The trash that’s on TV now is laughable at best. Whatever happened to well written, well acted meaningful TV, and by meaningful, I mean it serves a purpose, either bearing a great lesson or moral or provides inspiration to one’s spirit? We all remember a handful of shows over the course of our lives that positively impacted or inspired us to do something better with our lives. Shows like that for me growing up were the likes of Little House on the Prairie which featured a family living in Walnut Grove Minnesota in the late 1800s. It had a strong sense of family, morality and community. It taught us lessons on tolerance, compassion, the value of education, finding true love, grief and loss. I watched this show every week as a kid, it was just such a great show with a lot of heart. Other shows that I feel shaped me as a person today are shows like, the Bionic Woman, which was about tennis pro Jaime Sommers turned bionic agent after a skydiving accident taking her place alongside Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man. She was tall, athletic with strong values and she totally kicked ass . She was a great heroine for little girls everywhere.
Even shows like The Cosby Show which was wildly popular in the 80’s, tackled some serious family issues and provided some great role models again for women, whether you wanted to be a high powered attorney like Claire Huxtable or an A Student like Vanessa, or worldly like Denise (I wanted to be Denise). Grant you, these are old TV shows that many of you probably haven’t watched but there are some great newer ones too.
Lost– Was a phenomenally written show with a terrific cast that kept pulling you back week after week.
Doctor Who– is a brilliantly imaginative show that has stood the test of time for 50 years. (please see my article titled, “Things I’ve Learned from Doctor Who” https://sparkyleegeek.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/things-ive-learned-from-doctor-who/
Jeopardy-Inspiring and challenging Nerds everywhere since 1984 having failed 5 times previously, it’s been around for nearly 50 years.
Survivor Man– Les Stroud teaches us valuable survival skills in the off chance we find ourselves stranded in Labrador with only a pen knife, a harmonica and some video equipment.
Coronation Street– it’s been on TV for over 50 years and although it’s a soap, it is part of my daily routine and just like a crack head who runs out, I too become very agitated and froth at the mouth when I miss Corrie. Please see my article titled, “For the Love of the Cobbles” https://sparkyleegeek.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/119/
Parks and Recreation– There is some real wisdom in this show, whether you’re following the words of a stoic Ron Swanson or noble Leslie Knope, fast talking Tom Haverford or incompetent Jerry Gurgich, this is one of the funniest shows I have watched in a long time.
What kinds of examples are we setting for kids with shows like Honey Boo Boo, Where low to no class is the norm and people eat spaghetti sauce made of ketchup and butter? The family is loud, obnoxious, uneducated and crude, and have I mentioned a top rated show on TLC right now?
The problem is that we, as a society, now focus on and exploit the weak, the ignorant, the untalented and the dysfunctional. We’ve turned in to a nation of passive bullies. Laughing and making fun of people from the comfort of our living rooms, pointing out flaws and imperfections of others and often, we’re doing this in front of children. This is a problem; this is teaching kids to A) feel insecure about themselves if they’re different, or B) having kids emulate people like the intellectually void kids of Jersey Shore or the Kardashians. Why do people still care about them anyway? It perplexes me truly.
There are a few great shows out there, which I say in the utmost sarcasm like Cake Boss which is in its 3rd or 4th season now, which chronicles one family and their cake business. I’m still wondering how this one became a hit. Big Brother, which clumps a bunch of vain egotistical half wits in a house for several weeks competing for cash is very enlightening if you enjoy politics and real world issues- no I’m kidding, it’s crap. Let’s not forget the must see Girls Next Door which is about playmates who have spread their legs all the way to Heff’s bedroom and back. That’s some thrilling real life documentary style programming. Don’t even get me started on the brilliantly underrated Donald trump and his little cash cow The Apprentice. Yes, we definitely need more of The Trump, said no one ever.
Where are all the thought provoking shows, the documentaries, the Six Feet Unders and Oz’s and X Files? Maybe if we actually started watching TV shows rather than simply being background noise while we do other things, we’d see the return of more well scripted shows. So in a time where I normally preach to Turn off your TV, this time I’m suggesting that should you have to have the TV on, make sure it’s something valuable. If you can’t learn something from it, change the channel or simply turn it off.
Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,
Annoying, Pointless, Stupid Useless TV Shows: http://www.imdb.com/list/aKfGGHeOQjs/
Best Television Creators and Producers of All Time: http://www.imdb.com/list/2FqH5LwrOao/
9 Smart TV Shows to Think About: http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-lists/9-smart-tv-shows-to-think-about/
15 Most Influential Shows of the Decade (2009) http://www.tv.com/news/the-15-most-influential-shows-of-the-decade-20276/