By David Moody
January 28, 2014
I’m not a big television viewer. Except for football and a handful of shows, I just don’t have the time and now I’m pretty sure I have stepped into some sort of time warp, sent reeling into a future dominated by the dumbing down of America.
Suffering from a virus not quite as devastating as the Spanish Flu pandemic but certainly close to an Ebola-like ailment, I spent three days relegated to my sofa, where with only the TLC of my three-month-old puppy Lola and a remote control I was left to my own devices to recuperate. I would have been better off working a detail at the county work farm when it was all said and done.
First off, I need to ask this, even if it is rhetorical: Did all of the talented writers take a hiatus or has our society become so shallow they are no longer needed?
What I mean is this, simply put, when did the requirement for entertainment become about reality TV to the point that it seems there are more people with actual reality shows than there are people to watch them? I’m wondering if there’s something wrong with me now because I don’t have a show of my own.
I wouldn’t think it was because my life wasn’t exciting enough, because based on some of the things I saw in that three day period almost makes me afraid to even leave my home.
I’ll give you a few examples of what I’m talking about.
As I was trolling through channels I happened across a program, and no, I refuse to give the title as I’m afraid I would be responsible for someone tuning in only to lose a hundred points or so in IQ, but suffice it to say it was about growing up a rich kid in Hollywood.
Wow, what a pair these two particular girls turned out to be. For one, and I wouldn’t dream of even stretching the truth here, her goal in life was to develop a skill beyond signing a credit card bill. That was it, nothing more, and it didn’t get better from there as these two complained their way through meals costing hundreds of dollars, shopped until their hearts’ content, and complained about how hard it all was, signing those receipts and walking of all things.
Not only did I discover the lax and lackluster existence of some is supposed to be entertaining, I discovered there isn’t a profession under the sun that doesn’t have its own show. Pawn shops, gator hunters, storage facilities, lumberjacks, truck drivers, etc., all have their own shows and I don’t get it.
These are the same jobs most Americans wouldn’t do if they were offered to them, yet, according to the number and wide and varied subject matter, these are the same jobs that are so exciting that millions of viewers tune in each week to see who catches the most crabs. Maybe it’s just me and I don’t get it, and chances are that’s exactly what the issue is, but the appeal and purpose escapes me completely.
To top things off, as I am on the mend and beginning to feel as if I might actually survive, I discover something that just makes my heart proud of the Palmetto State. It seems one of the thousands of cable channels felt it of the utmost importance to put a group of people from above the Mason-Dixon line in the same house with some of the good, young folk from South Carolina for the express purpose of filming them party for days on end.
There’s no plot, no goal, no contest as far as I can tell, just one big party. I can only imagine how these kids parents must feel, because I know how proud I am.
I suppose this is just going to be one of those things I don’t get and all I can do is hope that the trend will eventually pass. I have to have enough faith and hope in mankind to believe there’s no way I am going to have to deal with this for the rest of my life, entertainment designed to be cheap in production cost and reality based on anything but.
All I can say is I’m thankful to be on the mend and reading a book is no longer a chore and I can hopefully regain some of what I lost in intelligence over the weekend. But I will say this, it wasn’t a total waste of time because I have since discovered reality isn’t what TV tries to make it out to be. There are no divas or drama in my life except for Lola, and I can put her in the backyard.
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and Powdersville Post and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.