Television’s on a downward spiral

C/N Kien Ha

By Erik Luna

Since its introduction in 1939, television has influenced the ideals and thoughts of people who glue their eyes to its screen.

The $64,000 question is: “Is this a good thing or a bad thing? “ Television shows have plummeted in terms of educational programming. Instead of intellectual content, we have mind-numbing, sex-driven and borderline ignorant reality TV shows.

“Jersey Shore,” “Dancing with the Stars,” and countless other drones of network greed have surfaced to inflict damage to the brainwaves of teenage America. These shows offer nothing except a cheap laugh at other people’s shortcomings and make it possible for untalented people to have their precious 15 minutes of fame.

Although, not all reality TV shows are bad. Some are actually quite entertaining and give people historical information. History has countless shows like these. “Pawn Stars” and “American Pickers” are two shows that have actual education meshed-in with their reality TV gimmick.

“Pawn Stars” focuses on a pawn shop in Las Vegas named Gold and Silver Pawn Shop. It is the number two rated reality TV show behind what else, Jersey Shore. People go into the pawn shop to sell their belongings and the knowledgeable staff gives a brief history of the objects.

It’s way more educational than seeing a group of people almost exclusively talk about sex. “American Pickers” has the same vibe to it except this show focuses on two men who go looking for interesting things that other people have in their property. A brief history is given for each object they buy and what its historical significance is.

With intriguing, comical and educational shows like these, why would anyone choose to see those other educationally challenged shows?  Simple: sex. It’s the driving force behind most of these shows and that’s not even including the so called “dating shows.” We have made some vast technological advances and what do we decide to do with it?

We watch these mind-numbing shows that give absolutely no useful information. Competition shows such as “American Idol” can’t be judged too harshly.

Yes, it can be annoying at times and copycats of the shows are dreadful, but in reality these people are putting in the effort to actually be someone with their talent – which is more that you can say for other reality TV stars.

Also, there are countless shows that mix in the culinary aspects with their reality TV show. “Cake Boss,” a  show about an Italian bakery, shows viewers how to make certain cakes and can actually inspire people to try stuff out in their own kitchen.

As television is slowly being replaced by the Internet,  let’s try to give it justice and bring back quality programming. Although one good thing about reality TV – I appreciate good programming now more than ever.

So is this influence that television has on the viewers a good or a bad thing? It all depends on what people are watching really. It’s just going to be a sad day when historians look back at television history and say, “they really aired that? Pitiful.”


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