By about 7PM you’re usually ready to relax in front of the great gray screen in your TV room. What to watch…? What to use as some down-time in an otherwise hectic day…? Well, your choices are many, but actually they all come down to these two: Scripted or non-scripted. Either programming that has come from the creative energies of a writer, director and cast; or what is today billed as a reality show.
I’m not here to claim scripted programs are always, or even mostly, great artistic achievements. However, they are often the result of quality writers like Aaron Sorkin [‘Newsoom’] and David E.Kelly [‘Boston Law’] to adaptations from celebrated writers like Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway. If you do your homework, programming of their genre can be found. And now plucked out of the ethers whenever and wherever you choose.
Your other choice is today’s growing legion of what is popularly mis-labeled reality shows. The carefully posed and edited blatherings of big haired Lulabelle from Miami or over-blinged Yolanda from New Jersey or botoxed Crystal from California. Their ‘reality’ pretty much consists of 60 minutes of bleeped in-your-face schoolyard chatter mixed with I’m-going-to-pull-your-hair-out lunges across a carefully lit living room crowded with off camera crews urging them on.
So there it is. At least in this viewer’s fried brains. Either you go for what some creative team has tried to make the best drama or comedy they can for the money OR you can sink into the on-screen miasma of who you’d walk out on if these people were in your own home.
Doesn’t seem like a tough decision. But who am I to say? For some silly reason I prefer actors being paid to perform rather than fools being paid to be fools….
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