Opinion

No more reality TV, please

There are much more worthwhile programs to watch

I don’t know about you, but over our ridiculously long break I was pretty bored and watched an excessive amount of TV. Though it was mostly my preferred shows on Netflix, I did tune in to weekly episodes of my favorites like “New Girl” and “How I Met Your Mother.”

While watching live TV, however, I noticed an increasing amount of new reality shows coming out on channels like E!, Bravo, MTV (because nothing screams “Music Television” like a reality show) and even CMT.

Now I’m not going to sit here and pretend I’ve never watched “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” or enjoyed my fair share of the weekly ridiculousness that happens on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” but I honestly think these shows are getting out of hand.

If you watch cable television, you’ve seen previews for E!’s new hit “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills,” where five unemployed, spoiled 20-somethings do nothing but spend their parents’ money and party. Such a rewarding show asks the questions we all want answered, like “Have you ever partied so hard, you’ve partied your eyebrows off?” and even includes debates about the most controversial topics out there — Dom Perignon or Cristal?

Of course such an insightful show wouldn’t be complete without those scripted dramatic exchanges between frenemies, ex-hook ups and current hook ups, accompanied by a soundtrack of the latest and greatest party tunes.

This type of series embodies what is wrong with television today. Everybody wants to be on one of these asinine reality shows. The people on it are having so much fun, and make it look so easy — because it is.

Why make a show about something purposeful when you can cheaply stick a bunch of kids in a house in some random location with alcohol, hot tubs and beds, and watch the action begin?

“Jersey Shore” was a hit for four years and “The Real World” is on its 29th season, so clearly this type of show works. Why? Why do we look up to these people or gratify their lavish lifestyles with a television show? What are we rewarding them for?

The people on these types of shows — like Beverly Hills’ most spoiled kids or the randoms they pull from all over America for “The Real World: Ex-Plosion” — are not doing anything truly constructive with their time on TV. So why should they get a show?

Why not leave the reality shows to people that actually make a difference and help others? A perfect example would be “Bakery Boss,” where Buddy Valastro helps down-and-out bakeries improve their business and the lives of the owners. Such a show has impacted this very community when he rejuvenated local bakery Baked Euphoria and gave our area and school some publicity.

These are the kinds of reality shows we should be advertising and watching. I don’t think it sends a good message to younger generations or the world at large when America is known for people like Mike “The Situation,” Mama June (Honey Boo Boo’s mother) or Kris Jenner.

Furthermore, how is it even OK to reward irresponsible teens like those on “Teen Mom” with a show that only makes them more self-absorbed and distracts them from taking care of their child, who is the real victim in the situation? The camera only fuels the drama and breaks these families apart, as millions of viewers intrude on their most private moments every week.

I think our generation has had its fill of this type of mindless TV. If you want to watch a show, watch one with talented, award-winning actors and creative writers who are trained for their jobs — that’s what the entertainment industry was made for. “Arrested Development,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Office” and “The Walking Dead” should get you started on the right track.

As amused as we all were when Kim Kardashian cried about a lost earring that probably cost more than our college education, or when Sammi and Ronnie broke up for the sixth time, when are we going to get over this type of entertainment?

I know it may be unrealistic, but I think the reality show craze in America needs to end.

Views expressed in the opinion pages represent the opinions of the columnists.