reality tv

My Idiotbox in Broken

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….. and I want the network executives to fix it, now!

It is understandable that the summer programming season for television is rife with reality television because it is cheaper to produce. However, there are some of us that look forward to the Fall programming season to see what new adventures we will get to experience. We are introduced to new characters who remind us that our lives may not be so bad after all. We are taken to exotic locations, far off space stations and into suburban homes with people who aren’t much different than us. We even enjoy those that are very different than us and we can commiserate, emulate, or just feel empathy for the current plight. The plight I am empathizing with commiserating with is my own. I am disappointed, let down and feel somewhat betrayed. Allow me to tell you what I am thinking and why I feel this way.

Here is my first big disappointment. Seven minutes into this show I was angry. The whole family was a bunch of rule breakers, starting with choosing to have the extra child, punching the officer, going to prison, the prison break out aided by the wife, the weird closet baby who wanders off to feed a dinosaur, the overly smart strange daughter and the dumb ass son. You have traveled back in time and you decide to be a tough guy and go outside the gate where there are animals that EAT you. Why? To be a rule breaker like your dear old dad. Not impressed, rather angry, I am going to more episodes, then if it does not become more logical in the evolvement, then they have lost a viewer.

Then there is The New Girl who pulled the old bait and switch. It lured us in with the hope of the comedic stylings of Damon Wayans Jr and then this week, we were treated to generic black guy. He wasn’t even funny.

Then I tuned in to Fringe. I don’t know what the frick is going on there. Somehow or other there is a rooftop in Boston that has an elevator that separates the time warp shifty thingy between the two universes. Really, all I have to do is take the Purple elevator up to floor number 1999 and ask for Prince?

It doesn’t stop here. I was excited to watch Law & Order SVU and found myself saying oh, great, it’s another rape case. This week, it is an old white guy that likes to rape young boys that he coaches. Isn’t that the same story we saw on Criminal Minds with Derek? It’s not even an original rape. I feel like the Special Victim here and to add insult to injury, you know that Stabler is leaving right?

There is nothing left, but pay tv. I must pay to be an idiot and have my home box entertain me. I have not been disappointed thus far. Free television is a statement of you get what you pay for, and that is nothing. I do have HBO and Showtime because I must spend time with my favorite serial killer that only kills bad people. Dexter premiers this Sunday and I cannot wait. It is enough of a fix to tide me over to January when the Game of Thrones start again.


Well, it is off to be tortured with Xfactor until Criminal Minds brings on someone that is about to be killed.

Whose Reality Is It Anyway?

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I was so excited! I had three days off with no papers to grade and a moment of respite. I was also home alone for the evening. You know what this meant. I stripped down to my favorite t-shirt. I snuck into the kitchen and opened a can of Coke after 7 pm, stuck in a bag of Lime & Sea Salt popcorn in the ole microwave and headed for my bed. It was going to be a night of television accompanied by a bag of popcorn, a Snickers bar and yeah, that full strength Coke. I was going to be up all night watching the boob tube.

I felt like the boob.

There wasn’t a darn thing on but reality television.

I found a show on people who bid on storage lockers.

I found a show on truckers who drive in Alaska or some frozen tundra.

Games shows, game hoes and people who competed for affection adorned the screen. I flipped more channels. There were people forced into rehab, celebrities in rehab and houses that needed rahab. There were skinny people who ate too little who trade lives with people who ate too much. Families with dogs that ran the house and houses with cats that over ran the house. Pregnant teens, bad parents, strict parents, organ donations, animal collectors, bone collectors, and hoarders.There were pawn stars, repo men, tattoo artists, barn divers, con artist, pest control, people who eat weird stuff, people who collect weird stuff, and people who are just plain weird.

Yes, I saw an episode of Swamp People. I found these people just simply disturbing as I continued watching and eating my popcorn. I don’t think anyone on the show had a full set of teeth. It is evidently their second season and no one has paid their dental bill. But then, I saw it.

A hair growing contest called Whisker Wars.

I turned into a sixteen year old and started to text all of my friends with something similar to, “Dude, WTF?”

I am fed up with reality television and I want to know, whose reality is this anyway?

Television is supposed to be a form of escapism. Tuning in to a bunch of foul mouthed women who were lucky enough to snag the most unattractive professional athletes on the team, does not really make for good television. It only proves you are a gold digger. I also cannot see the entertainment value of dismemberments, crime scene investigations, understanding the criminal mind or understanding criminal intent for that matter. If they are criminals their mind set is to commit crimes and their intent is to commit more crimes until they are caught. I don’t need corporate sponsors to support this idea, you could go over and find this out from my neighbor’s son.

I am fed up with talent shows that seem to wake up the most talentless people who wish to be seen. We are all promised 15 minutes of fame, but the case of Jersey Shore has turned it into three years. Three years of bad behavior, misogynist, and drunk women looking to score is not television programming. Really, is this what we have come too? Is this your reality because it sure as heck is not mine?

I don’t care if you think you can dance, or if you feel you’ve got talent, or you want to be an idol. I want to see someone on Good Morning America that has earned a SAG card for actually working on a situation comedy, a drama, or documentary. I long for the days when actors honed their skills and studied their crafts. I want to see movie stars who played a fantastic role that did not require spandex tights and comic book. I don’t want to see rappers turned actors turned moguls. I don’t want to see moguls turn actors fire has beens. I don’t want to see singers who want to be cool, who have dated their way up the acting couch, and can’t act their way out of a friendship, who now have starring movie roles. I want Joan Crawford. I want Dorothy Dandridge, I want a young Clint Eastwood although the current one is still pretty super awesome.

I miss Seinfeld. I miss Frasier, Cosby, Martin and heck Three’s Company for that matter. Mr. Furley was destined to say something to make you chuckle.

Before you say turn it off if you feel that way, I want to add, but why should I? In order for me to enjoy any television I must have cable. Therefore I am paying for television and this means I am going to watch it. As the consumer, I deserve better. I have been banned from watching HGTV because I did not understand they could redo a room in an hour, but in reality, that project takes a lot longer.

I am angry with Chopped because your mystery basket is no different than every third pantry and in almost any home across the world. How can I stretch these few random items and make it into a three course meal? That was year two of our marriage, and I am not impressed. I am angry with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire because we all want to be one. I don’t have to phone a friend for confirmation. And if you have $X million dollars to give to the winner of the XFactor, why can’t you put that same money into social security so Nana doesn’t have to worry about how she is going to eat in 2012.

I give up.

I must go because there are only 30 of those Tignanello bags left in this round and I have to call QVC.