Copyright 2007 by William A. Mays, Proprietor
Some among society's intellectual elites continue to declare the so-called reality television programs to be sure signs of the "dumbing down of America." If America is, indeed, being dumbed down, it is not due to the beaming of this particular variety of TV show into the households of our American families. Rather, it is more likely because not enough of its citizens are reading the Police Gazette! No, the real cause of the huge -- and, to some, distressing -- popularity of reality TV programming is the fact that the fiction brand of the same has been so God-awful.
To say that "regular" television programming -- in the form of the usual fictional serial dramas, comedies and movies -- has appeared to have been written, directed and acted by incompetent imbeciles clearly missing a chromosome is a kind understatement. In shear desperation and urgent need did the always reliable viewers of America turn to the reality show in order to sate their woefully unquenched thirst for quality pathos, insight, and performance par excellence.
That everyone responsible for current fictional television -- from the highest executive producer to the lowest apprentice assistant grip -- should be banned for life from ever working in television again is a given. But until the void can be filled with artisans who actually possess talent, reality television programs will have to continue serving as the cultural stopgap they have become.
|The Truth About
the Popularity of Reality TV