Sunday, November 21, 2010

WE TV's Downsized: Episode 3

This week on Downsized, Laura opened up about her guilt-based spending. She received a $1,000 bonus, and with that, bought everyone new clothes. While this is a very nice, she did admit that it was misguided. After all, it could be better spent on food or rent. She also later admitted that she's still spending cash on gourmet coffee, which is a major no-no for a family in debt.

Later, the coffee issue was further addressed as the family tried to make coffee drinks on their own - which mom Laura turned down because they didn't taste good, and said it was a waste of money to try when she could just spend $30 a week on coffee at Starbucks or another coffee shop. My confusion is that mom says she drinks coffee because she has MS and needs it to stay awake - so why does she need fancy coffee drinks? Why not plain old home brewed coffee? In any case, Todd ended up magically fixing the situation by buying a make-your-own frozen coffee drink and reusable cup, and Laura all of a sudden said everything felt right.

Laura, at first, refused to pull Danielle out of cheerleading, despite the cost of $145 a month. If she wanted Danielle to stay in cheerleading, she should have saved her bonus for this - it could have covered several months of cheerleading practice. Todd disagreed with keeping Danielle in cheerleading, and Laura ultimately had to pull Danielle out of it.

Bailey and her boyfriend Johnny faced a non-monetary problem (which later became monetary) on this week's Downsized. Johnny was getting a D in math, so his mom wouldn't let him go. As it works in the world of reality TV, Johnny pulled his grades up and was then able to go to prom. Then, Bailey admitted that while she was previously excited, she then wasn't sure how she felt. Then, more reality TV drama occurred - prom was sold out. I'm not convinced that prom can sell out, but whatever. Maybe it can at Bailey's school. Bailey later admitted that the real reason she didn't want to go to prom was because of the expense. Bailey and Johnny ended up electing to go on a special date instead of prom, and as it always magically happens on this show, everything worked out great.

The boys had to give up baseball because it was too expensive - but my question is, why can't they get jobs to pay for their summer sports? Then they can have both their summer sports and a sense of responsibility. I just don't understand whey they can't find part time work.

On a positive note, Todd stepped it up and started spreading the word about his new construction company. I believe this link leads to the company, by the way - Stone Canyon Construction. Also, Laura signed up to tutor students to bring in extra cash during the summer.

Todd finally owned up to the fact that it was time to ditch cable and eating at restaurants. He then also had to own up to the fact that he'd been screwing up for the last several months by not getting rid of these expenses.

I realized what a main issue I have with this show is - because of the show Downsized and what needs to be filmed to make good TV, the kids are having to become way too involved in the Bruno family's monetary problems. While the kids can't be blind to what's happening in their family, the children, especially Danielle, shouldn't have to be so involved. A notable part of this was when Danielle discussed her summer plans with her friends - this was clearly done to exploit the family's financial situation for the television audience.

I guess the only positive of this is that the family is obviously being paid for being on Downsized, and the paychecks from this will pull the family out of debt.

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