Monday, August 8, 2011

This is entertainment?

Famous for just being famous. People like the Kardashians. I constantly hear the name, but have no clue who they are. Looking them up and I find they really are nothing. They are just a wealthy family who is watched for their shenanigans. That's entertainment? Do people really enjoy this show? These people? Obviously they do -- it's been on the air for 6 seasons.

It seems that every season a new reality show is created. And I can't understand their appeal to the public. I know what their appeal is to studios. They're dirt cheap and you don't have egotistical stars demanding perks if a show is successful.

Survivor. The first 'reality show'. Now in its 11th or maybe even 12th season it appears to be as popular now as it was in the beginning. And what is it? Is it really a show about survival in harsh conditions. Right, harsh conditions that has cameras and crew, cooks and all the other things needed to film a TV show. The fact that it's not real is why they need to set challenges to sort out ranks. What do you think would happen if a group of 14 real people was stranded in some hostile environment? Would they survive if they were at each other's throat like they are in the series? I confess I've only watched a few minutes of various shows, but from what I've seen is that this show celebrates mean spiritedness, greed, back stabbing and just about every other nasty trait people have. There is nothing admirable about these people. And they’re doing it all for a few hundred thousand dollars.

The Real Housewives series -- D.C. Jersey, Beverly Hills. Pregnant in Heels? Really? Rich, spoiled divas whose idea of a hard day is a chipped nail? I'm sorry, but I can't see the fun in that.

Fear Factor is just gross. Not as offensive as the others, just stupid. I can't watch it because it does creap me out.

The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Do people really think these shows lead to relationships? Do you really want to have a relationship with any of those kinds of people? All of the cast for these shows are picked for their looks and sex appeal. The winners are often the most vindictive, vicious people. They have to be, to win.

Can someone please tell me what is behind this near obsession people have with couples who have huge families? This is probably politically incorrect, but the world already has more people than it can handle and we celebrate some family whose only talent is their fertility? What is admirable about having 19 children? Or the story about some spoiled, nihilistic Hollywood couple who have 8 kids. Other big families, with sixtuplets, octoplets. I know this is politically incorrect but I think in today's world large families are an obscenity, not a celebration.

There are too many reality shows to mention them all, but I'm disturbed that people seemed to be in love with them. What is it about shows that celebrate the worst that people are. We tune into these shows to see how nasty people can be to each other, we look forward to watch what depths these shallow people will go to in the next episode. We talk about them around the water cooler at work. It's worse than watching a train wreck. That at least is over in hours or days at the most. These reality shows are so prolific they have their own cable channel now. So twenty-four/seven you can watch train wrecks one after another.

My greatest dislike of many of these shows is not only do they not teach anything, they also stoop as low as they can to bring out the very worst in people. It not only seems wasted time, but if people watch a lot of it I have wonder if their own behavior beings to mimic it. After all, it it's all right for Simon Cowell to belittle people on public television, then it must be okay for me.

And that's entertainment?


Tina Donahue said...

I don't watch reality shops...cannot stand any of them. I wouldn't talk to these kind of people on the street, so I certainly wouldn't waste a half hour or an hour of my time to watch them on TV.

I confess, my weakness is cooking shows - ala Top Chef, Chopped, the Food Networks Next Star.

In a way, they're reality, but I love to watch these chefs work with really weird ingredients and come up with something that not only looks good, but according to the judges tastes good too. :)

Tina Donahue said...

Oops - was keying too fast. I meant reality shows...not shops.

Debby said...

Fantastic! I cannot see what anyone sees in these shows. My kids watch them and so I occasionally catch pieces and I have to leave the room. Thanks so much for your post.
debby236 at gmail dot com

jean hart stewart said...

Couldn't agree more. I watch the news and a couple of British shows. Knew a beautiful young man who appeared on the Bachelor show and later committed suicide. Don't know if there' a connection, but everyone assumes there is. Such a sad waste of time to watch mos TV, but it keeps going...

P.A.Brown said...

I love cooking shows too. I also like those cake challenge shows where they have to make some fantastic cakes that are more sculpture than cake. And I adore Ace of Cakes.

They're different from the reality shows I can't stand because even in the competitive ones, they don't get rewarded by being the biggest bitch or bastard in the group. They win only because they have talent.

I suppose the music talent shows are a bit like that too. But I got turned off them when I heard Simon Cowell putting some female singer down because she wasn't pretty and would never make it as a singer. (This was before Susan Boyle -- and does anyone remember the look on Cowell's face when she walked on stage) I mean what the f*** do looks have to do with singing? Just shows how shallow people can be when you have to be some hot, sexy number who's willing to so suggestive videos nearly nude to be a hit.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I think reality shows are just a cheap way for the networks to put something out to satisfy the masses. Scripted shows take talent and money. God forbid we'd want something rich in content. I guess the networks think the TV audience has a cumulative IQ of 50.
Although I love the cake boss, I like Nat Geo, History and Discovery channels. I can't wait to see the new series Curiosity. I like thought-provoking programs.
I love the cover for your new release, Pat.

P.A.Brown said...

I prefer National Geographic, Discovery, A&E and PBS, too. Especially the science and history shows.

And IQs of 50? A few times I've had the misfortune to tune into the Jerry Springer show. My stomach turns and I fear for the human race that these people are breeding. Eighteen year olds with 5 or 6 babies, all by different fathers and no one seems to be able to talk in anything but screams and curse words every second or third word. Trailer park trash to the nth degree.

Fiona McGier said...

Rent the movie "Idiocracy"...stars Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph...about a time in the future when humans have "devolved" to what today's society seems to be headed for. We celebrate underachievers and beat up the nerds. We act down to the lowest common denominator.

Is it any wonder the top 1% of the population has managed to swindle such a large proportion of the country's money for themselves, while sending jobs overseas never to return? I saw a cartoon once about the French Revolution that wondered what it would be like if it were happening today. The revolutionaries would be too busy voting on American Idol and watching porn on their computers to show up to revolt against the rich.

P.A.Brown said...

Sadly, how true, Fiona. When the revolution does come, it won't be people trying to free the masses, but rather to create a theocracy. Things are on the verge of collapsing all over, and people will want simple answers. Religious zealots will be very appealing since they offer not only answers, but God's blessing.

And while it's all going down, people will be sitting at home watching Survivor or Dance with the Stars. The Romans kept their people amused with bread and circuses. We're doing the same today. Keep the masses sedated and oblivious and you can continue to rake in millions.