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You are what you watch-TV transforms viewers

I would call myself an “eclectic” lover of television. I enjoy literally any show that can make me laugh, cry or just question my sanity. Examples include: Hoarding: Buried Alive, Hillbilly Hand Fishin’, My Strange Addiction, Family Guy and Man vs. Wild.

In other words, I am a connoisseur of the finer things.

Even with all of these tasteful entertainment choices, there is only one show that has me wrapped around its little finger.

Dance Moms.

The show is on Lifetime Wednesdays at 10 p.m., and it revolves around the mothers of young girls at the Abby Lee Dance Company in Pittsburgh, Pa. In a nutshell, it was my life five years ago.

OK, well maybe not my exact life, but there are parts of it I watch and a wave of deja vu will come over me. I feel like I am a freshman in high school learning a new dance for the pep rally.

Then, this other wave of awkwardness crashes over me as I remember the people I used to always compete against for the top spot.

Dance Moms is my time on a Wednesday night to unwind, and, I don’t know, yell at the little girls and intimidating mothers on the screen before me. I act as their coach, telling the tiny sprouts that their feet aren’t pointed and their arabesques are looking sloppy.

Honestly though, I don’t know anything I am talking about. I simply adore the kids on the show and I not-so-secretly want to be like them. Not in an admiration kind of way but more of an insanely jealous kind of way.

Usually after I watch the show, I will meander into a hallway or bathroom and try to mimic the moves I observed from the show.

I am a beautiful sight. Then awkwardness might ensue if someone steps into the hallway or opens the bathroom door. If this happens I play it off like I was stretching or fluffing my hair. This method has an 84 percent success rate of making sure that person will never have a normal conversation with me again.

I have gotten used to watching the Lifetime show with my very own mother. We will then talk smack about the mothers and discuss how ridiculous it is for grown women to be gossiping about both children and each other.

And then we look at each other and try not to come to terms with the fact that that is why we watch the show.

The only solace I can really take from the show is that I will hopefully never act like these moms when I have a family.  

I know I can’t promise myself that though.  

If my daughter were given a dreadful costume I believe I would also have a screaming fit with a dance director and then burst into tears because all the other girls get to have pretty outfits.  

This is called maturity.

Or maybe insanity.

I told you I liked shows that question my sanity.

At least I know the wheels are still turning up there. And that I could probably bust out in a lyrical jazz routine right now.  

Hallie Gebel is a sophomore studying broadcast journalism and columnist for The Post. Feel connected to a TV show too? Email Hallie at

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