Thursday, October 4, 2007

Why Aren't I Into . . .

. . . reality t.v.

My husband and I do not have live t.v. stations. We do have rabbit ears, but our 3 stations alternate between sort of fuzzy and so fuzzy you can’t see anything, so we haven’t watched a commercial-laden television show (at home) in probably 3 years. This whole no t.v. experiment began out of financial necessity and has continued because we’re just used to it. Though sometimes I miss being “in on” the stuff that everyone else is talking about – I have never watched a full episode of American Idol beginning to end, and so frequently talk around the water cooler excludes me – it’s not enough to make me change. We are devout members of Netflix, and the bulk of our Netflix queue is great t.v. series, so we still enjoy a lot of television shows. I think a lot of well-written t.v. is a high art form, to be admired and absorbed just like a fine night of theatre or a stirring painting or sculpture. And a lot of bad t.v. is just a great way to completely veg out if you’re tired, or sick, or just had ONE OF THOSE DAYS and need to escape from life for a half hour or so.

OK, so here’s the point. I am just absolutely not into reality t.v. I never have been. I realize that I am writing to an audience of devout DWTS watchers, and American Idol devotees, and I promise again this is not a personal attack against you. Just against your beloved shows. I know you watch it tongue in cheek. I know you watch it because it’s kitschy and ridiculous. But I just can’t do it. When it comes on, I want to throw my shoe at the set. I scream at the stupidity of some of the people. I curse the networks that presume I am emotionally retarded, and cannot see the editing and the soul-stirring music for the emotional manipulation that it is. I roll my eyes at the hosts, who are rarely very articulate and who take themselves way the heck too seriously. I berate the writing, which doesn’t demand the smallest iota of intelligence from its viewers and spends much more time selling products to me than entertaining me. I get angry at some of the misogyny and racism that I see, sometimes subtle, sometimes casual, and often exploited for the point of ratings. I get wayyy too excited about this stuff.

I don’t see these shows very often - maybe at the gym. At friend’s houses. I have had enough exposure to know that I don’t want any more. DWTS and shows like it I don’t think are so bad – they are flash and color, pretty to look at, fun. The ones I truly truly hate are ones like Rock of Love, or the Ultimate Coyote Ugly, or any where women compete for the attention of men. I watched a beautiful, vibrant, smart, 180 pound woman (who unaccountably went on tv to try to become a Coyote Ugly bartender) do her exit speech thing after she got eliminated from the competition for “not preparing her body”. Her eyes grew bright, and her smile became a twisted grimace as she tried valiantly to hold it together, and she said “When 60 pounds comes between you and what you want, then you lose the 60 pounds.” I nearly cried with her. I do not want to watch this. This is real pain, twisted into melodrama, and I don’t know which annoys me more – that this lovely woman is taking this so seriously, or that the network is capitalizing on her sadness in such a cheap and tawdry way. Or, that they expect me to buy it. I don’t know.

So. That’s my rant. Call me a grump, or snooty, but I am what I am. And yes, I realize the irony of someone who blogs daily about her life being annoyed by reality t.v. Too bad.

Peace and Grumpy No TV Watching Love to you – G Love


super jane said...

the only reality show that i am truly into is 'amazing race.' i heart that show like no other. it's the action and the excitement and the far away lands they explore that gets me into it. sure there are some teams who scheme and play dirty and i'm sure it's for the ratings. it's the competition though that draws me in each week.

ps. i don't have cable either, so i've never heard of the shows you were describing in your entry - other than dwts, of course.

Wicked M said...

Am speechless...

No television is paramount to a death sentence to me, so I have no realm of understanding. I do admire your no t.v. watching though.

Reality t.v. is most of what makes me laugh the hardest and I love/hate it so much. And Rock of Love? Oh honey, you missed the show/train wreck of the summer. It was, in short, FREAKING AWESOME.

Oh reality t.v., how I adore you! I adore glove too!

MSO Rin said...

Eh. I prefer my TV scripted, but I can't seem to turn off a few reality shows. I won't name them here, b/c I'm going to probably end up making one of them a wonder. Sorry, G Love, you'll have to wing it (or put something into your queue).

Let me just be superior and self-righteous for a moment and remind the world that stageXing and I were Netflixing before Netflixing was cool. We were the first wave, baby.