TagReality TV

Eternal Adolescence

There is a lot of worthless reality television. I popped my head from behind my iPad this evening to see two people at the dentist. This was not a storyline. There wasn’t anything funny going on. They were just sitting at the dentist about to get dental work done. Seriously.

This is what passes for television? I enjoyed watching television from the 90s with a storyline. I have enjoyed Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (after I made it through all The Next Generation). I have started watching Stargate SG-1 again in addition to various other movies Netflix has to offer.

Kyle Baxter wrote a great piece tonight, The Eternal Adolescence of Beavis and Butt-Head.

Beavis and Butthead—once the epitome of idiotic, crude humor—both seem smarter in comparison to these reality TV show characters, and the show itself does, too.

I watched the show back during the original run periodically and it was very dumb. It very funny. Now, it doesn’t seem to stupid. At least the show had a point, a plot, and an attempted to tell a story.

I think it’s very telling how the quality of television has dropped to the level where these adolescents seem smarter by comparison.

Beavis and Butthead once reveled in being the lowest of the low for television, using it for laughs, but also using it for satire. Now it no longer is. Perhaps that should give us pause about the kind of culture our generation is watching and, therefore, supporting.

I remember being a boy and wanting to be like a professional basketball player. I wanted to be a zookeeper. I wanted to work with animals or for National Geographic. Not to say I had the best role models, but they were not celebrities who reveled in being ignorant drunkards.

Misery Porn

With all these “reality TV” shows on TV that supposed show the real life of all these various people do any of them benefit from it?

At the moment, “True Life” I support my family is showcasing the lives of these various kids who are dead broke and caring for their siblings and trying to make ends meat. Do any of them benefit from thee show or does MTV take all the money for themselves?

Do any of the advertising dollars get sent to the family to help them dig their way out of debt and improve the quality of their lives? Or does it all go to feed the bottom line of a television network?

If not, then how can’t these networks show the lives of these people who are struggling day in and day out just to have enough money to have a place to live, clothes to wear and food to eat? Is there any conscience left in television today? Is it all about exploiting people for the most money? In this commercial break alone, there have been ads for the following:

* Just Dance 2
* Starburst
* Dove
* New Big Momma’s House Movie
* Kotex tampons
* Clearasil
* Samsung Galaxy Tab
* Taco Bell
* Playboy perfume

That was just one commercial break. That is a lot of commercials during just one break! I don’t understand how these shows are as popular as they are. What does someone get by watching another human being suffer and face adversity at every turn?

I don’t understand the appeal of these shows or the entire genre behind them. I know they are cheap to make and you can generate a thousands variations without any planning or thought going into it. Just find some people who are bad off and pair them with other people who are bad off in a similar way then lump them all together and you have a show to sell to the advertisers!

Perhaps I am just old and jaded and remember a time when television was story-based and actually had a plot to what you were watching. Instead of broadcasting this misery across the air waves, there were characters to follow and either love or hate. Instead, now we have human suffering broadcast for entertainment.

And don’t even get me started on the “Real” Housewives of everywhere. Never have I seen a more vapid and fake pile of surgeries in one room.