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Why 'Chrisley Knows Best' Is Not Just Another Reality Show About a Crazy Rich Family

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Mar 12, 2014 | 1:51pm EDT

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The moment that Todd Chrisley called his two sons "thug wannabes," hearts the world over soared in appreciation. Chrisley Knows Best is a breath of fresh air in the world of guilty pleasure reality television. The truth is, many of us love getting a glimpse into the fabulous lives of anyone famous. Even if we don't like the Kardashians, we still want to see what a family vacation in Greece looks like. And even if we think most of the Real Housewives are hot messes who should be embarrassed to have made names for themselves by pulling out each other's weaves on television, we still want in on the weave-pulling. With Chrisley Knows Best we get access to the lavish lifestyle of a family that spends approximately $300,000 a year... on clothes... alone. But we also have someone on our side, someone poking fun at the rich kids and putting them in their place. And that someone is Papa Chrisley.

Todd Chrisley has made more money than anyone you know in real estate, and now he's ready to start his next venture in the fashion world. Chrisley & Company is the new department store that he hopes will become "the Bergdorf Goodman of the South," and with his fashion sensibilities this is very much a possibility. The show follows the building and creation of this massive (and massively expensive) store, but the highlights come from the interactions with his family: Mama Chrisley (Julie) and their children Savannah, Chase, Lindsey, Kyle, and Grayson.

Now here's the reality of things. The kids are pretty bad. Well, to be fair, they're probably no worse than your average kid who drives a Range Rover to high school. The distinction here is that Papa Chrisley put a boot and a club on little Chase's Range when Chase snuck off to a football game. This may seem like a small act, but think about the last time you saw a rich kid on television actually get punished for bad behavior. We'll wait.

Exactly.

And even though Savannah was preparing for her super Sweet 16 in the premiere's second episode, she didn't throw a single tantrum, and Papa Chrisley had the final say on her dress (which he demanded come below the knee). And, yes, she does get a super fancy car in the end but she is legitimately shocked to receive it! So in a way, Chrisley Knows Best debunks the traditional ideals of super rich kids with nothin' but loose ends.

The truth is, Todd spends a good portion of the show sort of clowning his kids. Is it mean? Kind of. Do we love it, though? Very much so. Because if we have to watch these kids living their sickeningly fabulous, wonderful, fabulous lives, if we have to look at their kitchen countertops and salivate over the marble granite whatever that stuff was, if we have to watch Savannah's Sweet 16 unfold — at which even the lighting was fantastic — it helps to know that Papa Chrisley is going to (lovingly) knock them down a peg. He gets in their business, insists on meeting their crushes, and gives them little-to-no privacy (he seriously has tracking devices on their cars, and closely monitors their phones and laptops). He's an actual dad! And for that, we thank him, and make plans to keep tuning in to Chrisley Knows Best

And now, here are some unforgettable quotes from the inimitable Papa Chrisley.

Regarding his children: "I don't wanna control stupid. Ignorance you can fix. Stupid is forever."

Regarding his daughter's shorts: "Smaller or larger, they still look like ASS."

In repsonse to one daughter asking that he be more like a "normal parent": "There's no normal in this house."

Regarding Savannah's Sweet 16 dress: "Class, not ass."

Regarding the dancing at Savannah's Sweet 16: "I'll make a deal with you. You don't drop it like it's hot, and I won't drop it like it's hot."

Scolding Chase, who got caught alone in his car with a girl: "You do that again and YOLO is gonna be a true statement. 'Cause you're only gonna live long enough to do it once."

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