Endless Musings

This blog contains the random thoughts, feelings, and observations of a slightly "left of normal" young woman.

Friday, February 18, 2005

TV Trash

I used to have cable, but I got rid of it a few months back. It was mostly an economic decsion. I decided that it would be better to take the money I was spending on 100+ channels of (mostly)lame programs and use it to pay off my car and get a handle on my debt.
When I am home alone I usually prefer to read and/or listen to music. Side note here; almost nothing is funnier than muting the televison and playing music over political speechs. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" by Bob Dylan is great to play over almost any political speech. If you time it just right, it almost looks like the speaker is saying the song. "Masters of War" by Bob Dylan was the perfect song to compliment George and Laura dancing at the inaugural ball. It looked as if they were swaying along to the tune.
Most of the time when I'm really watching and listening I prefer PBS. PBS has fewer commercials and better programs than the networks. Every now and then I'll check out the networks just to see what rivoting television I've been depriving myself of.
The other day I decided to check out Fox. No not Fox News (no cable remember.) I watched part of an American Idol episode. Now, I'll admit that I have sneaked peeks at this show during the previous contests. I've usually peeked once or twice when the first couple episodes are aired. I do find it amusing to see the clips of the terrilbe singers who are also apparently terribly deluded (or so desperate for their 15 seconds that they will humiliate themselves on t.v.) I've also peeked at the final show of the contest because some of those kids actually are good singers and by the end the lame ones have been weeded out. No, I've never followed the show or voted.
As I was watching the episode that was aired earlier this week it dawned on me that I was watching a bunch of people basically being psychologically tortured for good ratings. I understand the theory that anyone who attempts to make a living in show business has to be prepared for criticism and rejection. However, the way that the show is set up and the people are dealt with it's obvious that they are playing games with these people to enhance their reactions and boost the show's ratings.
At one point they had the last two men to be judged and only one was going on to the next round. So they had both guys go in front of the judges. First they dragged it out by asking both guys irrelevant questions. Then one of the judges looked at one of the guys and started to say, "We're so sorry...." Then a pause to add suspense and a closeup of the guy's falling face. Then the judge went on to tell the guy that he made it through.
This was far from being the only obvious attempt to torture the contestants for the viewing audiance's pleasure, but I'm sure you get the point. I admit I found myself drawn in. It's almost like driving past a bad accident; you don't want to look, but your head turns anyways.
Another lame show airing on Fox is The Simple Life Interns. This wasn't the first peek I had of Paris and Nicole. I had watched about 15 minutes of The Simple Life last season. It was funny for about 3 minutes and then it just annoyed me. I remember thinking that nobody can be as stupid as these girls. I'm not saying that I think either one of them is hiding their Mensa credentials, but the way they act on these shows has got to be an act. If they were truely as dumb as they behave they would probably forget how to breath.
I watched the Simple Life episode that was on this week. They got internships at a funeral home. Now, as dumb as they act, I find it even harder to comprehend why anyone running a real business would hire them (even for one day.) Maybe these business owners think that the publicity of being on television will be good for business. I doubt that most people would want to utilize a funeral home who (for whatever reasons) would hire Paris and Nicole. Of course, that's just my opinion.
The Simple Life just seems to me to be one more "reality" show that has become way too unreal.
Yesterday, I broke away from Fox (my brain cells are still thanking me.) I decided to give CBS a shot. Then they decided to run a two hour episode on the "secret" life of Michael Jackson. I can't comment too much on this because I only watched about 5 minutes (that's how long it took me to find the remote.)
I don't have an opinion about Jackson's guilt or innocence. I don't spend that much time thinking about Michael Jackson. I can understand why so many would think that he's gulity. Afterall, he has been marketing himself as one strange puppy ever since I can remember. On the other hand, I can see why people might want to take advantage of his money and strangness to blackmail him. Again, I don't really believe one way or another. I don't know if I would have formed an opinion had I actually watched the whole episode, but I doubt it.
What upsets me is that at a time when; our nation is at war, our country is being split at the seams, and all hell is breaking out globally, CBS designates 2 hours to the "secret" life of Michael Jackson.
I'm sick and tired of Michael Jackson being one of the first stories reported when the evening news comes on. It's not just Jackson either. It seems to me that whenever a celebrity has legal problems, splits from their lover, or farts real loud that the press is all over it. All the sudden these bs stories are right up there with the news from Iraq. I know that there is a place for "human intrest" stories, but not on the same page as the war.
I know some people would point out the irony of this post. I've taken the time to write a trivial post about how trivial televsion is. I would hope that anyone who thinks that will see the irony that they've just spent their time reading this post.
That being said, my break is over. Back to work. So glad the company I work for gives us President's Day off. Some people might find that odd, but it's a Japanese/American company and in Japan they get a whole week off for the emperor's birthday.
Hope eveyone out there has a great weekend. Don't watch too much t.v!


  • At 11:53 AM, Anonymous sloan_ranger said…

    Very interesting writing - totally with you in TV. PBS has some great programs, NOVA, Frontline especially.

    I also ditched cable - it just magnifies the emptyness of "entertainment".

    I may do a blog one day, writing is very therapeutic. Oh yeah, the music to tv is great.

    and I enjoy your post on yahoo, it is how I found this site.

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