"When Plastic Surgeons Attack"?
July 21, 2000 12:31 AM   Subscribe

"When Plastic Surgeons Attack"? It's good to know Fox is going about pandering to the worst instincts of American television viewers *responsibly*. I feel better, don't you?
posted by Sapphireblue (13 comments total)
I am terrified, really, to see how far the concept of "reality tv" will go before we all come back to our senses. Waiting for all of this to get extended back to that revolting idea of putting executions on the telly as a crime deterrent.
posted by Sapphireblue at 12:35 AM on July 21, 2000

So Fox passed on all those shows? How in the world did they not end up on UPN or WB? :)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, TV's gone to hell. Or maybe my parents were right all along, it'll rot your brain. Even the "educational" channels such as TLC or Discovery seem to try to lure you in with "Shark Week" or "The Crocodile Hunter" shows, where it's more watching people try to get themselves hurt than any real scientific research.

Now about executions on TV. I know *I* don't want to see that, but what about closed circuit TV within the jails themselves? Hmmmm...(still, once a camera is rolling, it'll end up on the air somewhere. Most likely the news shows will pick it up and claim how horrible it is while showing the tape over and over)

I truly think things will run their course and fade away, but that's just the optimist in me talking. I wonder how much TV has an affect on the economy. The less TV I watch, the more money I make, I wonder if the reverse is true.
posted by jdiaz at 3:54 AM on July 21, 2000

'I Want a Divorce' - "Bob, you have the car, Mary, you have the house, hands on buzzers, this ones for custody of the kids...." - Jesus wept!
posted by Markb at 4:39 AM on July 21, 2000

Is it the networks' fault that so many people find that kind of show entertaining? They make money by selling advertising, and the only way they can sell airtime is if they have eyeballs on their channel.

I don't know anyone who's watching the shows, but most of my friends and I don't own televisions. Nobody I know at work is watching them, either. So who's watching them? What's the demographic?

Where did the viewers learn to find that programming entertaining? The easy answer has been beaten to death here already: "people's lives are so devoid of meaning and excitement, they want to live vicariously through tv." Which may or may not be the explanation, but I'm trying very hard to give the millions of people watching these the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps I'm just trying to remain optimistic against the odds.
posted by katchomko at 7:47 AM on July 21, 2000

Am I the only one who finds it somewhat amusing that FOX had to hire a company to make sure they weren't croosing the line into bad taste?
posted by tj at 8:57 AM on July 21, 2000

katchomko: *someone* is watching, aren't they, with all the media buzz? it's not even niche "entertainment news"; you go to any straight news site and there are breathless headlines about who's naked, who's eating bugs, whose outraged husband showed up to demand access to his wife...

it's not the networks' fault people like this sort of thing but then again there'd be people who'd really dig those televised executions too. hell, if that's justification, we need Car Crash TV. Or probably it's already out there *sigh*
posted by Sapphireblue at 10:08 AM on July 21, 2000

I realize that the shows are only showing what people want to see. But does TV entirely reflect the state of the nation? Perhaps the masses that watch TV *do* like to see this sort of stuff. But what percentage of the nation are TV viewers? Is it the majority? What if you compare national numbers based on how many are watching and how many are not watching? Not simply watching something else, but just *not* watching. Aren't the ratings based on popularity comparison between TV shows? So if you're not watching TV, then you don't count.

Maybe I'm just fooling myself into thinking people are smarter than are given credit. Who knows. Then again, if everyone was intelligent, there would be no average.

posted by jdiaz at 11:44 AM on July 21, 2000

*SapphireBlue* I'm not trying to justify it, the whole idea of "lowest common denominator" entertainment doesn't appeal to me much. What I was trying to say (before my second cup of coffee and third ciggy) is, "who are these people that enjoy this", and secondly, "why do they enjoy it so much"? I agree, there are people who would watch executions. Witness the popularity of the Faces of Death videos, and all the websites that have images of violent deaths. Yes, we think it's apallingly disgusting. But we can't come up with something better until we've thought out the reasoning behind why some people don't like it, and others do.

As an aside, when I tell people I used to be an EMT, the first question they ask is, "Did you see people die?" That boggles me. I mean, all the amazing hard work that EMT's and fire/rescue personel do, all the great technology that they can use to save lives, and that's the first thing people come up with... I dunno...
posted by katchomko at 12:35 PM on July 21, 2000

Let's face it, "Average Joe" midwest American types *DO* watch this stuff. And here's why: It makes them feel better about themsleves, or it's entertaining (for them), not everything or everyone HAS to be intellectual.

Take COPS for instance, how long has that show been on the air? I remember playing a drinking game in college with it that revolved around exposed guts, tatoos, and missing teeth! I highly doubt that anyone who watches that show is seriously interested in law enforcement.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong - just how it is.
posted by tj at 1:05 PM on July 21, 2000

FOX is the "pioneer" of reality TV? I was watching Big Brother with my family last night, making smart-ass remarks every so often, when I came to the realization : "you know, as much as you guys hated MTV back when I still watched it.... they did this whole reality thing almost 6-7 years ago, and they did it ALOT better than this corportate yuppy shit." Now I just wish MTV would die as well. TV is completely worthless to me. I watch the Food Network and that's it.
posted by Satapher at 1:15 PM on July 21, 2000

Jeff (and hi, by the way!) --- I think you've hit it right on the head --- crap like this is so prevalent because the television media has given up on trying to convert those of us who feel like we've got better things to do! And that's probably perfectly justifiable... how much work (read: money) would the networks have to put out to get *me* to turn on my devilbox for one hour every week when they can appeal to large numbers (read: money) of the Unwashed Masses just by airing the most stupid and exploitative things they can come up with?

Come to think, that right there probably explains why TV news sucks so bad: those of us who really do want thoughtful, in-depth information, and not human-interest fluff, not the Fire of the Week, not thinly veiled ads for the station's network's big prime-time show, have already turned off the tube and gotten on the internet, where separation of wheat from chaff is much much easier.
posted by Sapphireblue at 1:45 PM on July 21, 2000

Satapher, "reality TV" started during the writers' strike. FOX begat COPS and COPS begat a whole genre of programming. The Real World came along later.
posted by dhartung at 10:55 AM on July 22, 2000

That's why I don't begrudge the BBC demanding its £100/year from TV owners: in order to justify the licence fee, they're pretty much obliged to come up with material that isn't just advertising fodder.

(And also because I don't own a TV, but get the radio for free anyway...)
posted by holgate at 8:08 PM on July 22, 2000

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