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Shows like “Jeopardy,” and channels like the Discovery Channel and PBS are all good and nice if you’re talking about trying to expand your mind on a random weekday. But at night, especially after a taxing day at work and a struggle to make dinner, you want to give your brain cells a break, and maybe even turn them into mush with some less than educational television. Here are a few types of shows that have us fighting folks for the remote and taking extended lunch breaks at work to talk about.

The Real Housewives & Play-Wives Shows
This of course includes all the “Real Housewives shows,” “Basketball Wives,” “Mob Wives,” and let’s not forget the women of “Love & Hip Hop.” We should probably disregard these “wives” from jump since most of the women featured are usually either divorced, the mother of some retired athlete’s child, or were never offered a ring in the first place. Finding an actual, in-the-flesh current wife is like finding a four leaf clover: good luck! But the drama is what keeps us coming back. Sure, as women we shouldn’t want other women making us all look like catty teenagers who live their lives only to chase after the next Pro Bowler, but we live to talk about it. To point out the cast members we can’t stand and of course to claim what what we “would have done” in a similar confrontational situation (“That couldn’t have been me girl!”). You either love ‘em or hate ‘em. But you’ll watch ‘em for sure.

When Ratchet People Live in a House Together Shows
For the individual sick of watching black folks throw down and create even more kooky stereotypes for us (don’t you just LOVE when that happens!?), our drama escape is “Jersey Shore.” Those kids perpetuate any and every stereotype available and do so in such a memorable way. But aside from appreciating the foolery, the men are the best part of the show. With their ripped abs, gelled to the max hair and their playful sense of humor, we low-key wonder what it would be like to roll with one of them (Team Vinny, all day). But don’t forget about “The Real World,” “Big Brother,” and the very popular “Bad Girls Club.” Pick a show and get ready to pick out your choice of the bully, the undercover headbuster (don’t test them!), and the emotional person that’ll be gone first and enjoy!

Shows Meant for Your Kids
So you walked past your child watching old episodes of “That’s So Raven,” and now you’re hooked. And? No shame in that. Just cause a show pops up on the child-centered Disney Channel or you watched Nickelodeon hours before “Nick at Nite” doesn’t mean you can’t thoroughly enjoy that mess! Many adults are kids at heart. Let a “Looney Tunes” cartoon come on and I’ll be the first to stop what I’m doing to watch. So you like “iCarly.” Or you can’t get enough of “Hannah Montana,” and you catch yourself singing the theme song to “Arthur” while folding your laundry. Do what you do, girl. Just don’t tell anybody at work though…

Shows About Families We’re Glad Aren’t Ours
I’m getting the feeling that all you need is one crazy sibling and some money troubles to get a reality television show nowadays. But I love it, cause who can’t relate to having an unorthodox family? There’s Brandy & Ray-J’s show, “Fantasia For Real” (where would that show be without Teeny?) and of course, “Braxton Family Values.” There’s something about getting to watch the ins and outs of famous people and their families that’s so irresistible. And then there’s always that crazy sibling I was talking about that you wind up liking more than the star of the show! A hot for real, but I hate to miss it!

Talent & Competition Shows Gone Bad
And I’m talking more than just the stale “American Idol.” There are so many out now that  not only can you win a recording contract, but your neighbor who can burp her ABCs can win “America’s Got Talent,” and your little brother can throw on some heels and compete to be RuPaul’s next drag star. These are awesome shows for the judgmental person in all of us. The one who like to sit in front of the TV asking, “what were they thinking?” when if ever given the chance to do anything in front of a camera, we would probably look a mess too. And who doesn’t like watching C-list celebrities and off-season athletes shake their moneymakers doing the Paso doble to compete for the ugliest trophy of all time? We get mad when our favorites get kicked off, and the folks we hate (but not really) get to move forward. You might not participate in any way by calling in and voting, but being able to complain about it the next day over lunch tomorrow is what it’s all about.

Anything on Food Network
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with watching and enjoying the shows on Food Network. But let’s be real, you aren’t watching in the hopes that you’ll successfully get to  throw down on those triple pork sliders you saw on “Down Home with the Neelys.” You’re watching so you can salivate at food you won’t be able to concoct in your kitchen, while you scarf down a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I’ve seen many a folk even boldly watch Food Network while they run on the treadmill at the gym. Just drooling. Let Paula Deen get you all worked up for something fried and wish you were Guy Fieri, running around the country eating people’s steaks, tenderloin, and more for free. I’m getting hungry just talking about it…

Doing Better: The Weight Loss & People With MAD Problems Shows
So you sit and watch shows like “The Biggest Loser,” “Hoarders,” or “Intervention” and wonder to yourself, how did these people let things get so bad? Sure, shows like these aren’t mood boosters, and there’s definitely nothing fun about watching people struggle with things like weight and drug abuse. Yet and still, when these shows come on, you’re hooked. Let a marathon come on and that nap you were planning to take goes out the window. Watching folks get yelled at by maniac trainers and angry family members can be so moving and even anger-inducing for you. The more emotional you get, the more attached to the show you become. It’s nice to root for real people trying to be proactive about making changes to their lives. Even if you’re watching while downing a family-size bag of M&M’S. You’ll eventually do better too.

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