Something that I agree with wholeheartedly.

From Jersey Shore to Honey Boo Boo to Duck Dynasty, I am sick and tired of the glorification of stupid people all over the media. Comedians who act stupid for comedy's sake is one thing, but people who think it's cool to not know something, or to go out of their way to make a fool of themselves is the most perverse use of the airways I can imagine. I first noticed it when Paris Hilton first appeared, and I was absolutely baffled at her popularity, especially after seeing a few clips of her. It's bad enough that there is a genuine attack on the public school system, but to put these high school dropout fools on television and praise them for their stupidity has got to be some kind of moral low for mankind.

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Comment by Stephen Clark Okawa on July 31, 2013 at 1:48am

I have a few friends who work in the reality t.v. business.  It's not about making people famous; it's about exploiting people, with little production overhead costs, and then using that money to make the shows that are t.v.'s par excellence --- The Walking Dead; Breaking Bad; Mad Men; etc. (one hand washes the other).  

While I don't feel bad for them, I also can't demonize them.  It's the Victorian Freak Show.  Only this time, people stand in lines for the opportunity to be mocked, judged, and have garbage hurled that them.  

Besides, it keeps the masses dull and mushy, fat and stupid.  My suggestion is to either come up with shows that can compete with the reality shows OR invest in independent television or production companies (which there are very few, if any).  Which is why PBS is so invaluable. 

Comment by Unseen on July 31, 2013 at 1:18pm

@Stephen Clark Okawa - I have a few friends who work in the reality t.v. business.  It's not about making people famous; it's about exploiting people, with little production overhead costs, and then using that money to make the shows that are t.v.'s par excellence --- The Walking Dead; Breaking Bad; Mad Men; etc. (one hand washes the other).  

ALL of the great TV shows you specifcally mentioned (and you forgot The Killing) are on AMC, a network that doesn't really have much of a stupid "reality show" TV presence. Rather, it is networks like the History Channel that seems to have given in to the ultra-low brow reality shows while offering little in actual laudable content. 

Perhaps the History channel, which used to be about actual History, ran out of history it could present to a general non-academic audience and so to save itself it went to the stupid stuff.

@Belle Rose - I wholeheartedly agree with you H3xx. It used to be sex sells. Now it seems that stupidity sells...

And when you combine the two, so much the better, as in Jersey Shore.

Comment by H3xx on July 31, 2013 at 6:46pm

Even at one night a week, once you've made it up to present day, you have a new generation of viewers. You can start showing reruns of old documentaries that haven't been made obsolete. And reality television isn't the problem, Stupid reality television is. I have to admit, even though it doesn't qualify as educational, Pawn Stars and Storage Wars are some decent shows. I miss Robot Wars, Junkyard Wars... and now I'm beginning to dislike the name wars. There's definitely too many wars on television. Next thing you know, there'll be a show called Daycare Wars.

Comment by matt.clerke on July 31, 2013 at 7:14pm

Fear not! youtube to the rescue! check out numberfile for some cool, funny, intersting maths. I don't watch TV anymore and reality TV is definitely part of the reason why.

Comment by H3xx on July 31, 2013 at 8:09pm

I like Numberfile, and also Scishow, The Amazing Atheist, and Real Facts About...

The guy who does Real Facts does an astounding Morgan Freeman impersonation, and his clips are really funny.

Comment by Arcus on August 1, 2013 at 11:22am

It's hardly the media's fault that people desire entertainment that appeals to the lowest common denominator.  

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