I've got to hand it to certain reality shows. Knowing that people who behave horribly are infinitely more interesting to watch than Mother Teresa clones, the reality television gods have lately been granting us people who actually make celebrity party girls like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears look like solid role models.
"The Hills" was always destined to feature some top-tier soullessness. How could we get anything else from a "Laguna Beach" spin-off following the travails of shallow 20-somethings attempting to find themselves in Hollywood?
But lately, the utter wretchedness of the people featured has reached nearly epic proportions. This week, we had to decide if we were more disgusted by Spencer's insincerity in the face of Heidi's shockingly nice and normal-seeming family or Heidi's harsh treatment of said family.
Toss in the despicable behavior of the seemingly lobotomized Justin — who abandoned Audrina at the Malibu barbecue — and Lauren's faux concern masking clear giddiness over this turn of events and honestly, trying to decide who should wear the "worst person" title on this show becomes something akin to Sophie's choice.
"The Two Coreys," which ended its season with a face-off between the less successful Corey (that would be Haim) and the wife of the more self-righteous Corey (I'm talking to you, Feldman), also set itself up well to provoke disgust.
Only next to Corey Haim would Corey Feldman seem like a raging success, but that didn't stop Feldman from shoving his ability to have not pissed away his entire savings down Haim's throat all season long.
In this week's finale, the two Coreys pretended like the auteur behind "My Date With Drew" was pitching them a movie that didn't sound like a straight-to-video embarrassment.
Then Feldman's wife strutted around the house pouting about what a horrible houseguest Haim was and how he couldn't stay a minute longer.
I was dying to side with her because Haim did indeed seem like the worst guest this side of Kato, but when she dropped sentences like "We're a team — you wouldn't understand because you've never had that," she made it damn near impossible.
And then there's my old favorite "The Real World," which has the seven strangers in Sydney now, drunkenly acting out their cookie-cutter stereotypes to perfection (there seems to be no token gay, which means that any of the seven could potentially come out late in the season).
This week, we watched arguably the world's proudest tease (Kelly Anne) switch her energy from Dunbar (who's fond of ruminating on how difficult it is for him that women like him so much) to Southern cutie Cohutta, while smart but socially inept Parissa and antagonistic ditz Trisha stirred the pot by gossiping about it all.
Sure, the show seems to also have some nice-verging-on-adorable characters (Cohutta and Isaac) but I wouldn't count on them being featured all that prominently as the season gains steam. After all, as any viewing veteran worth their TiVo knows, in reality television, nice guys always finish last.
Anna David is a freelance writer. Her novel, "Party Girl" is in stores now.