A show that actually exists: Bikini Barbershop: Jersey, which is more horrifying than it sounds

Survivor‘s Rob Cesternino had me as a guest on his podcast Friday, despite the fact that I’d partially lost my normally awkward voice, and despite the fact that I repeatedly referenced pooping in a bucket. Anyway, in the later part of our conversation, he dropped a bombshell: There’s a reality TV show called Bikini Barbershop: Jersey on HDNet.

I didn’t believe him at first–it sounded like a joke that played off of this effect, even though the title lacks the word “cupcakes”–but it’s true. And while I don’t pay for HDNet (my cable company doesn’t even offer it), and I sure as hell wouldn’t for this show, because watching clips on YouTube convinced me that it’s basically the worst of everything imaginable, starting with women who are sexually harassed while being interviewed for a job at a place where haircuts are given by stylists in bikinis.

The boss is Jeff Wulkan, who HDNet calls “the Hugh Hefner of hair,” and he comes across as a blatantly sexist and homophobic asshole. Talking about two women making out, he says, “It kind of makes me a sick when a lesbian like Kim tries to take the only hot girl and turn her into a lesbian. It’s like, don’t be a guy-hater your whole life. Don’t turn her to the dark side. Keep her for fresh meat for the guys.”

Ugh. While this would seem like the perfect candidate for being a fake truTV-style reality show, and even though the intro to the show (watch below) seems like it was developed in three minutes for an SNL sketch, the place is real.

The only thing that could make me watch more than these clips (warning: potentially NSFW) is an episode of Tabatha Takes Over that was filmed there, because I might even pay to watch Tabatha rip this guy apart.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.