Quality Television


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The average IQ in the United States is 98 and in Canada it is 99. To be considered a moron, a person’s IQ must score 50-69. The American Psychological Association reports that watching reality TV is a leading cause of mental illness. Physicist Kim Ung-young has a verified IQ if 210; doesn’t watch reality TV. Mathematician/Physicist Stephen Hawking has an IQ over 160; doesn’t watch reality TV. Actress Sharon Stone has an IQ of 154; appeared in a movie without underwear and flashed her lady business.[1]  So, can someone please explain to me the popularity of reality television?

Thanks for your reasoned arguments and in response let me just say, “Toddlers and Tiaras”. I’m sure to the programming execs[2] it must have seemed a good idea at the time, but I can only assume there were copious amounts of alcohol or other substances involved.

TV Exec 1: Okay, we missed out on “Survivor”, “Housewives of New York”, and “Temptation Island” whose left to humiliate? It’s all been done.

TV Exec 2: How about we film some parents dressing their kids up like sexually provocative adults and making them gyrate on stage for very little prize money and every once in a while a puppy dog? Oh and lots and lots of trophies; stuff that will look good inside a mobile home.

TV Exec 1: That’s too much. No way anyone one is going to do that to their kids and no one would watch it. Do you think the viewers are morons?

TV Exec 2: Children’s beauty pageants.

TV Exec 1: Oh.

Is it just me or do other people think there is something not quite right about what this show is documenting? I’m not sure it’s normal to dress a three-year old as Dolly Parton and give her false boobies and a padded tushie. Now as you know by now I don’t like to be judgmental, but in the name of all that is holy how did this ever become acceptable TV fare? In case you have never seen this gem of a show let me share some coaching advice a mother gave to her four-year-old daughter during an episode, “Okay, now rip off your skirt. Now swing it.  Shake that bootie good”.

 Lest you think “Toddlers and Tiaras” has the monopoly on “What were you thinking?” allow me to point out a couple of other masterful marketing gems. Abercrombie and Fitch, well-known for its refined and tasteful products marketed padded, push-up bras to eight year olds. I remember when A&F sold safari gear. Tesco, a large store chain in Britain marketed a pole-dancing kit in its toy section until the famous British press pointed out this was inappropriate.   Another company sells a nipple tassel t-shirt sized for 0-6 month old children. What kind of adult would think this was a good idea?

Instead of producing the same old reality TV shows I think that they should create a show that focuses on Darwin’s theory on natural selection. Oh wait, I guess they did. Never mind.


[1] Editor’s Note: This paper makes no claims to the accuracy of information provided by this writer. To be perfectly honest I think he makes most of these claims up. Well all except the lady business. I once spent an evening just repeating that scene. You know in the days of VHS it wasn’t easy to do, but in Blu-ray, wow the clarity is amazing.

[2] Editor’s Note: To the TLC legal dept. let me make it clear that we don’t believe this is how your executives decided on your delightful reality television show, so don’t include us in the lawsuit.

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Originally published in The Cascade newspaper

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