Gone are the days where we watched television to find a role to emulate based on talent. I miss the days when I couldn’t wait to get home after school on Friday for TGIF on ABC. Those shows were wholesome and very family oriented. Each show had love and laugher; my favorites were Full House, Step by Step and Family Matters. I lived for my weekends, because I they would consist of great television programing. Friday night would be the family shows followed by Saturday morning cartoons with a huge bowl of cereal. The best ones were The Smurfs, The Snorks, He-Man, Jem and the Holograms and my favorite Scooby Doo. I love Velma to this day!
Reality television wasn’t as prevalent as it is today. We had the Real World and Road Rules challenges. The theme of those two shows were to invite people from all walks of life to each stay in a nice mansion for six months or drive around the country in a Winnebago and compete for clues. These show thrived due to the constant infighting that happened between characters with zero in common. As a Gen X’er I must admit that I was addicted to The Real World every season up until 1999. It was great television watching Tami Roman getting dragged across the floor by David in her panties. We had never seen anything like that or when Irene the cop moved out early because she had gotten married. It was interesting watching people act a complete fool on camera.
Fast forward 10-15 years and I can tell you that reality television has come along ways. Not for the better might I add. We now have Real Housewives in six cities. By the way I don’t consider you a housewife, if you aren’t or have never been married. Women who come together to fight and have catty arguments over stuff that’s really no importance. MTV and VH1 were two of the biggest music channels when I was growing up (aging myself!) Now they pride themselves on capitalizing on the spectacle of reality life with such shows like Teen Mom, Couples Therapy and Love and Hip Hop.
As I watched the Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion last night, I realized that television has reached an all time low. What should be a proud moment of six successful black women coming together for a good time ends with them ripping each other to shreds. As a black woman I don’t want that “angry black woman” titled that seems to elude these women. Also, I don’t think its fair that MTV capitalized on the young and naïve. You shouldn’t be rewarded with a television show just because you are Sixteen and pregnant. I don’t think that’s something to celebrate. We as a culture have twisted the values system of what’s important in life and it’s not fighting and screaming on television. The times have definitely changed. People will sell their souls for fifteen minutes of reality television fame. I often long for the days of carefree lifestyle this country use to have. Now, I believe we are all lost in materialism and fame.
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