As a family who doesn’t have cable, we aren’t ones who regularly keep up with reality TV. On vacation, however, we were spoiled with cable for two weeks. With cable TV comes commercials. With commercials come promos for the latest reality shows.

Amongst them was a show called “Chrisley Knows Best.” To be perfectly honest, the promo came and went, and all I thought was, “well they seem obnoxious” and that was that. I didn’t plan on putting much more thought into The Chrisley’s. But a few days later, who’s mug do I see on The Today Show? Todd Chrisley.


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He was promoting his new reality show, and the scene they chose to show was Todd boasting about his “excellent” parenting skills. He had chosen to teach his young son a lesson by putting a boot on his RANGE ROVER SUV. Yes, his teenage son has a Range Rover. So I decided to do a bit of googling to find out about this Chrisley family. What I found was honestly horrifying.

The first thing I came across was a article entitled Chrisley Knows Best: Inside Todd Chrisley’s $45 Million Bankruptcy Case. Hang on….. $45 Million?? Bankruptcy? What is going on with this family?!

The very first quote in this article is Todd Chrisley boasting,

In a year, we sometimes spend $300,000 or more, just on clothing

Well then. Surely that was before their bankruptcy. But no, the Chrisleys’ bankruptcy was in August 2012, and this interview was a recent quote from show promos. In details of the Chrisley’s bankruptcy case, the family’s assets were listed at 4.2 million. But the kicker? His debts were listed at 49.4 MILLION. Yes, you read that right. The USA Network gave a reality show with the title “KNOWS BEST” to a family that is 45 million dollars in debt.  And I’m just wondering, what exactly does Todd Chrisley know best?

Unfortunately, USA Network is not the only network promoting excessive amounts of debt.  A show on HGTV called “Flip or Flop” intro’s the show with the starring couple boasting about how they maxed out all of their credit cards and even borrowed money from family. I just can’t bring myself to celebrate that.

I recently heard the sad news that the star of this show recently got a cancer diagnosis. I can’t help but wonder if they regret all of that credit card debt now that they are more than likely riddled with hospital bills. I don’t know this family, and they very well may have come out on top, made enough money to pay off their maxed out credit card debt, and made some money flipping houses. But I’d wager to say that’s not the common outcome of similar situations.

And we can’t forget the infamous Theresa Giudici, start of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. She, along with her husband, are facing serious jail time due to their shady financial ways. Fraud and massive amounts of debt are glorified like crazy with this family.


Their debt rang up to 11 Million. Yet we saw them on tv each week throwing extravagant parties, remodeling their home, and taking their kids on massive shopping sprees. It’s not the best values to be teaching your children.


On the opposite end of the money spectrum, we have shows like Extreme Cheapskates, which focuses on the strangeness of people that love to save. Rather than show off lavish parties and shopping sprees, the people on these shows have to “come clean” to a friend about their money saving ways. So tell me this- Why don’t the stars of the lavish reality shows have to “come clean” about their massive debt amounts? Sure, the stars of “Extreme Cheapskates” may go a little overboard. And we might be a little bit shocked by someone who refuses to buy toilet paper. Yes, it is extreme. But so is millions and millions in debt. Why are we not calling these people “extreme?”

All in all, it is clear that network TV has made a killing on these families who are living a supposed “lavish” lifestyle. But in REAL reality, it seems as though they are just causing more and more families to put themselves in grave financial danger trying to live up to the lifestyle they see on TV.