There are many ways to decompress. Personally, I spend a lot of my free time mindlessly scrolling through Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. A lot of people think that’s sad and that I could use my free time more productively. Sure, they have a valid point but it’s my free time and I’ll spend it looking at memes, taking videos of nothing and sharing it, going on walks, or watching reality TV. It’s all very relaxing. I don’t have to think and that feels very good sometimes. It’s especially relaxing after using my brain to it’s full capacity from 9 am — 6 pm every day at school. Plus, I don’t have time for my problems anymore, so it’s fun to watch other people deal with their’s publicly and be totally emotionally removed from it.
I’ve been obsessed with reality TV since I can remember. I can find some substance/lesson/cultural significance in any show, it’s a great skill that I will most certainly benefit from in the future. For example, the first season of the Real World is a beautiful social experiment that brought people together who would have otherwise never met and had a huge impact on American culture. In more recent seasons, it’s just about people getting too drunk and choking out their female roommate because their dad didn’t love them or something equally dark. That evolution is just a small example of what I find fascinating about reality TV. I could really go on for hours about this but I’ll spare you. I’m going to give a very simple and quick synopsis on the evolution of reality television to eventually get to my point…
VH1 revolutionized reality television. They gave us the Surreal Life, which in turn gave us Strange Love, which then gave us Flavor of Love. From there, there was a surge in reality television. Anything was clearly possible so why not try and make it work? After VH1 had their moment with reality TV (their reign lasted for awhile), the next network to capitalize on a whole, life-changing, new sub-genre was Bravo. This is where this post becomes relevant (kinda). Thanks to Andy Cohen, we now have the Real Housewives franchise.
If you are not familiar with the Real Housewives shows, they follow the lives of very rich women from different cities around the country. It’s all very dramatic and very indulgent and completely ridiculous but that’s why I love it. It’s not my life, it never will be my life, I’m glad it’s not my life but I’m happy they want to share whatever their life is with the public so I can talk about it and distract myself from whatever boring, petty problems exist in my own.
When we were first assigned a project to work with an API, I was curious to see if there were any APIs that had info databased about any of the reality TV I like. I wasn’t sure what I would do with all that information and I’m still not sure yet, but that will come in time. So I searched around for awhile, and to my surprise but apparently to no one else’s, there weren’t any. I decided then that I found my calling. I’ll bridge the two worlds of my coding education and my love for reality television because no one else probably will or cares to. This will appeal to a very small demographic but that doesn’t make it any less appealing to attempt.
Finally we were assigned to make our own APIs! Unfortunately for my partner Kyle, I dropped this idea on him and insisted we do it (thank you to Kyle for going along with it). While this is a “mini-project” it’s something I actually want to continue working on. I would love to build this API out and try and cover as much information as I can and then eventually make something using it.
So far Kyle and I have created something that looks like this:
Above is what our current index page for our app that accesses the API looks like. What I would like to change here is add a custom logo for the API using the RHW logo. I’d also like to show the most recently added housewives on page load with images.
When you click on “By Franchise”…
…a dropdown menu appears with all franchises that currently have housewives in the database. I’d eventually like to make it so that the dropdown actually drops down and is the same color as the nav. I also want to create more basic seed data with the main housewives from all cities as a starting point.
When you click a name link their profile card appears next to the list. It shows their name, photo, and a little info we’ve stored. I’d like to clean up the columns for the housewife model in the database, adding more specific information that may be useful. I also want to make more models and join tables for relationship histories between housewives, photo collections, etc.
You can also add a new housewife via the “Add Housewife” button on the nav. It will bring up a form that asks for some information. I want to make sure that a housewife can’t be added twice (add uniqueness validation), make the city a dropdown select menu so that a user can’t make up a city and also use something like Paperclip so users can upload images from their computer. Also currently, the “Plastic Surgery” field is a boolean so I’d like it to be a check box for Yes or No.
I’d also like to add a search function where you can search a name and it will bring up their information.
If you’re interested in seeing the code for what went into this so far it’s available on the github repo here.
So basically, in conclusion, this is a project I want to continue working on (Kyle can too if he wants but he should not feel any pressure) and hopefully build out into something functional that at least one person might want to use. Also it gives me a great excuse (as if I’ve ever felt like I needed one) to watch more Real Housewives.