These days, the men of reality TV can be as obnoxious as they want (grrrr), just so long as they have babies (aaawww). In fact, having children is now the great normalizer for tasteless, cruel or self-indulgent subjects of our favorite reality shows. Want proof? Find out after the jump…
Take my favorite hetero-stylist Jonathan Antin. In last night’s episode of Blow Out, the barber-cum-reality-star snowboards while his assistant does all his grunt work, he then talks to actress Marlee Matlin as if she were stupid simply because she’s deaf, and is generally the reprehensible braggart America knows and loathes…that is, until he talks about his baby. All he has to do is bring up his newborn son, wipe his eyes and cue the plinky background music to redeem himself. See America, he’s only a d*ck for the sake of his little baby son (what’shisname).
Similarly, There & Back’s Ashley Parker Angel whined far too much about his impoverished lifestyle while everyday he woke up at noon, wrote songs with hired songwriters who really wrote his songs, lunched on what one can only assume were awesome craft services, and came home to a clean, rather nice house paid for by his mother-in-law. It was tough to sympathize with a guy who complained about being dirt poor, but lived better than most of us. But put his newborn son Lyric in his arms and suddenly Ashley seemed like a real sweetheart. Even if sometimes he wasn’t holding his kid, but a stand-in.
Perhaps the worst evidence of this new pattern is Shane Powers, Survivor’s twisted tattooed villain. One minute he’s hugging his tribal members, the next he’s calling them out. He’s bitched about hating everyone, writhed in pain without his cigarettes and was even exposed on this website as a shameless actor and not the marketing executive he’s chyroned to be, but Shane’s managed to stay in the loop and on the show. How? By name-dropping his kid in every episode. He’s rationalized almost all his actions as a result of being an amazing father who can’t stop thinking about his son back at home. Cue the long walk on the beach in the sunset and a pre-recorded V.O of Shane talking about how close he is with his kid and you practically want to write him a check for a $1 million bucks.
But while TV producers have figured out an ingenius way to soften some their media-hardened reality stars by giving them children, the same can not be said for Tom Cruise.