I’d like to talk about the state of television. I don’t know when it happened, but the ole boob tube has sunk into reality hell. I’m actually old enough to remember the very first Real World, and you know what? It was ground breaking, it was real, those people on that show and the second and even third incarnations weren’t just tired caricatures of people like they are now. But since then “reality” television is far from that. Everybody and their mother has a reality show, and lets be honest, most these shows have little to do with reality and more to do with people’s need to be famous. Who can honestly believe that shows like the Hills are truly real? Sorry to burst your bubble Hills fans, but your beloved show is just as scripted as those shows that aren’t “real.” Even if the stars of the show say they aren’t.
All those Vh1 shows you watch may not be scripted to the hilt, but there is some planning going on as to who stays and who goes and who does what. Do you really believe those women care that much about Brett Michaels or Ray J to humiliate themselves for their love? Or that all the guys and gals reallllllly care about Tila Tequila? And no, I’m not sitting on some pedestal casting judgement on others because I’m guilty of watching this sh%# too. I used to watch The Hills (come on, Spencer’s good entertainment). Flavor of Love? Yup watched that too. As of now I’m actually watching Jersey Shore. God help me, I’m watching that show, though I know I shouldn’t. I swear, each episode I see I can feel apart of my soul wither and die. But some shows just draw you in they’re such train wrecks. And the sad thing is that these people on these shows know what they’re getting into. They’ve seen how people on these shows are portrayed and they’re still up for making fools of themselves. Hey, if fame means more than self-respect, then more power to you, it’s just not my thing.
But there is hope. For every Rock of Love, and Jersey Shore there’s actual good programing on, you just have to find them. And I’ll let you in on a little secret, it’s not that hard to find them. Networks like FX and Showtime are leading the pack with quality programming. Programming that actually makes you think and feel about what you’re looking at. Shows like Nip/Tuck (a personal favorite) where the characters are more complex and deep than any reality show contestant or roommate can every hope to be. Shows like Dexter where the story and characters draw you into their world, where you’re actually made to care about the fortunes of a serial killer and those he loves. THIS is what television was made for. Programming with heart, with balls, shows that don’t insult the viewer’s intelligence. You have shows like Sons of Anarchy, Lost, 24, which, while long in the tooth is still a decent show. I could name a few more, but you get what I’m saying I’m sure. It’s shows like these, with actual thought put into them, that produces entertainment value worthwhile that still makes television a medium worth saving, despite what some would say.