September 06, 2005

Storming the Reality Studio

I try not to engage in reflexive television-bashing, tempting though I admit it sometimes is. When I was a wee theatre undergrad a decade ago, there was a popular t-shirt that read Theatre is Life; Film is Art; Television is Furniture, and I suppose I thought it was sort of clever then; now I mostly think it's nasty triumphalist snobbery, about half a sneer away from "Your Favorite Band Sucks," and equally undeserving of the nodding gravitas that's usually accorded it by the more-aloof-than-thou. And while it's undeniable that Sturgeon's Law holds sway in the land of the Great Glass Teat as much as everywhere else, when one stops to consider that the same soil brought forth the fruit of Buffy and Farscape and The West Wing and Gilmore Girls and... well, I could go on, but it becomes clear that the medium itself is not the problem.

(And besides, all the tut-tutting that often goes on about TV, and what it's doing to the collective intelligence, attention span, imagination, what-have-you of our culture, sounds awfully familiar to me; it's the same dumb crap that gets trotted out every so often about comics, and it's dead wrong there, and there's a good argument to be made that it's completely off the mark about the so-called Idiot Box too. But anyway.)

Nonetheless, I'll be the first in line to say that "Reality TV" is an oxymoron, and that the current fashion for it in network programming is troubling on many levels. Which is why this cartoon by Ampersand made my morning. Hell, I'd tune in to see that; it may even be better than my idea of having the hosts of What Not To Wear thrown amongst punks and hippies and taunted about their clothes until they cry.

No comments:

Post a Comment