Tuesday, February 8, 2011

rot your brain. taint your soul. daytime tv.

A couple of weeks ago i was hit with a triple whammy... i was home sick from work, my internet wasn't working properly, and the skies opened to drop about a foot and a half of snow on the ground. it may have been a quadruple whammy if you consider the fact that i was also in the midst of my first attempt of quitting smoking... cold turkey. 

my saving grace... or so i thought, was the fact that the the week previous, i had just purchased my first tv. a large flat screen. and had i also picked up a digital antenna, whilst wrestling hard with the local cable network, so that i could at least enjoy some free network tv on my latest acquisition....   

unless i am dying of the plague.... i generally have a difficult time sleeping through the day. i don't know if it's the seeping sunlight. or maybe it's my internal clock. perhaps it's a little bit of everything. i wake up. and i'm up. it's go time. 

i set up camp on the couch, and tried to make myself comfortable enough to survive the day. i flicked on the tv, and searched through the 15 or so channels that come in.. for free... 

within two hours i could readily explain the entire downfall of american society. i hold daytime tv personally responsible for many things wrong with this country...

let's consider all angles in my favorite format.... the bullet point. what exactly happens on daytime tv? you may not even know... think of this also, as simple education. it's the opposite of inquiring minds wanting to know, however. i don't want to set any unrealistic expectations: 

  • soap operas- the term soap opera goes as far back as the 1940s. the daytime 'radio' broadcasts of similar melodramatic stories of the time we heavily sponsored by soap companies, or at the very least, general household products. (this is no doubt in line with the idea of the housewife being the primary audience for such shows). opera, apparently refers to the ironic degree of melodrama that is standard in the story line of such shows. radio, and tv alike. if you've been to an actual opera, you would see the degree at which they accentuate or even embellish import parts of the stories being sung, and told.

    now that we've had a small history lesson... we can begin to deduce the affect that shows like this have on the daytime general public. the commercials that show during soap operas now... are not quite the household cleaners ads that you may really think of showing, because of the term, soap opera. however, these commercials are all general very infomercial by the looks of them.. and they all offer a small group of the same solutions to the problems that plague the audience of these 'stories':
    • how can i lose weight? 
    • how fast can i lose weight? 
    • can i lose a huge amount of weight in an extremely short period of time?
    • i spend most of my time watching daytime tv, can you offer me any other quick solutions for dinner that take under 30 minutes? preferably with very little clean up. 
    • are there any household appliances that i can use for several different things? perhaps a waffle iron-panini-sandwich-maker that also roasts chicken, and cure meat. 
    • how can i make the skin on my face tighter... i'm suffering the natural process of aging. 
 this list goes on.. but you get the point. it appears to me, that the marketing companies of  nettwork tv have figured out who their target audience is. and from the looks of it, it's obese, lazy people who want a single answer to every thing in their lives... they want it NOW, and they are aging at an incredible speed, and should probably seek professional help.. (of many kinds...)

  • Jerry Springer shows- i'm not sure of another way to describe this specific species of tv trash. there's been a name made for jerry springer, so i suppose it won't hurt to continue the branded legacy. many of the daytime talk shows have gone the way of jerry springer. maury povich even started down that trail. montell williams did as well, and then he wised up and started making juicers. there are shows like this that people couldn't even tell you the name of the host... they're just out for blood.

    i wonder, are these the same kinds of people that go to hockey games, just hoping for a fight to break out? do they watch nascar, in hopes a car will hit the wall and burst into flames? i'm not really sure i understand these people. i do understand the idea of being unable to turn your view from a car crash, or something equally as random and terrifying... however, i do not understand the people that can't change the channel from jerry springer. that show makes me want to vomit. i watched about 15 minutes of that show... and honestly, i only watched that much because i know that there are things i can tend to immediately discredit without a true and informed decision. but those 15 minutes... i will never get back. and i honestly feel a little worse off having taken that time to invest in such research as a talk show like jerry springer.

    these are the kinds of shows that make me physically hurt with disappointment for the human race. honestly... what kind of a resolution do you think you're going to come to if you tell your significant other on a stage, in front of a live audience.... that you've been cheating on them with their mom (and you're a girl...) seriously.... are you crazy? there are more guards working for this show than anything else... that should be telling.

    is this how american society learns to mediate their personal issues?

    'i'm sorry honey... i just can't figure out how to do this... i don't know how to work through our problems... maybe it'll help if we have an audience of people that have made the same mistakes or worse, and body guard to pull us apart when we start ripping each other's hair out? whatdya think?'

    sounds like a marriage made in heaven to me. good luck.
  • Judge (insert judges name here) shows- these shows, i actually do find enjoyment in. if for no other reason than to feel better about myself. the issues these people bring in front of this judge, are generally unrealistic... absurd, and generally do not paint the picture of the person being a capable, intelligent, and independent person. these shows often show me that most of daytime society... does not take personal accountability for their actions. they're looking to make money off of other people. they think the money they can make off of other people in these judge shows, is something they are owed. entitled to. not because of any choice that they made in their actual life.

    hopefully, at some point in their sad little lives, they may realize they're wrong. i think that about 85% (i'm being lenient) of the time... they could have easily prevented a wrong doing unto them... by being more aware, and understanding their own errors. they're own ways of enabling people to take advantage of them, and/or damage their lives in some way that can obviously be measurable and accounted for (if they're asking for financial reprimand)

    i think though, my favorite part of these shows are the commercials that air during them....:
    • fast cash- just give us the title of your car and we'll give you up to 7 thousand dollars!!! sounds nice. until you realize that you have to pay it all back before you can ever own your car again.. and the interest rate is like 2343252%
    • injury lawyers- if you, or someone you know, has not actually injured, but can fake it really well... because of something that is entirely your fault, and could have been prevented, if you had just taken ownership of any mistake you might have made, and not acted like a world cup soccer player who's just been pushed by one finger... but somehow we can skew to making you think you'll ever get settlement money, and in the mean time drain your bank account and all of your dignity.. and self respect.
there's more to this... but i'm exhausted from being disgusted. in summation... we have learned a few things about daytime tv, and what it is telling the people at home. (who are generally unemployed, if they're not housewives... and being a housewife, and a stay at home mom... is a full time job...)

the things that we can understand from this are: 

  • get fat, we have something that can help you lose weight instantly
  • soap operas are just like real life
  • jerry springer is a good way to resolve your marital issues
  • i want an all-in-one solution for just about every kitchen function
  • i am desperately scared of aging 
  • spend all your money, we'll give you more if you give us your car!
  • sell all your old relatives gold to us, we'll give you cash if you can't get your car back!
i encourage people to not become trapped in any cycle of daytime tv..... when ellen came on at 3, i breathed a sigh or relief, and slowly and painfully walked out of the cave.... 

thank god for ellen.


  1. well said and really good article by the way i agree with you. daytime tv chat shows in particular are whats rotting peoples brains!!