buzz off*I enjoy watching television. I have my favorite shows: Boss is very good; True Blood is wild; Weeds is just crazy; I love The Game; The Good Wife is quite dramatic; and Modern Family is just funny; Unsung is a great program; and I like sports. I never miss the Laker’s play basketball; boxing; plus I’ll watch just about any team play football, arena, college or pro.  Yep, I enjoy a good show. With programming offered on broadcast channels, Cable, Satellite, On Demand and the Internet… there’s no doubt that you can find a show or shows that suits your fancy. There’s a whole lot of content to watch and enjoy.
My advisers… yes, I have a “board” of highly opinionated regulators, suggest I should be watching and commenting on the singing competition shows like American Idol;  X Factor; America’s Got Talent; The Voice; etc., etc., you know the shows, there are way too many of them… but to be honest,  I don’t like reality TV shows.  For my money you can toss them all. To me, there’s nothing real about reality TV. That includes the singing, dancing and performance competitions as well. I think most are contrived and I don’t have a lot of respect for some of the people on those shows. Come on, Paula Abdul as a judge of talent? Are you serious? She’s a glorified cheer leader. What does she know about singing… really? Simon Cowell may know talent but he’s a pompous jerk, and Howie Mandrel is a joke; no really, that’s what he’s there for, comic relief. And now we hear that Howard Stern will be a judge on America’s Got Talent. What role will he play, a meaner nastier Simon? Plus I’m fearful that the music industry is leaning too heavily on these music and performance competition shows to be talent pools for new artists to sign. If that’s the case, the music styles may become too common, too mainstream as the contestants battle for mass appeal acceptance. History paints a mixed bag when you think about past competition winners. Ruben Studdard and Fantasia have not even approached the success of Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson among others.
Low brow reality shows like Jersey Shore (with that tramp Snookie); Celebrity Apprentice (with that ego-maniac and major hater– the Donald); Keeping Up with the Kardashians (showcases the totally self-absorbed pimp-stress of reality TV, Kim ‘I love black ballers’ Kardashian); and the Housewives of wherever and Basketball Wives (there are too many crazy women on these franchises to mention) make me crazy. They’re just garbage! I’m sorry but that’s how I feel. I tell whoever will listen, “They’re TV shows. Don’t believe the hype. It’s all entertainment, total manipulation”.  It’s amazing to me how many people buy into this junk and think it’s real. I know I may be stepping on some toes. For all I know, some of these programs may be among your guilty pleasures.  Is it me or does it seem like the more outrageous these shows become, the wilder these shows become, the stupider our elected officials and civic leaders become. It’s all a show. I didn’t always feel this way. Back in the day I watched Being Bobby Brown. Seeing Bobby and Whitney interact in the circus they called life was wild. It was humorous at first but it wasn’t long before it got sad and embarrassing.  Think about it, whose reality is having a camera crew and a gang of producers hang on your every word and follow every move all day and night? I heard one of those “so-called” reality TV stars say the shows aren’t scripted, and what you see is real. I say real fake. Most of these “non-scripted” reality shows are still directed by producers. Think about it. Every episode has a plot; the stars of the show have an objective… they’re on task when they hit a bump in the road. Enter the adversary. Now we have a conflict. It’s the drama that makes the ratings… the more dramatic, the more over the top, the more outrageous, the better. Then, after the commercial break; the resolve and everything is… well, all good or all bad. Either way, you’re hooked and jonesin’ to see the next installment. Sounds like a script to me.
And will somebody please tell the local TV News Directors that updates on American Idol and Dancing with The Stars are not news stories. I’d prefer some real news with my nightly newscast. Is that too much to ask?  Maybe I’m just too logical to buy into this psychological, adolescent, jhedi-mind-trick? Maybe I’m just too old and out of the reality show demo? Or maybe we should all expect… no, demand something better.  Reality is real. Life is reality.
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kevin fleming

Kevin Fleming