So the story goes… I decided to give the local TV programs a chance after watching the Network’s anniversary celebrations over the weekend.
The anniversary gala was surprisingly good and really took me down memory lane. It is quite amazing how much of my memories thus far are tied to these local TV programs. Amazing and to be honest, totally terrifying that so much of my life revolved around the idiot box.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
As I was saying， I was watching this show on the local TV network that features 2 hosts going around visiting “less fortunate” families in the community with the aim of “bettering” their lives by “revamping their living conditions” through an hour of blood, tears and shameless exploitation for all to see.
I think that television is a good form of entertainment. And the impact it has on our lives in its short decades of existence is nothing short of phenomenal. At some point of our lives, we’ve lived with, laughed at, cried on, loved and hated one thing or another that had been presented to us in that little window to another world.
I believe that all of us have a selfish “I’m better than thou” mentality deep inside of us. Coupled with a morbid curiosity about the lives of others that are like us but not so like us, we developed this need to see people suffer and humiliated. All the better if it is in a public arena. Schadenfreude…
Enter the Television.
Over the years, the television had evolved with us, changing itself as far as the censorship board allows to quench our thirst for knowledge and to satisfy our deepest voyeuristic needs.
It should come as no surprise that television appeals to the lowest common denominator among its audience. After all, it needs to reach as many people as possible. It cannot afford to discriminate against people who are too stupid to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not.
Now is probably the time for me to get off my pedestal.
I have to admit that I enjoy my fair share of exploitative entertainment as much as the next guy. Cut throats trying to get each other off an island? Cool. Seeing how much garbage people are willing to swallow (literally) for money? Sign me up. Watching top models wannabes humiliated and cat fighting each other off the show? Yabba Yabba.
To be honest, I am pretty sure Houshun Takami’s “Battle Royale”(Live) would be coming to a small screen near you… it’s just a matter of time.
But the thing about all these shows is that they are blatantly exploitative and they bill it as such. There’s no pretense of exploiting all these people for any “greater good”. It’s just a matter of how much shit someone is willing to go through for money and/or fame.
So I guess my main jibe about this show is its totally pretentious and “holier than thou” attitude. From the hosts’ repeated incredulous snooty “Is this the way human beings live????” exclamations to their condescending attitude towards the “test subjects” to the very notion that they can change a family’s life just by interacting with them for a week and giving their house a makeover…. These ideas make me sick to the stomach that no other reality shows can…
I guess that’s the chance I’ve given local TV programs…