It is amazing how quickly time flies. One minute you are a young child during the 1960s watching television when it was in its youth commercially, the next minute you’re watching your neighbor beat the hell out of his girlfriend on Jerry Springer.
Shows like HR Puff N Stuff about a boy who visited a world inside a hat or Gilligan’s Island, about seven stranded people on a island were entertaining, imaginative and fun. It is 2014 and you’re at mid-life watching drunk pregnant 16 year-old Beverly Hills housewives wearing high heel shoes and dancing, farting, cursing and fighting with Hip Hop hos and spoiled rich kids with weaves who are dancing, farting, cursing and fighting with hoarders and people with cat-litter-sniffing fetishes while Iron Chefs serve up fancy cooking in less than three and a half minutes.
Back in the stone-age when I was a child there were a plethora of children’s programs, (wrote briefly about it in another blog, Tee Vee, the new City Job). But, I also watched adult programs with my mother. Adult programs back then were shown when I had to be in bed, from 7:30pm to 8pm. But, I was allowed to watch these shows because they were relatively harmless. Shows like Batman and Robin (1966-68), featured two comic book crime-fighting men in tights who fought with animated graphics flashing on the screen with every blow.
Wild Wild West (1965-69), was a fantasy Sci-Fi Western set during the Victorian era, and featured two secret service crime-fighting men, Robert Conrad & Ross Martin, who lived on a locomotive train. A very fit Robert Conrad wore tight pants and a matching cropped bolero jacket showing off his very fit body! I was only a kid, but I thought Robert was dead sexy!
I Dream of Jeannie (1965-70) and Bewitched (1964-69) were family-oriented shows about men in love with genies and witches.
Television during my first decade of life helped to spark my creative imagination. Those shows were glorious, adventurous, fantasy-oriented and fun. Then again, isn’t everyone’s first decade of life FUN? Of course it is. No stress, no bills, no taxes, no rent, no mortgage, no cheating, lying boyfriends or girlfriends.
Fast forward to the new millennium with “Reality Television.” These programs are not so much entertaining and fun as they are polluted. All you see on tee vee nowadays is damaged, drunken, fighting, pregnant, drug-addicted, half-naked, narcissistic, mentally-challenged, belligerent non-artists who perform “semi-scripted” scenarios with edited “reactions.” These poor folks expose their lives on television for a paycheck and this is supposed to be entertaining. Hmmm.
I am not mad at anyone’s “hustle,” nothing wrong with making a living. Go on, get those “coins” however you can in this ratchet economy. But, today’s adult programming during a child’s first decade of life between 7:30pm and 10pm does not seem like reasonable programming for child or even a parent, does it? And where is the imagination sparked? How?
Granted, there is a huge difference between the 1960s and 2014, I get it. But, what is imaginative about an attractive, but overly exposed AND overly sexed, mature woman who popped out a gaggle of kids from her well-worn honeypot then “pimped” out her kids for millions of dollars? Actually, that’s pretty cool that her kids can make their own money. But, what is entertaining about her beautiful, but creatively challenged brood lamenting that they’re too tired to eat salad from shopping all day? What is fun about watching the same formula? Examples:
Angry pregnant 16 year-old Real Housewives and Hip Hop side chicks battling with their emotionally lost boyfriends and fighting and drinking.
Beverly Hills bitches fighting, drinking and falling off their Louboutin “red bottoms.”
Minister’s kids fighting and drinking.
Rapper’s and their baby’s moms and wives fighting and drinking.
Attractive staff of upscale restaurants fighting, drinking, f**king and posing.
Rich spoiled brats fighting, drinking, shopping and hating on poor folks.
Duck callers calling out gays and blacks and drinking, farting, hoarding, and picking bugs out of their bears.
Farting rednecks drinking “moonshine,” falling into mud and eating butter and ketchup.
Singer wannbes fighting and drinking with her best friend’s cousin’s sister’s husband’s brother’s next door neighbor’s son’s half-sister’s father.
“Little” people having temper tantrums and arguing and wishing they were taller.
Broke rappers with wives AND three or four baby’s mothers fighting, drinking and make more babies they can’t afford to support until they get that one big hit.
16 and pregnant wealthy gay Hollywood spoiled midget Eskimo mud wrestling Tuvan throat singing Housewife ministers rapping, fighting, drinking, falling off their shoes, cursing, calling out gays and blacks and farting and shopping. My head hurts.
I deem these shows “Absurdist Voyeurism Theatre.” I call it that because to me the viewer is looking into the semi-scripted lives of seemingly damaged individuals; theatre of the absurd and voyeuristic. Meanwhile producers of these horribly narcissistic displays revel in their programs. Producers even appear on television, on “after show specials” and on online blogs proudly displaying discontented and troubled “personalities.” They are unhappy that their show was edited to make them look bad , to make them go to jail or to make them seem like “hoes.” All I can say is if any of these shows get Emmys I will be certain the world has gone to hell in a hand basket! Then again, award shows are usually not always fair. (excluding this year’s Oscars)
Well, I can’t live in the past, I must move forward and accept that Reality Television is the new Hollywood. Or, perhaps I’m jealous that reality shows have become the new “city job” and everyone has one but me. Unfortunately, after this blog it will be too late for me to beg for a show of my own. And even if I got that opportunity, how would that look? What would I be, a mature woman with two elderly pussies and an expired bus pass living alone and sitting at bus stops lecturing to people about how television was “way better back when I was a kid!” Unless I’m beating the hell out of one of my kitties or they’re beating the hell out of me, or I’m hoarding cat litter who the hell would watch?! Maybe someone will develop a show about “mature” people who date, fart, fight, drink, shop, fall, curse, rap. Yikes, sounds horrible!
Actually, perhaps I could do a web series or radio program. Everyone’s online these days, the internet is television of the new Millennium with a plethora of “real” people trying their hand at entertaining the masses. They display true talents and are entertaining more so than what Hollywood has to offer. And some of them make a living doing what they love; good for them, this is the era for the “under dog” to finally shine.
Okay, so I will take back my original rant, or at least I won’t pontificate on it anymore. I realize children these days don’t have to watch Absurdist Voyeurism Theatre, they can make their own cute videos playing with their dogs and cats or eating bowls of cereal and get featured on the Ellen Show. As for me, I can always watch TVLand or MeTV or better yet, You Tube which features all of the great old programs that I loved. Including variety shows of the 1970s like Carol Burnett, one of my favs, Sonny and Cher, the Jackson Five, Donny and Marie and 1970s/80s/90s sitcoms like The Jeffersons; Taxi; Good Times; WKRP; Cheers; Married With Children; Frazier. 1990s comedy shows like MadTV, brilliant, and In Living Color. Yeap, I can do that, I can watch stuff online and even the old stuff from my childhood and I’ll be happy.
Until next time good luck to all of you out there making your living putting your lives out there for the entire world to see and judge. I can’t judge anyone, but I can comment on my likes and dislikes and of course I don’t have to watch your shows, right? I truly wish all you personalities the best. As for the producers and exec producers and programmers of these reality shows, hopefully the economy will turn around and things will change for the better. And, quality programs for children, families, and single old cat ladies will elevate and entertain. When that happens, me and my two elderly pussies will dance naked at the bus stop and date, fight, drink, shop, fall, curse, hoard, fart and rap. Now, that vision would be truly absurd if you ask me!