Can someone please explain America’s love for the insanity that pervades TV?
First of all, many of them are not “reality shows.”
They are scripted, acted and produced with little or no spontaneity. There’s more realism in the conservations I have with my dog, Stanley, than there is in the Kardashians’ kitchen.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t sit around reading Chaucer or quoting Shakespeare.
You can often find me twisted up on the couch watching “The NFL’s Top Ten Hardest Acts to Follow,” or a James Bond movie from 1973 that I’ve already seen 17 times.
I don’t need to watch “Schindler’s List” every day or (shudder) “Masterpiece Theatre.” Reruns of “Charlie’s Angels” are fine with me because, hey, I’m a guy.
Fifty years ago Newton Minow, the Federal Communications Commission chairman for President Kennedy referred to television as “a vast wasteland.”
He was talking about “Leave it to Beaver,” Hoss Cartwright and that picture of the Indian that used to be transfixed on the tube early on Saturday mornings as I waited for “Huckleberry Hound” to arrive.
I recently learned that Mr. Minow is still living despite being subjected to endless hours of Simon on “American Idol.”
Can you imagine what he thinks of Honey Boo-Boo?
What do you think he would call that?
I know what it should be called.
“The Black Hole of All Culture Since the Dawn of Man.”
I’ve seen a lot of other drivel on television lately and this what I think those shows should be called.
“Washed-up Celebrities Who Can’t Dance Anymore Either.”
“Let’s Fix Your Worthless Restaurant and Restore Dignity to Your Dysfunctional Family.”
“I Bet I Can Find More Stupid Junk Than You Can Out of Some Dead Person’s Storage Unit.”
“Let’s Catch a Big Bunch of Fish and Cuss a Lot.”
“Rich Women With Nothing Better to Do Than Try On 5,000 Wedding Dresses, Whine a Lot and Pick None of Them.”
“Cooking Casseroles With Pine Nuts, Australian Kale, Vietnamese Vinegar and All Kinds of Other Stuff You’ll Never Find.”
I could go on, but you get the idea.
I know, I know, none of these shows would be on TV if there weren’t audiences.
I also fully realize that people watch a lot of these shows like “Jerry Springer” to see buffoons perform so they can feel better about themselves.
It’s the “Thank God that’s not me!” syndrome.
I’d rather watch Premier League soccer, do crossword puzzles and ask Stanley if he can come up with a seven-letter word for taste.