Friday, April 15, 2011

Five Things on Friday: Over It Edition

This is me, rolling my eyes. Now I have a headache.
From holding that face for so long. For you. You're welcome.
Welcome, friends and neighbors to my fed up, crabby-pants life. I am so tired of the world in general and I feel that I absolutely must(!) vent about it. So, with very little lead-in, I present:

Five Things I am So Over

1. Reality TV - I've been ignoring this trend for what, a decade or more. I kept just thinking it would go away. Today, it has become increasingly clear that it is not going away. Yesterday I read that Lifetime and Hallmark Channel are losing viewers to MTV and Bravo because of their voyeristic reality programming. I was torn. As I hate the simpering, smaltziness of most Hallmark fare as much as the My Teenage Daughter's Lover Murdered Us All in our Sleep shock sensationalism of Lifetime as much as the idiocy behind the Another Perfectly Capable Group of Women Making a Living by Being Drunk and Degraded on MTV and Bravo. Then, today, I'm met with this article telling me that soap operas are being replaced with more talk and reality fare. And I don't know, I've never been a soap fan, but I can't imagine that this is a harbinger of happy things. It's not that I think we should ban reality TV or anything. Obviously, there is an audience. It just scares me that scripted TV is taking such a huge backseat to Whatever Show I Am Too Superior For This Week. Writing TV is art. Wait, let me explain before the eye rolling starts. Writing anything is art and when you write a TV series, you do all the things that any writer does: character development and evolution, plot twists and turns, metaphor - but you do them all in slow motion. Things can't change too quickly. You have to take your time getting there - always progressing a little but never too much. It's a huge challenge and one that millions of people will call you on if you mess up even a little. I would hate to lose that art to Cooking Paella with Former Playmates and Real Housewives.

2. The Mocking of Celebrity Kids - I'm gonna say right off the bat that Jen and Adam said it better than me (quite a while ago). But this week has woken me up to the size of the crisis. As I am not a 12 year old and neither is anyone in my house, so I'm pretty oblivious to a lot of this stuff, but yesterday I heard a comment on the radio that made me spit my coke at the dashboard. I immediately began to rationalize, certain that I had misheard and they had not just made a very derisive, very sexual comment about a Disney Star (I am not going to repeat the comment or the star. Suffice to say that she is not an adult and if I were her mother, I'd be suing the pants off someone.) I couldn't believe that this is passing as entertainment.Kids are kids. It doesn't matter if they are the kid next door or if they play the kid next door on TV. They are still kids. They worry about their homework and girls/boys. They stress over their clothes and what people say about them. Did you catch that last part?  Let's just agree right here to treat kids like kids no matter what's in their bank account.

3. 5:45 a.m.- Ugh. To get Brynna to school on time, I have to leave the house at 6:45, meaning that I have to be out of bed at 5:45. I cannot stand this hour of the day and it makes me want to claw out my eyeballs. I went to bed at 10 last night and I was still so tired I could barely move this morning. The worst part is that because of my fabulous 4+ year span between my girls - I get to do this for a decade. A DECADE! Frankly, at this point 5:45 is as much as selling point for private school as education and influence are.

4. Morning Radio - Here's the thing, I am pretty sure, not positive, but pretty sure that I am not the only person driving around with not-adults in the car. I mean, the length of Brynna's school's car line implies that there are at least a million or so of us in my county alone. So, what I want to know is, what's up with the morning shows? If they aren't sponsored by Trojan and all the strip clubs in the next town over, they are filled with innappropriate "stories" and "discussions." Until this week, I have been blessed to live in a place with a decent oldies station. 60's, 70's and 80's music. The station has the feeling of being terribly underfunded. For one thing, there's only one DJ and he's only on from 3-6 p.m. Which is pretty sad. For another, the programming is obviously done by a computer, because I have heard A Whiter Shade of Pale approximately 75 times in the last calendar week. But this week, they picked up a syndicated morning show. Oh joy. I gave it a week's worth of a chance, though, because that's what I do. The first few days were okay and kinda funny and I was okay. Then yesterday, the Disney star comment. Today, the entire conversation revolved around adults condoning kids fighting. Now, there wasn't anything totally offensive to this. It was... okay. Their conclusion was that these adults are insane. But at the same time, it's not what I want to be listening to and discussing with my kid first thing in the morning. As my car is still broken and I am still borrowing, I haven't loaded up the car with CD's and it is particuarly difficult to change the station in this car. "Turn the radio off," you may be thinking. I need the noise. Also, I shouldn't have to. I get it, each of these shows have a market. But I'm a market, too. Where's my show? I may have to, though. There is nothing left.

5. Intelligent TV is Too Hard Because of the Thinking - This started with someone I know, who claims that she only watches comedies and reality TV because she works really hard and doesn't want to think too much about TV. Okay, that's a valid viewpoint, I suppose. Except that she says it really abrasively, and the subtext reads, "I work so much harder than you do and so I'm tired when I sit down in front of the TV. If I had a so-easy life like yours I could watch things with subplots." Which is degrading and insulting. I may have a less stressful job, but I volunteer and have kids and enough stuff that one of these days I'm just going to lose it and pick up whatever's handy and start beating something. This is also the excuse that intelligent people use for justifying their addiction to Watch Me Spend Ridiculous Amounts of Money on Vodka and Badly Fitted Bras. Oh, I just need to disconnect, and not think too much. It's escapism. Here's the thing, all TV (except maybe the news) is escapism. Trust me, you think just as much about whether or not Lillianabetheney is going to keep drinking now that she's pregnant as I spend thinking about what the wack-a-doodle doctor whispered in main character's ear at the end of the last season of The Walking Dead. It's not like I'm writing a dissertation here. You watch those shows because you like them. Just own it. You enjoy it. For whatever reason, you do. I watch my shows because I like them. Quit trying to sound better than me because you watch dumber TV. That doesn't even make sense.

Well, this may be my longest Five Things on Friday ever. What are you sooo over?


Strangeite said...

Community and 30 Rock are the two most intelligent and funny shows on television. The episode of 30 Rock where TGS goes on hiatus is particular relevant for your point number 1.

Plus I love Tina Fey and Joel McHale. I would have their babies.

Jessi said...

I don't watch 30 Rock and I'm not sure why. I've just never caught it. I love Community, though. I also love Tina Fey and Joel McHale.

Anonymous said...

I never got into Community. 30 Rock is great, though. My current fave is Parks and Recreation. I have a theory that I'm the only person I know who loves that show. Please don't let that be true.