The Covid 19 virus has curbed, and in some cases, collapsed businesses everywhere, least significant of which is the entertainment industry. Theatres are closed so there’s no point in producing movies and tv shows, putting a number of actors out of work,,,,,and I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a bad thing, cause let’s face it, there wasn’t a lot of quality viewing to be had even before the global pandemic.

My husband and I tend to tape the shows we like for viewing at our convenience, but over the last few years there hasn’t been much worth taping so we find ourselves watching and re-watching the same shows. They are generally home renovation shows, cooking, documentaries, and of course, sports. I defy you to find a new sitcom or movie worth laughing over because the newest tv shows center around society’s basest, the so called ‘Reality tv”.

‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’, is a series about a band of American gypsies and their quest to put on a ‘society’ wedding. They have little or no means and even less taste, but they are determined to have an extravagant and splashy wedding. Now I get that much is exaggerated for television but I can’t imagine where the viewer would find entertainment in the antics of these mouthy vagabonds. Their ‘kinfolk’ almost literally crawl out of the hills to attend the prestigious event and the family chaos that ensues is nothing short of an excerpt from ‘The Hatfields and the McCoys’ (at least that had some comedic value). The language is colourful, the attire garish, and the storyline nonexistent. Who’s entertained by this crap? Surely not someone with a functioning brain?

How about the series of reality shows around ‘housewives’? The REAL housewives of Orange County,,,,,or California,,,,or Manhattan,,,or,,,,,,those that focus on a famous family – ’Keeping up with the Kardashians’ (mercifully on its’ way out). There is no storyline. These are shows about a bunch of botox  injected Barbie dolls whose faces and rears have seen so much plastic surgery they’re all starting to look alike (could it be they’re going for a secret society of clones?) The language is vulgar, the cleavage sightings high, and the intelligence quotient exceedingly low. Watching the day to day drama of a trashy family argue about infidelity, money, and their latest acquisition (usually an expensive car or shiny new bauble for the Barbie) is mindless,,,,,,and yet they have an audience, and a big one. How scary is that?

Now, these ‘informative’ shows aside, the only other options for new viewing is often shows about deranged minds. ‘Prodigal Son’ is a series about a serial killer who uses his ‘twisted genius’ (?) to help solve crimes. (ok, I guess that absolves him of the crimes HE committed,,,,cause he’s a good guy now) Yes, by all means, let’s put him on a pedestal and teach other warped minds how to get away with murder!

‘Luther’, a tv series about a police detective who has a ‘knack’ for getting inside the heads of killers often via disturbing and dubious methods (de-ja-vu). And most of these thriller/ mystery/ drama shows involve a lot of graphic detail and violence. What could an individual possibly find entertaining here? (good grief, isn’t there enough violence and unrest in society without stoking the fires of potential copy-cats?) How do people sleep at night after watching this stuff?

Now if you don’t like any of these options, there’s always romance to be found in shows like ‘My 90 Day Fiancé” or ‘The Bachelor’, where a group of desperate young airheads battle it out for the superficial affections of some guy they never knew, but hey, it’s television,,,,so they embark on a mission to get a proposal  at any cost. Cat fights, slander, and propositions are the theme so it must be true love (oh, and I think there’s a financial payoff to the successful little virgin)

Whatever happened to good old fashioned entertainment, where people actually had an aptitude for singing, or dancing, or acting, and when did we lose our appreciation of these genuine talents? And when did entertainment become about violence, and profanity, and deviation, and sex (I know everybody’s doing it, but do I need to see it on tv?) I don’t love serious entertainment because I think there’s enough bad news in the world and I like to keep my world light, but I can appreciate a good drama if it has intelligent value. Teach me something. I love a good comedy because it’ll probably replay in my head for days after, setting off spontaneous laughter. (Does anyone else remember ‘The Honeymooners’, ‘Green Acres’, ‘Gilligans Island’, ‘Bonanza’?) And a good musical (with a storyline, of course) will have me singing show tunes for years, without the nightmares. ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘Oklahoma’, ‘Showboat’, ‘Singing in the Rain’, Moulin Rouge’. Now THAT’s entertainment!

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