money via the almighty coupon. The mere thought of saving a buck or two not only interferes with their daily life, it IS their daily life. These people plan, plot, calculated, collate, and even rummage through dumpsters just to find an extra coupon or two. They devise elaborate plans to score as many goods as possible just because they can. So much so, they should change the name of this show to Extreme Couponing: The Hoarding Edition.
I mean, do you really need 247 sticks of deodorant? Do you really need 45 bottles of ketchup? Should you really use 8 hours of your day scouring your neighborhood for extra coupons and asking your friends and complete strangers to save extra coupons for you?
These people do. And yet, they see nothing wrong with it.
On most levels, I guess they aren’t doing anything wrong or illegal. Time consuming and a little odd? Absolutely. Something for me to watch on a Wednesday night while consuming mass quantities of alcohol? You bet! So, the next time you need to lose 60 minutes of your life, give this show a chance. I guarantee you’ll thank hate me for even suggesting it to you in the first place.