TLC Week: What is The Learning Channel Teaching us Today?


Finishing off my week long talk of all things TLC Network, I want to look back at what this network used to be, and what it has now become. I have spent all week talking about my love, and one dislike, of the "90 Day Fiance" "franchise". There are some misses, but more often than not, for me, hits. Big time hits.

When I was a kid, and a teen, and even an early adult, TLC used to be a channel that actually tried to teach people things. TLC stood for The Learning Channel. They would have TV shows that would be akin to a history lesson I would have gotten in high school. They did scientific shows. They had TV shows that were primarily shown in classes in school. They really leaned into being a channel for people to learn about things that they may not have known much, if anything, about. They tried to teach the viewer something, and more often than not, they achieved that goal.

That has all changed now.

This is not to say that I haven't "learned" anything recently. It is just the stuff I've learned is pointless, and how easy it has become to be on TV. TLC now shows pretty much nothing but scripted reality shows. There is a major range from what type of scripted reality shows they have now as well. I, or more likely my wife, will turn TLC on and we could watch anything from "4 Weddings" to "My 600 Pound Life". Both shows are trash reality TV, but do they really teach me anything of importance? No way.

What I have learned from the latest incarnation of The Learning Channel? I do know that when you put 4 brides in a room together, make them attend each others wedding and then let them judge one another, they will be absolutely ruthless. I also have learned that there are people out there that are much more addicted to food than I am, and they let it get to a point where they cannot even get out of bed, or bathe themselves. And they usually blame everyone but themselves. I don't mean to be rude or aggressive, but you can stop eating trash food. People do it everyday. I find myself never feeling sorry for the person that has gotten to 600 pounds or higher. I'm sorry, that is just how I feel. Drifting even further from these shows, TLC has gone as far to put a show on recently, within the past couple of years at least, called "Sex Sent Me to the ER". This show is absolutely fake, ridiculous and insane, yet very watchable. It is like watching a fun bad movie. The reenactments on "Sex Sent Me to the ER" are nuts. Sometimes they have the real doctor playing themselves, or they have actors playing them. They always have actors playing the people who end up in the ER, and they are ALWAYS much better looking than the real person, who is interviewed about their incident during the show. Besides getting much better looking people to play the patients, I have learned that some people will do some dumbass stuff while being intimate. The worst I ever saw was some idiot put his member in a grill on a campsite. I don't know how real that was, but the reenactment was hilarious and insane. I was floored.

To wrap this whole week up, TLC has very much changed what they set out to do from the start. I think they wanted to be an educational channel, and they tried, but it didn't work. So they pivoted to reality TV, a la what MTV and VH1 have done, and they are succeeding now. The shows may be much worse than what they tried to do at the start, but damn are they enjoyable. I will close it all out like I started the week. TLC is the trash reality network right now, and they are crushing it. We will see how long it lasts, but right now, I love it. My hat is off to TLC. Keep doing what you are doing while you can, because this won't last forever. Ride that wave TLC. And thanks for the never ending, trashy entertainment.


Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Years ago Ty learned how to make a fire from TLC. Today TLC teaches him how to make a fire…in the bedroom.

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