As a fan of TLC's My Strange Addiction, I'm not entirely certain where the line is between that show and TLC's new documentary series, My Crazy Obsession. I guess Addiction is about people who do weird things in secret, and/or that the people who love them wish they wouldn't do, whereas everyone in Obsession is pretty cool with whatever's going on ... except the viewer. Here's a breakdown of one of the two stories in the show's series premiere, which aired last night.
Who Is This Now? Joe and Pat Prosey.
How Did They Get Here? I don't want to draw a direct line from the Proseys' daughter's growing up, moving away, and having a child of her own to the Proseys' practice of treating their Cabbage Patch Kids like actual babies, except I guess I just did.
What's the Grossest Thing We See? The Proseys take one of their doll-kids to a store to buy him a toy, playing as though he is part of the choice and making the salesperson talk to him as though he were an actual child.
What Do They Think the Problem Is? Although they live in a 900-square foot trailer home and have built a custom, climate-controlled fortress for "the kids," and even though they've spent more than a million dollars [Ed.note: What???] on Cabbage Patch Kids, accoutrements, and repairs, the Proseys don't think there is a problem.
(But What Does an Expert Think?) (No expert is consulted, so I'll field this one: It's messed up.)
Why Has It Apparently Taken a TV Documentary to Address This Person's Problem? Again, it's not a problem, in the Proseys' view. But if I were to learn that My Crazy Obsession exists because someone who lived in their town pitched the concept specifically about them and sold it to TLC, I wouldn't be surprised.
What Does Their Capacity for Change Seem to Be? None — in fact, their behavior is reinforced through interaction with other Cabbage Patch Kids enthusiasts, up to and including play dates during which all the adults play as though the dolls were children.
What Are the Consequences If They Don't Act? Eventually, they'll probably lose all the friends who think they're maybe a little bit too into their dolls. But they won't care. Because THEY HAVE FIVE THOUSAND KIDS.
What Have We Learned? Lars and the Real Girl wasn't so farfetched after all.
Tara Ariano collects a worrisome number of television shows in her DVR.