If the television craze continues with the present level of programs, we are destined to have a nation of morons. ~Daniel Marsh
Okay, so that quote was made back in 1950 but it is applicable now more than ever. In fact, the more reality programming I see, the more I’m reminded of the movie Idiocracy where we live in a world that has become so dumbed down we really did become a nation of morons. Let’s put this out there right away. I hate reality tv. I hate game shows, I hate dance contests, I hate shows where a bunch of people are put in a house and forced to live with each other. I hate cameras following around spoiled, bitchy people who feel that the world revolves around them. I also can’t stand the people that watch these shows.
Have you ever noticed that the people who complain about the cult of celebrity are the ones guilty of perpetrating the cycle? People complain all the time about people that are famous for being famous, yet they tune in to see what guy a Kardashian sleeps with next or which “guido” throws a punch at an orange troll this week. Do they not see that they are part of the cycle that is dumbing down America? Do we really need TV shows to showcase toddler beauty pageants? Do you think that is healthy television? I don’t. Think of the balloon boy. That whole thing was a hoax so that the parents could get a shot at a reality TV show. This is what America has become and the reality TV viewer is to blame.
So-called reality TV wasn’t always this way. Granted, it’s always been the pond scum of television, but at one point it was a bit more real than it is now. Reality TV stopped being art imitating life after the first few seasons of the Real World. Those seasons were as real as they could possibly be when cameras are following you everywhere. What happened? Well, art stopped imitating life and life started imitating the art that was imitating life. Confused? Think of it this way, after the first few seasons it was clear what character traits resulted in the most buzz and controversy. As time went on the various new casts formed their actions based on those traits and by the time Real World Hawaii came out they were the embodiment of every stereotype known to man. Controversy and conflict sell and you buy it.
Now, I will admit not all reality programming is inherently bad. There are some truly entertaining shows that don’t thrive on the lowest common denominator. TV shows such as MythBusters, The Amazing Race, and Sports Science can be considered reality and are entertaining without being trashy. There are a lot of shows out there like this. Unfortunately, they rarely get the attention (or viewership) that their counterparts receive. Again, that all comes down to the viewer.
Will the act of you not watching the show make all reality programming disappear? No, at least not right away. It will, however, mean less of it. If people stop watching the shows will stop airing. It’s as simple as that. So, people that complain about how culturally anemic our society has become, why are you still watching? You’re only contributing to the problem. Call me a TV elitist. I’m proud of it. While not everything I watch is Masterpiece Theatre, it is levels above love shows featuring Flava Flav or shows featuring bitchy housewives or houses full of bachelors. If you contribute to the continuation of the dumbing down of our society by watching this crap, you have no room to complain when society actually does become stupid (like taking Palin or Beck seriously or believing anything said on Fox News). And that concludes my rant.