I watch a lot of TV. I admit it, I like television. These days, there is very little creativity on television. Witness the new phenomenon of “reality” television shows that just show people doing their every day jobs. Supposedly, these jobs are interesting enough to make a television show about them, AND PEOPLE WATCH! What is wrong with these people?
It all started with Deadliest Catch. This program was “innovative” in its time because it showed people engaged in a profession that, statistically, was the most dangerous profession in the world. And an interesting premise, and a fairly well-done show. Unfortunately, Deadliest Catch helped usher in a time of deadliest television. Now, everyone and their grandmother who has a job has a reality show. It’s not enough these days to make a living, you have to document it on some horrible cable network. Let’s see what we have, shall we? Along with Deadliest Catch, we now have a slew of “fishing-themed” reality shows. Apparently the fishing business is big entertainment. Deadliest Catch gave rise to Lobstermen, which gave rise to Wild Tuna, which gave rise to Tuna Wranglers, which gave rise to Abalone Wars. There’s one about swordfish fishermen (thankfully, I can’t remember the title), and even one about people who work at fish canneries and processing centers. What is it about fishermen?!?!?
Next, we have the “quirky” jobs shows. It began with “Storage Wars,” a show about people who purchase abandoned storage lockers in California and sell the contents for big money. Not a bad idea, and an interesting show. Unfortunately, the “quirky,” “look what I found that was worth a lot of money” shows have multiplied like the garbage they showcase. Storage Wars led to American Pickers, with led to Auction Hunters, which gave rise to at least 3 shows about pawn stores (Pawn Stars, a second Pawn Stars and Beverly Hills Pawn), which led to Resale Royalty. These shows are not even as exciting as the fishing shows. At least with them, there’s always a chance someone will die! Here….we watch people at work, in stores, dealing with customers. This sounds like my high school job. Maybe they should have made a reality show called “Blockbuster Employee” and I could have starred in it!
Unfortunately, I’m not finished. Witness the new miners! Bering Sea Gold, Ice-road Truckers, Bering Sea Gold: Under the Ice, Yukon Gold, Gold Rush, Gold Rush: South America and Jungle Gold. Do we really need this many!?!?!? Who cares!?!?!? At least all those “on location” film crews have jobs. I would hate to think what they would do without these shows. One of them even highlights the film crews and how they work!
The medical and legal professions are not left out either. These are further apart and more space between, but they exist. Remember Animal Precinct and Emergency Vets? How about Beverly Hills Doc, or Emergency Room? All these highlight the lives of our doctors, vets and legal workers. Do we really need to see them at work? Aren’t these just glorified documentaries that are no different than shows like Judge Judy or the People’s Court? At least in those shows there’s a chance people may fight with one another, or scream at each other. These “documentary” shows are so innocuous and bland that they end without people knowing they ever began.
Do we really lead such boring and mundane lives that we need to watch other people AT WORK!?!? I can understand television as a diversion. There are some very creative programs on TV these days, but there are 2-3 of these pathetic displays for every GOOD creative program. Not every cable network needs to have one (or 7) of these documentary shows. Nobody wants to see them anymore!!! I’m leading the revolution….just turn them off!