Opposing viewpoints – weighing in on reality TV

Shannon Kuhfuss and Heidi Stenquist

Shannon Kuhfuss
City Times

This year’s writers’ strike has left television viewers with few options of what to watch in place of their old favorites. Network executives seem to think the answer to the lack of well-written television is reality TV.

What kind of society are we living in where replacing award-winning shows such as “The Office” with shows with titles such as “My Dad is Better than Your Dad” is okay? Instead of watching other people live their lives on television, how about getting off your couch and living your own?

It makes me cringe to think that the area of television that I want to get into is being taken over by reality television. It makes me even more sick to see the people that are being chosen to have their own reality shows. These people have done nothing to deserve their second chance at 15 minutes of fame, let alone their first. Just because all the talent in Hollywood is fighting for their paychecks doesn’t mean the fifth string of burnt out “celebrities” should be called in.

“Scott Baio is 45 and Single?” More like “Scott Baio is 45 and Jobless.” Or even better, “Who is Scott Baio?” Personally, I don’t care if he ever finds love or whatever they’re paying him to find. It will only last until he’s offered another season to display another one of his pathetic problems to the public. Oh wait . isn’t that the premise for the new “Scott Baio is 46 and Pregnant?” Wow, a year older and that much more pathetic. I can just feel the creativity flowing out of that one.

I will admit that when shows like “Survivor” first came out, I was interested. That was a big sum of money to win on national television and those contestants really had to work for it. Once it hit about the sixth season, it got a little old. The different tribes were struggling to get by living in tents and hunting for food while the sun-bronzed host slept in a nearby Hilton and sipped mai-tais.

It is also rumored that VH1 is scheduled to put out six new reality shows, one of which is about Brooke Hogan out on her own. Since when does anyone care about the Hogan family or the manly, less-talented member Brooke? Granted, it must be hard to live in your father’s shadow, but not when the shadows are literally the same size. Do us a favor and drop the microphone, pick up some yellow spandex, and jump in the ring. Then we’ll talk.

Overall, reality television has been lacking entertainment and even more so, quality. I hope that by the time I finish my studies and am ready to be a television writer, the industry will have vomited all of this reality garbage out of its system. Network television will have to eventually take their mulligan on this one and move on.

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would set aside a giant chunk of money so I could single-handedly pay the writers to come back to work. They would have to take me along, however.