When it comes to reality television, any die-hard fan accepts that from the moment we turn the channel and allow ourselves down the rabbit hole of dramady (drama + comedy, duh), the word “reality” is stretched beyond the norm.
It’d be swell, having our own personal lighting director and a fat producer budget to pump up the volume on our everyday routine. But at least we can vicariously live through Housewives, Top Chefs, Survivors, Apprentices, Bachelors, Tabitha’s Taking Over, Idols and Amazing Racers!
Seasoned shows aside, lately I’ve been satiating on fresh TV meat, like LA Shrinks and Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis. I’ll delve into my psychology crush with Dr. V another time, because today, I gotta talk about the abuse that went down on the season finale of Interior Therapy.
Yes, it’s a silly reality show. And yes, we know its template is designed for entertainment. But damn, if watching Ryan and Jordan’s dynamic play out on my 42″ flatscreen didn’t take me back to 1989.
If you’re into dry humor, sharp banter, design makeovers and judging other people’s dysfunctional relationships (and who isn’t?), you’re already dialed in to Jeff Lewis and his latest reality gig. This is the same dude we’ve been Flipping Out over since 2007, and he’s just as brutally honest, sarcastic, and equally talented here.
The premise is simple: Jeff and his sidekick Jenni (the yang to his ever-colorful yin), meet with opposite-attracts couples who, although sharing a home together, are in dire need of some cohabitation rehab.
From the couple who lived in a castle (seriously), to the east coast transplants (my faves) who got engaged on air, each weekly pairing brings something unique to viewers – all while unveiling design problems and relationship issues that are universally familiar.
Enter Ryan and Jordan, an attractive and successful young couple who were such a shock to watch, the Twitter world was blowing up with heated comments. It wasn’t Ryan’s nipple vase (or all around sex-obsessed 80s decor) that sparked the outrage; but his blatant controlling, manipulative and abusive behavior toward Jordan that threw us over the edge.
“He likes me skinny.” Jordan shares during their initial on-air interview. “I don’t like salads, but that’s what he wants me to eat.”
It’s a good time to point out - from what we can see - Jordan looks like she’s a size zero. Both she and Ryan look too thin and don’t seem healthy (which of course, Jeff points out immediately).
It gets worse.
After Jeff and Jenni pick up dinner (all heavy carbs, which was awesome), Ryan makes his beautiful bride pull her hair back to show us all her “new ears”, resulting from a surgery we assume Ryan convinced her to have. I think the term “Dumbo Ears” was even used.
We can only hope Jordan’s (I mean Ryan’s) plan for her next surgery – a boob job – is met with less name calling and judgment.
But this is a design make-over show. So enough about Jordan’s emotional damage. Let’s get back to demolishing the physical structure of the room Jeff chose to transform. Naturally, Ryan is quick to bark orders and snip at Jordan when she so much as tries to offer up her opinion.
“Stop being strong, or I’ll knock you out.”
My heart was racing.
As Twitter continued to scream obscenities toward Ryan and beg Jordan to “get a clue”, I couldn’t help but throw my own voice into the social media mix:
Here’s the thing. As frustrated as I was in witnessing such horror, I was motivated to reach out. In airing my little tweet, I so strongly wanted Jordan to read those three words over and over again: “You’re worth more.”
I’ve BEEN the weight-obsessed girl. I HAD the guy in my life warn me when I was getting “too fat” (I was a size 2). I lived the life of feeling that my voice doesn’t matter, or when I did find the shred of courage to finally speak up, I know all too well, that paralyzing fear that makes us choke on our words.
I don’t know this couple more than anyone else who saw this eposide does. And I’m fully aware how “realtiy” television is not always on the up and up. But from what I can tell, Ryan and Jordan both have a back story that made them what they seemed to be on air. You don’t just wake up one day and decide to act like a controlling douchebag, any more than you can suddenly morph into a timid, co-dependent wife. There are issues. And they – like all of us – have a story.
I wish I knew how to contact Jordan personally. Who knows. Maybe she’ll find my page and reach out. I don’t have any intention of telling her (or anyone) how to live their lives, but damn, if I don’t want her to know how much I get it.
This post is for all the Jordans out there. I know it seems impossible, but you CAN switch the frequency of your internal voice. You are worth so much more than feeling “less than.” You do matter.
Don’t you think you’ve had enough? I’ve never been more sure when I say - you have.