Reality TV: The golden age of mediocrity


Throughout the week, I’ve been trying to find studies that prove that reality TV makes people dumb, however i was unable to find substantial evidence, so I’m left to simply rant about it. Most studies have been centered around viewing habits and socio economic status. Ironically, for the poor, increased viewing for children leads to higher test scores. But i digress.

There seems to be a lack of consistency in how we treat each other compared to what entertains us. In a generation where we’ve made a push against bullying, why are we entertained by watching people hit rock bottom? Why is it ok to teach your kid not to bully, but to laugh at people on Intervention, when their lives are falling apart? It was ok to laugh at the Jerry Springer show, because it was mostly staged, and it seemed to be the only show of its kind, but now we see it on almost every channel.

Dont get me wrong. I don’t think theres anything wrong with being shocking or vulgar. I grew up idolizing George Carlin, Sam Kinison, and Richard Pryor and now love comics like Doug Stanhope, Bill Burr and the late Patrice O’neal. Those were comics that crossed lines and lived on the edge, but the difference is that their material were well thought out and   had a point to it.

Today, all you need to run a successful show are are 10 or so early 20’s college drop outs, throw them in a house with no tv or cell phones and a lot of alcohol. Hell, you could probably get a chimp to pitch the show to MTV and get it green lit.

TV execs are well aware that they are putting out a mediocre product, but why do they do it? Because it’s cheaper and it sells. Why pay talented actors, writers and directors good money to produce a show, when you can get a bunch of goons with no talent, pay them nothing and put it on the air. I’m not saying that theres nothing good on TV anymore. I’m just saying that our choice of quality programming has decreased. With the hundreds of channels out there, I feel like theres maybe only 4 or 5 thats watchable these days.

Thats my take on reality TV. Thanks for reading. I feel much better that i got this out.



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