Tube Top: January 2006

Rachel Dratch is in her sixth year of making us howl like monkeys. The Massachusetts native got her start as part of the Second City troupe, where she appeared alongside Saturday Night Live writer and star Tina Fey in a show called "Dratch & Fey." After joining SNL as a cast member in 1999, the funny woman became renowned for her portrayals of such memorable characters as Boston girlfriend Denise McDenna (where she alternately made-out and fought with her boyfriend Sully incessantly), long-suffering middle school student Sheldon (the luckless nerd who pines for the ladies) and, of course, Debbie Downer, the perpetually depressive bearer of nothing but bad tidings. As SNL kicked into gear for its new season, we became curious: What makes Dratch want to watch television? Her answers, dear readers, are below:

I barely TiVO anything. The shows people go nuts for, like Lost and 24, I haven't gotten involved with, so I don't have to keep up with the viewing commitment! But here's what I do watch:

INTERVENTION (A&E at 9 p.m. on Sundays). I will not shut up about this show! It's done like a documentary. The crew follows an addict around throughout the week, and they feature people with all kinds of addictions -- crystal meth, gambling, video games, Vicodin.... The addict doesn't know that an intervention is in store, but two wizened interventionists (Jeff and Candy), who are interesting characters in their own right, instruct the addict's friends and family on what to do. The first time I watched it, I thought everything would be tied up in a neat little bow at the end, but on this show, that's not always the case. Also, I love the music at the beginning and end. OK, enough. I'll stop now.

This next one is embarrassing. I TiVO STARTING OVER (WNBC, weekdays at noon). It's kind of like The Real World for ladies. A bunch of women live in a house together; each is working through a problem with the help of two "life coaches." One of the coaches, Iyanla, says things like, "I want you to claim your majesty." It can be cheesy, but it's sort of like a free therapy session every day.

Those are my top two. Occasionally, I'll do BREAKING BONADUCE (VH1, daily, times vary). Oh, my God, it's like watching a train wreck. I'm realizing a theme here.... I guess I like watching people with crazy problems! Maybe it makes me feel like, hey, I'm doing all right!

WIFESWAP (ABC at 8 p.m., 7 p.m. central, on Mondays) A good peek into how other families live. Delightfully voyeuristic. I like it when the super-strict, no-fun families get to pig out on junk food and go nuts. I also like it when you see a really messy family, like the family who had four kids but only one bathroom. That was because the mom filled the other bathroom's shower stall with toilet paper she had bought in bulk.

SUPERNANNY (ABC at 8 p.m., 7 p.m. central, on Fridays) With all the pressure that we thirty-something women face to have children, this show temporarily makes me feel OK that I don't have kids.

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