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I find making a choice between American Idol and The X Factor akin to choosing to amputate a limb with a butter knife or a sharp spoon.  Maybe a better question is would I rather gouge out my eyes or watch either of these stellar contenders for turning my gray matter to gelatinous goo in a single season?  You might as well make me decide whether I wish to join Team Edward or Team Joseph.  I got that wrong didn’t I?

I hate reality TV in all of its disguises.  It is a cheap substitute for television that has at least the possibility of being interesting, funny, suspenseful, engaging . . . in other words, entertaining.  Unscripted does not mean unwritten.  J. Ryan Stradal wrote this outstanding article that blows the real out of reality television.  He’s a writer for unscripted television.  Oxymoronic?  Yes, but how appropriate when you think about it. Cheap is the objective and it is apparent in the quality of the offerings of the major networks.

Reality TV, in the form of game and exploitation shows, has been around since the advent of the small screen.  These shows were limited in number.  Candid Camera and You Bet Your Life were in the vanguard.  The Gong Show, Cops and The Real World followed.  When the 2001 Screenwriter’s strike threatened, the networks fought back with unscripted programming.  The strike never really materialized, but the reality blitzkrieg had been launched.

I have no desire to spend my time with the Kardashians or Snooki.  I don’t care who wins Dancing with the Stars.  I won’t know a Housewife(sic) of Beverly Hills if one introduced herself to me.  I read books.  I write.  I garden.  I practice yoga.  I could learn a new language.  I could even clean my flippin’ house.  I can think of a hundred things I would rather do than reduce my IQ by subjecting my visual and auditory senses to shows like American Idol or The X Factor.  My choice is to” just say no” to the devolution of my intellect and the erosion of society at large.

This post was written for The Mindslam Write Wednesdays writing prompt.

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June 2023