Kat Atwell is a freelance writer, blogger & stage presence telling stories that deliver laughs, validation & community.

Mental Health | Wellness & Self Image | Experiential & Reviews

Guilty Pleasures

And here we see the boob tube.

The Real Housewives (of anywhere) never appealed to me. There hasn’t been a single season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette that I’ve followed. Big Brother? Big no.

I’m not setting this up to show you how above the fray I am. Totally the opposite. See, in the mid-2000s, I was a huge fan of bad reality shows.

Really, really, really, really ridiculously bad reality shows.

I, instead, sunk much lower than anything aired on TV now. In order to give you a better idea of what I’m talking about, I’ve included some photos found online. I indulged in shows like Kept

Why yes, that is Jerry Hall.

…not to mention Strip Search.

Men competed to be in a sexy dancing group. They did that.

There was also Rock of Love …

I know.

AND Flavor of Love

I know.

AND Shot at Love.


You can judge me. I’m judging me.

I was in deep. When the idea struck me to write about all these shows that most people have successfully managed to repress (with good reason), I got all excited to find a picture of “that guy.” You know, THAT guy. The one with the fuzzy hat. The cocky raver dude. He was on a show about pickup artists. Note: I later realized the show he was on was actually titled The Pickup Artist.

I’m not good with names. (un)Fortunately, my husband is. And he figured out the — wait for it — MYSTERY. Seriously. He went by the name Mystery.

Et voila!

I wanted to play the “Where are they now?” game, so I hopped on the Google and stumbled upon an article talking about cryptic messages Erik von Markovik (the gentleman above) had posted on social media. The article was yucky. It appeared the writer was mocking what potentially could have been a mental health crisis being played out.

If you’ve been following my blog at all, you’ve probably already determined I was totally prepared to whip up an entry in defense of this man and his media portrayal, at least in respect to that particular article.

That was a very long sentence up there. Moving on.

I kept googling. I tried to find a twitter account under his name. Bzzz. Nothing really there. I checked the website listed. Again, not a hell of a lot. Finally, I went to Facebook. Lo and behold, there’s the dude. Only four days ago, he posted something rather significant:


Agh. Oog. WHAT? I mean, seriously. WHAT.

So, now I’m all conflicted. I’m embarrassed I was such a big fan of those sorts of shows, kind of in the same way I’m embarrassed I had a poster of Kermit the Frog wearing Kermit Kleins on my wall through most of college.

Shut up. It’s art.

I also recognize that beneath all the weirdness of those “characters” were a lot of real people, several of whom had or have diagnosable mental illnesses.

See? Moment of seriousness here.

But now there’s going to be a movie about this whole pickup artist movement? I feel in the smallest way responsible for this happening. I watched the show. I was one of those people.

I just. I mean. Right. I think I’m going to have to pick this up (pun only intended as an afterthought) later this week, because my head is all explody and can’t quite comprehend what’s happening.

Dammit, James Franco.

Natural Home Remedies or WebMD?

Don’t Disrespect Your Inner Child.