Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Unreality TV

Last night I was flipping around the tube to see if there was something better to watch than "The Biggest Loser: Couples;" I stumbled upon "90210," this century's version of the 1990s TV staple. The thirty-seconds I watched were painful to say the least, with a strained conversation between Kelly and Brenda, also staples from the 1990s that were brought back to life for a new generation.

I'll admit - I watched the original "Beverly Hills, 90210" back in its hey day, for all the trash and unlikely circumstances they all found themselves in. It was the "Dynasty" of our age. And what girl didn't swoon over Luke Perry or Jason Priestley?? When they recently decided to bring the show back, I rolled my eyes and thought, "oh great, another show about spoiled teens in California. How novel." However, when the original debuted, believe it or not, it was novel. Back then , us kids didn't have a show to call our own with heavy drama - however unrealistic...and we had to walk to school in the snow, uphill, both ways, with newspaper tied around our feet...

In those days, I also watched another "novel" show that was created to counter the fake sun baked brattiness of BH - "The Real World." It was one of the first "reality" shows to grace TV, and, although it played on character stereotypes, seemed about as real as it could be - then. But it opened the door wide open - actually, you could say it just broke the door off the hinges - to more seasons of "The Real World" and cheesy spin-offs, and now we find ourselves swimming in a sea of so-called reality TV that is about as real as the Tooth Fairy. You name it, there is a reality show about it, and more often than not, the people on the shows depict the lowest denominator of our society.

Sure, there are good, scripted shows on TV today - some of my favorites are "House" "Flight of the Conchords" and I hear "Dexter" is worth a view. But these days, I have to wonder when we will ever return to quality programming that doesn't involve ex-strippers, jockeys, fat camps, wannabe rappers, wannabe singers, wannabe dancers, and just plain wannabes.

I thought about this last night as I changed the channel back to "The Biggest Loser."

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