Four Hot Messes on TV

Once in awhile, TV brings us some amazing things.

I don’t mean great writing or powerful drama — I’m talking about the kind of thing that makes your jaw drop, makes you cover your eyes just enough to shield the horror, but at the same time leaving you in a breathless fit of giggles. It’s the kind of television that makes you glance at your husband or other television watching partner and say, “DID YOU SEE THAT? DID. YOU. SEE. THAT!!!!!!1111″

I’m talking about hot messes.

Ven diagram of hot mess on television


Hot mess, where wonderful meets terrible. The type of show you can’t decide is incredibly disgusting, unbelieveable and embarassing or if it’s plain genius.

Here are four of my favorite hot messes on television.

Austin Scarlett’s Mustache

So tragic that it deserves it’s own mention, Austin Scarlett’s mustache was a vital part of Austin Scarlett, DESIGNER (said with a faux European accent and a whole lotta flair), during this season’s Project Runway All-Stars.

Why does it qualify for hot mess status? Because Austin Scarlett, by himself, looks like a beautifully fragile porcelain  doll. I know he’s wearing makeup — I KNOW IT — but when they show him, I can’t quite determine what makeup he is wearing. It’s applied so flawlessly, it almost looks like it’s just part of his skin.

Then appears a mustache — a thin but well filled-out fuzzy caterpillar perched precariously on his upper lip. So, now I’m sitting here here trying to figure out his makeup AND his 1920′s silent movie star mustache. I wish I could say it took me completely out of the show, but it didn’t.

Bayou Billionaires

Did you think Beverly Hillbillies could never possibly happen? Think again, friends. It has not only happened, it’s being filmed for CMT and it’s called Bayou Billionaires and it’s awesome. 

Kitten and Gerald Dowden of Bayou Billionaires

Kitten and Gerald Dowden are the hard working matriarch and patriarch of a small-town Louisiana family who have had the good fortune of finding crude oil on their property. In exchange for usurping their natural resources, a company is sending them “mailbox money” — checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars — through the mail.

With their newfound fortune, they shower their family — daughters Valerie and Chantel, and sons Gerald Jr. and Thomas, assorted grandchildren and daughters-in-law and Chantel’s boyfriend, Albert (who could be his own entry, but we already touched upon that in the Celebrity Roundup) — with gifts, trips and new experiences. Such as Japanese food and veneers.

While Kitten and Gerald are sweet, normal and seem sort of in awe of their windfall, the kids are as much of a hot mess as you can find. All living within a half mile of their parents, all missing teeth, not one of them speaking clearly enough that you don’t, at times, wish there were subtitles, the Dowden kids are (Bless Their Hearts) a stereotype of Southern living.

Brides of Beverly Hills

Fashionista desperately holding on to her 40s (unsuccessfully) + an Asian Austin Scarlett + silicone Beverly Hills brides-to-be = a show that makes you wonder if you’re actually watching a skit on SNL instead of an actual show on TLC.

Abby Lee from Dance Moms

When I have nightmares, Abby Lee is at the center.

Abby Lee owns Abby Lee Dance Company in Pittsburgh. It must be good, because she verbally abuses her students in every single episode while stage moms watch and say nothing. Actually, that’s not true. Sometimes they yell back at her, but at no point do they say, “Hi. You can’t speak to my child that way. Go fly a kite. We’re leaving.”

What makes this a true hot mess is that Abby appears to be not only unable to dance, but unable to lift herself from a comfortable couch, ya hear me? So on one hand, her girls are really, really good at what they do. On the other hand? There is not enough therapy in. the. WORLD.

Have you seen any of these hot messes? Anything you’d like to add?

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14 comments to Four Hot Messes on TV

  • Lisa

    I know this is probably an unpopular position to take, but I have to defend Abby a bit. She reminds me a lot of one of my skating coaches when I was a kid, just in the way she speaks (not in the totally inappropriate routines). The kids will turn out OK. I think it’s actually kind of good to hear some criticism, because lets face it, the world isn’t all sunshine and roses. I think she needs to remember she has a group of young ones, so showgirl routines are NOT appropriate, but the screaming won’t kill them. She loves them too, that’s just not as fun to watch on TV :)

    How have I missed Bayou Billionaires? That is my kind of show!

  • I’m almost proud to say that I’ve never seen any of these. It’s totally due to my no reality TV stance, not because my standards are actually really high. Fun reading though :)

  • I don’t know who Austin Scarlett is, but I seriously thought that dude was a woman dressed up like a man. I’m still not entirely sure it isn’t.

    And I have to think that Dance Moms is some sort of reality TV parallel universe to Dancing With the Stars – that is to say, what happens to pro dancers when they completely let themselves go. COM-PLETE-LY.

    Assuming Abby Lee ever was anything remotely resembling a dancer.

  • Pardon me while I crawl out from under my rock. WHO are these people? And where have I been?

    I thought for SURE you were going to say that Austin Scarlett was from Once Upon a Time. I do know Abby, but only because I’ve seen previews of her obnoxious show.

    *sigh* I’m old, huh? Reality TV is just slipping out of my grasp. (Unless it’s on the Food Network, then I probably know all about it.)

  • The sad reality is that you could do a whole blog about hot messes on TV. I love the fact that these tools sell out for a few bucks. I guess most of them need the money to finally pay off their double wide or to pick up more meth/speed/X or whatever douchy hipsters do these days.

  • You know I’m not a big fan of the reality TV, but I can’t get enough of your graphical representations. I tried watching Dance Moms once and the mom/teacher were so out of control I just couldn’t do it.

  • I’m just happy that thanks to you I can avoid all of these shows and instead read your opinions on them. I have to save my TV time for cupcake watching.

  • THANK YOU FOR THE HUGE COMPLIMENT! I am CLOSER TO 60 than holding on (unsuccessfully) to my 40s! AND YES! WE ARE MORE LIKE A SITCOM! Thank HEAVENS we do not take ourselves seriously! It’s all FUN! Do join the entertainment and have a good time! XO R

    • Amanda

      I always enjoyed the show….that is part of the fun! Thanks for stopping by and reading. And realize “hot mess” is the best compliment I can give a TV show. :)

  • Wow. That first guy truly does have porcelain skin. That’s both a skill and a gift. Why do men get all the great skin?? I have never seen any of these, but then we don’t have cable. So if it doesn’t come on Hulu or the big 3, we’re pretty much out of the loop. Not that that seems to be a bad thing. I’m not sure I could get Neal to sit down and watch a show about a family who considers Japanese food to be a “new experience.” Hot, hot, HOT mess!

  • How did I not know about Brides of Beverly HIlls?!?! I must watch this show!!!

  • Ashley

    Good picks, but this must have been written before Small Town Security aired, LOL

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