Television. TV. The Boob Tube. How many hours have been spent in front of the glow emanating from countless screens across the ages and over lands and seas? How many news casts have informed us, made us cry, caused us joy, and tempted us to think for ourselves? Sporting events have brought to life that primal urge in all of us to be victorious over another human, or the elements, or an animal. Reality shows make us angry, bring to life the need to hate the people in the little box that we point our furniture at and stare at for more minutes and seconds in our lives than we will read a book.
And yet, do we ever really understand what we are watching? Does anyone truly know why they are so involved in the story lines? Why do we care so deeply for characters on shows that we cry when they die, laugh uproariously at their foibles, and yearn for them to find and keep their star crossed lover-mates? Are we only escaping from our own sad lives? Do we need to be titillated by strangers hundreds of miles away who are only doing what they do for money?
I personally abhor watching live programming. I despise the commercials, how they pander to the stupid, how they subtly and not so subtly feed us propaganda. I long for the days before the television was invented. I want to read books by candle light and fall in love with what I’m reading. I want to take a walk instead of popping in the newest video game and breathe in the fresh air that is our Earth. And yet, I too am sucked in more than I’d prefer.
I have my own personal favorite shows and characters. I live and die with them, laugh and cry along with them, fall in and out of love when they do. I hate them, loathe them, need them, sing their praises, and lament their sorrows. I wonder more than I should how some programs have managed to survive the network axe. Why do people waste their days and nights watching things that are among the vilest creations to ever be hoisted on an unsuspecting public?
Jersey Shore, Desperate Housewives, Top Models, Wife Swaps, and Nannies. Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, American Idol, Family Guy and The Bachelor/ette. How do these shows live on year after year? Why does it take a hurricane to end the biggest cancer ever put forth – Jersey Shore? What are the network execs thinking? More importantly, what are the people thinking? Why do they tune in on these abominations? Are we all so totally conditioned to love what we hate that we are mindless in our viewership? Simply change the channel until someone is screaming or acting like a spoiled rich moron and there we have our evening’s entertainment.
How in the hell have we lasted this long? Why do we not give deep story lines a chance? Why are we so afraid of well-fleshed out characters? Freaks and Geeks gave us 18 episodes, and in 2 minutes of any of those we have more depth and meaning and good viewing than in the entire run of Desperate Housewives. Firefly last 15 episodes, and never has a finer show ever glimpsed the small screen. What are people so afraid of, was it the western part, or the sci-fi part?
Animators and writers give us a brilliant new Thundercats cartoon, but don’t you dare give it a chance! No, let’s keep watching a dead Simpsons and tired Family Guy and a weary South Park. Romantic dramas, inane comedies, and sex. That’s what the public want. They refuse to be taught, shy away from feeling something more than plain surface crap.
Well, here stands one man against the disease. I fail more than I care to, but I fight more than most that I know. I enjoy certain comedies, but Sheldon Cooper is among the greatest creations on any project, ever. Michael Scott and Andy Bernard and Dwight Schrute oh my! Taco, Pete and Ruxin indeed.
Give me a good well thought out drama like Copper, a bloody mess of a zombie show like The Walking Dead, or a deranged good guy in Dexter. The rest can fuck off. I would cheerfully become the main character from God Bless America and hunt down all these societal sucker fish. I would happily end the need for reality shows. And that name pisses me off, reality shows. Whose fucking reality is it we’re supposed to be watching?
Who does those things? Wanna see a true reality show? Put a camera in a normal household and watch them laze around watching TV and eating junk food out of plastic bags. Throwing their garbage on the floor and ignoring their kids when they ask for help with their homework. People who may not fight with the neighbors or scream at each other constantly, but normal human beings just trying to live their lives. That, my non-listeners, is reality in its purest form.
If anyone wishes Snooki had never been born, raise your hand.