I used to be a prime time drama addict, but lately I’m hard pressed to keep my attention span focused on an hour-long TV show. My roommate Jen was watching Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice tonight, two shows I used to LOVE, but lately I just can’t find myself able to care about things/characters/or people who don’t have anything to do with my actual life.
I think I used to find solace in TV. I was, admittedly, as loser in High School. I mean, I had friends and I went out and did things. I drank, I smoked…whatever, but I always felt like my friends were “cooler” than me. They always had dates and boyfriends. I had TV. I had McDreamy to help me get through a few lonely Saturday nights. I had 7th Heaven to make me feel lucky that my parents weren’t that intense, and I had Gilmore Girls which taught me that some guys can like smart girls.
I feel like now, especially since I just spent the better part of the last two years with the same guy, and in lieu of my recent break up that I just can’t focus on things, such as TV shows, that I know aren’t real. Meredith and McDreamy aren’t real. Rory and Dean weren’t real. Lucy and Kevin weren’t real. I just can’t make myself stomach shows that have jaded, unrealistic portrayals of love layered with unnecessary drama. My life has enough drama as it is.
I can’t even watch Reality TV (with the exception of the Real World). My other roommate, Caroline, loves Tool Academy in VH1. I can’t stand it. Maybe I’m still bitter about being dumped but why would anyone want to stay with those assholes? Love? How can you be in love with someone who treats you like that? Though, I suppose I’m not one to talk. If my ex asked me to be with him again I would do it in a heartbeat…I’m working on that. But then again, he never did any of the shit that these guys on Tool Academy did.
I will admit though that there are two TV shows I watch on a regular basis:
1. Rock of Love
2. The Real World
Why Rock of Love? I have always had a crush on Bret Michaels and secretly loved Poison. This show, it’s just ridiculous. There are a bunch of girls fighting over a guy who is just going to dump them once the reunion episode is over to bang the next hottest girl he finds on tour. That’s it. It’s simple. You don’t need to know anything else. Hence its appeal. After a long day of reading Shakespeare, William Faulkner, and writing papers all I want is to lay on my comfy tie-dye bed and watch something simple.
The same thing goes for The Real World. People live in a house together and fight over stupid, meaningless things and in the end everyone gets over it and goes out and gets wasted. Unless of course they hit someone or are named “Puck.” Again, simple.
That’s the appeal of Reality TV, not just to me, but to the American people in general. Our lives are busy, the economy sucks–we just want to go home at night and be able to watch something that we don’t have to actually pay attention to. I don’t know the actual TV ratings, but I’m willing to bet that Reality TV blows prime time dramas out of the water. Why else would Grey’s Anatomy do a two-week crossover with Private Practice, or why would Brothers and Sisters (another favorite of my roommate) be having a “two hour movie event?” They need to rope viewers in and away from Reality TV some way. Plus, reality shows like Survivor, The Real World, and The Bachelor, and Big Brother have had a longer run time than most prime time dramas anyway. What does that tell you.
Here’s a tip for TV producers. As much as this pains me to admit, WE DON’T WANT TO THINK. We want something mind numbing and simple to pass the time between our busy days and bed. This is probably why American Idol has like 36 weeks of bad people singing until they get into the good stuff.
Maybe I’m completely wrong, but I really don’t feel like I’m that far off. If I was wrong National Geographic and the History Channel would have moved off of basic cable and in with the likes of ABC, CBS, and NBC by now.
*image from tubephix.com