Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I wish someone would explain to me why the great unwashed masses are so fascinated by watching people with limited intelligence and no self-respect behave badly in airports, in the jungle or on a deserted island, in courtrooms, on the runway or at a photo shoot, in a boardroom sucking up to an over-exposed and self-absorbed millionaire, losing weight, in restaurant kitchens, in tattoo parlors, or supposedly looking for a mate.

Once upon a time television, while not always succeeding, at least attempted to entertain, enlighten and educate. That is apparently not the case any more.

Watching an aging Mafia princess fail miserably in her attempts to raise unintelligible sons is neither art nor entertainment.

Watching D, E and F list celebrity has-beens and never-weres, or brain-dead college drop-outs, living together is not entertaining, enlightening or educational.

The only thing worse than being Bobby Brown is watching Bobby Brown.

Family therapy, discussing your problems in private with a qualified professional who can offer constructive advice, is very helpful and therapeutic. However, a couple telling all on national tv while a self-important jury consultant puffs up his own ego by wagging his finger at them is not entertaining, enlightening or educational.

An aging former child star going through rehab on television is much more painful for those who watch it than it is for the actual patient himself.

Contestants drinking worm puree or eating bugs or, for the special Christmas episode, reindeer testicles is just plain sick.

Most of these programs are of the genre incorrectly referred to as “reality tv”. While the motto of the father of reality programs is “Outwit, Outplay and Outlast”, the real motto of the reality tv genre is “Embarrass, Humiliate and Abuse”.

These programs do much more damage than a brief “wardrobe malfunction” or a slip of the tongue at an awards show. What do they teach our youth – that greed is good, money is more important than self-respect or human dignity, and it is acceptable to publicly humiliate people.

Years ago the criteria for determining if a book or movie was pornography was the lack of any “socially redeeming value”. I dare anyone out there to show me any socially redeeming value in this excrement.

One of the programs in this category was a show called THE BIGGEST LOSER. Just who is the biggest loser when it comes to “reality tv”?

It goes without saying that those who participate as contestants on a reality program, and those who actually watch the garbage, are indeed losers, in every sense of the word. Also on the list of losers are the multitude of actors, writers, directors, and other creative personnel who are unemployed as a result of “reality tv”.

But the biggest losers are those of us who recognize the genre for the crap that it truly is, and therefore avoid it like the plague. For every hour of reality programming that pollutes the airwaves we are deprived of an hour of real television drama, comedy, documentary or news programming. By putting shows like BIG BROTHER on its prime time schedule, CBS has denied us what may have been the next ALL IN THE FAMILY, MASH, THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, HILL STREET BLUES, THE COSBY SHOW, or 60 MINUTES.

The only winners in “realty tv” are the networks and the shows’ producers, who are laughing all the way to the bank!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At least "The Biggest Loser" is
about a worthwhile goal....losing
weight. There might be some redeeming
value in that, as far as inspiring
For the most part, I agree with your
opinion of reality shows.
("Cops" is a guilty pleasure)