Hell’s TV

tv

One of the worse things about staying home with nothing much to do has been watching daytime TV with it’s various reruns of previously popular shows. 

What has happened to television?  I remember a time when we could hardly wait for Monday night and “I Love Lucy” to come on. There were funny shows on television, “sitcoms.” We watched the likes of Dick Van Dike, Mary Tyler Moore, Lucille Ball or Carroll O’Connor and laughed like hyenas.

Somewhere over the rainbow television went haywire.  We have satellite TV now, zillions of channels to flip through, but, there is nothing to watch. Reality television has taken over the air waves, like a quarterback with the football.

We watch chefs prepare food in the kitchen while ducking vicious curses thrown at them like pots and pans. We watch “teams” on a deserted island connive, scheme, and lie to survive a game of elimination to win a million dollars — and a lifetime supply of mosquito repellent, I assume. We watch singles form emotional liaisons and coldly eliminate the competitors to come up with the perfect match, whom they dump as soon as the show ends.  And worst of all, we watch guts and gore as crime scenes assault us like scenes from Steven King’s worst nightmare.

I try to watch TV while a Nanny teaches parents how to take care of their own kids. They are fighting, jumping, biting and screaming little monsters until the parents find out about “time out” and declare war on Sippy cups. Have these people never heard of Dr. Spock? After 30 minutes, I cannot stand listening to screaming kids any longer as my eardrums might burst and send me flying around room like a balloon losing its air.

Hell’s Kitchen, aptly named, is hell for TV viewers as well. It used to be that restaurants had front stage and back stage. Front stage was where the patrons were, and we were never subjected to the goings-on involved in the preparation of food.  If we wanted to see food prepared, we would go  to mom’s house for dinner.  Now we get to see chefs overcook or under cook steaks, throw away enough food to end world hunger, curse like pirates with a toothache, and sweat like sumo wrestlers.

Contestants on game shows now have no questions to answer but only numbers to choose. No skill is involved, merely chance. Enormous amounts of money are turned down as contestants say “no deal” to try to get even more.  It’s like an addiction. More often than not, they end up as runaway racecars that can’t quit trying to win until they crash on the wall.  Greed in all it’s glory. Not a pretty sight.

And those crime scene investigation shows — what can I say? You’ve all made the mistake of turning on the boob tube to the grizzly site of human remains, battered, slaughtered, burned beyond recognition, drawn and quartered and all on display for our entertainment and amusement. Almost worse than the shocking display of carnage is the indifferent attitude of the police and doctors who are as cold and cynical as a homeless person in January. When crime scene investigators stop caring, it’s time for them get out of the business.

Well, I could go on and on describing how television has gone south and there is nothing on it to watch. I wish we could have more comedy shows, television that makes us laugh like we are wearing fuzzy slippers. Maybe those days are gone forever. Viewers are now more sophisticated. What used to be funny isn’t as funny when we see it in a rerun. Networks are unwilling to pay comedy writers and want unscripted reality shows that can make the payments on their executive mansions.

How much more of this type of entertainment can we take before there is  mass hysteria in our living rooms? Is this actually considered interesting entertainment. No wonder so many no longer watch broadcast television and only stream movies or series. We can only hope that the pendulum swings back and viewers eventually get the last laugh.

Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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10 Responses to Hell’s TV

  1. Lois says:

    I also wonder what happened to the old days of comedy. You could come home from work or school and have a relaxing evening. Those evenings can be hard to find now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheila Moss says:

      If we can wake up early enough, Mayberry RFD is on in black & white. Unfortunately, I never wake up that early unless I have insomnia and haven’t slept all night.

      Like

  2. I have friends who love those reality shows. If I wanted to see screaming I could watch real life. TV is my happy place and there isn’t much happy there anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Almost Iowa says:

    Even the Evening News has gone to hell. It doesn’t matter whether you tune into ABC, NBC or CBS, the script is exactly the same, sometimes word for word:

    SOMETHING ABOUT COVID
    SOMETHING ABOUT TRUMP
    WEATHER IN NEW YORK
    PHARMACEUTICAL COMMERCIAL
    A HEARTWARMING STORY ABOUT COVID
    PHARMACEUTICAL COMMERCIAL
    PHARMACEUTICAL COMMERCIAL
    A HEARTWARMING STORY ABOUT SOMETHING OTHER THAN COVID
    PHARMACEUTICAL COMMERCIAL
    PHARMACEUTICAL COMMERCIAL
    PHARMACEUTICAL COMMERCIAL
    A HEARTWARMING STORY ABOUT SOMETHING OTHER THAN COVID

    I used to watch PBS NEWSHOUR but these days I have a hard time even watching them, because the first 50 stories on race, gender, LGBT issues or social justice were unique and interesting and had something to say…..but that was 500 stories ago and these days it has degenerated into nothing but repetitious woke chanting. Sadly, NPR has gone the same route.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. energywriter says:

    Agree. That’s why I watch less tv and read more books. Also PBS has some great shows.
    sd

    Liked by 1 person

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