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Sue Nami

Reality TV

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There seems to have been a quiet change taking place on cable television over the past few years. Its been insidiously creeping into the channels one by one without many taking notice or caring. Its like a swampy cancer that has slowly overtaken the channels that we used to subscribe ( pay) for because it was a better alternative to network television.


The original "reality" show was something like PBS' 'This Old House' some 25 years ago. But that was authentic realism in that the show was about a man restoring homes.

Sometime in 1999 or so, some anonymous producer or programmer decided to take the success of the reality show concept to another level and introduced 'Survivor'.

Then,early on,it must have occurred to those watching the ratings that the prurient,voyeuristic behavior garnered better ratings rather than people simply competing for a prize. So they injected the notion of mean spiritedness,pettiness and back-stabbing to add drama.


So the shows were tweaked to reflect this voyeurism that appealed to the lowest human emotions of jealousy,fear,envy,greed etc. Then those aspects were fine tuned yet again and sharpened to appeal to an even lower level of viewership;

The formula went something like this; Take one part each Jerry Springer,WWE, Fishin',Bayou,Boots an' Beards!

Add The Hatfields & McCoys,shake a bit with the backstabbing...

Then stir in a bit of Osbournes,Jersey Shore and the Hillbilly spin-off
version 'Buck Wild' on MTV that ended after a cast member being killed while "muddin'.

Eventually,with the success of shows like "Pawn Stars",the programmers at cable companies abandoned any attempts at programming with substance and a potential for elucidation to pander to what is cheapest to produce.


The menu of reality shows could be all summarized in a hypothetical conversation that encompasses all of the elements and full,low spirit of the shows on TV today.

"Do ya wanna go an git a tattoo?

Naw, Tammy don't like me goin' there. I'm a gone muddin' then to catch some gators

Oh,OK. I wanna shake my ass and hope to git a boyfriend.

But you're 16 and have a baby on the way.

So does my mama!

I think Honey Boo Bo jes sheet herself...He he he!

Come on,let's git tattoos then go to the pawn shop.

I wanna become a storage locker entrepreneur.

DJ's jealous. I sent a bouquet of roses to the bachelorette.

He said I was backstabbin' when I was talkin' behind his back at the club.

He jez likes you cause you're tan and shake your bikini booty at him!

I wanna goin' shoot sumpthin! Then let's get some moonshine then go muddin'!

Maybe we can git Jesse ta build us a bike!"

Somehow someone in New York or Los Angeles has discovered that Middle America equates being "Amurrkin' with hiding behind these pseudo-patriotic icons of hyper masculinity. So a flag is a totem on which to hang your identity and life purpose.

Country music,trucks,moonshine and a belt buckle is all that is required to earn your badge as a citizen in the viewing public:

Cable programming is now red,white and blue=red neck white trash and blue collar

So we went from American Bandstand and American Dreams to

American Gunners
American Hoggers
American Diggers
American Pickers
American Shooters
American Truckers
Only in America with Larry The Cable Guy
Top Shot
God,Guns and Automobiles!

A'Comin' up: Its Uncle Jesse goe's a shootin' while wearing lotsa camoflage and denim! Maybe he'll ride his motorcycle through the swamp an git hurt while he's drunk!

Do viewers not realize that they have been lulled into complacency to the point that they actually PAY to view this shit? Have the viewers and networks become so complacent and given up? Is it actual entertainment to watch "the Old Man" play solitaire and complain about the other guys in the pawn shop? Seriously,are we really paying their $100 a month to catch up on the latest gator huntin'?

What would viewers have thought had this programming come out in 1990? What's available today has the professional and entertainment standards of public access television for the mentally challenged and inbred.

Why is there always some bearded hillbilly looking out at me each time I turn on the TV? What is with the deluge of rednecks and why does this settle for entertainment these days?

A sign that things were changing is when 'The History Channel' dropped any pretense of actually having historical,non-fictional content and changed its name to simply 'History' or "Histree' as Larry the Cable Guy pronounces it. Some executive or marketing guy must have said "Well,if we call it 'The History Channel' we're obligated to actually have programming that is focused on something historical. So if we simply change it to HISTREE,we can load up our programming slots with a shitload of hillbillies playing with fish,stills,trucks,gators and anything else on the planet that's a sign of arrested development and has absolutely nothing to do with history.

So I would assume that 'The Learning Channel' will soon become 'Learnin'". Or 'Fun Hillbilly Stuff' as learning implies that there's going to be a quiz at some point.




It makes me wonder if this was the plan from the beginning where there was a gradual downslope of standards from content with substance to now watching two people fight over a boyfriend,a gator,a storage locker or a tree ( as is the case of the lumberjackin' show).

Its the dumbing down of American TV. Original programming that broadcasts material that could be enlightening and possibly informative is expensive to produce. So rather than take a chance and create a few shows with some learnin',the programmers at all these channels decided to slowly dilute the pool then totally pollute it with raw redneck sewage.

Why don't they just install a camera at the cess pool in the back of some trailer park in Arkansas so we can see the shit that pours out? Just get right down to it. Perhaps we'll overhear a fight or some drama in the background while we're at it.

Go back to 2000 and check at the listings for the History Channel,The Learning Channel ( Now featuring the "Housewives of Wherever the Fuck"), Discovery ( AKA Hillbilly Headquarters) and any other channel that had any amount of original substantial programming and notice the difference.


When did this transformation take place? And who is behind it? And why are viewers not complaining? Perhaps this is the struggle between the cable channels giving up and making one last ditch effort to maintain an audience while the majority of affluent subscribers leave to watch other higher quality programming available on the multitude of alternate media outlets available today.

And why are we being led down the lane,lulled into submission to drink the moonshine?

Kardashians? Have we really changed out entertainment for viewing the daily trials and tribulations of 3 spoiled women who are famous for being famous? Paris Hilton set the precedent.......and now the bar has been lowered even more..if that's possible.

Are we redneckified to the point where we need actual subtitles to be able to understand the bearded guys from Alabama?

It seems as if we're moving towards the Deliverance Entertainment Channel where we sit for hours and watch the goings-on of an inbred,cross eyed,banjo playing bastard and accept this for entertainment.

Amish Mafia? WTF? Those exes in LA and NY must really be laughing thier asses off at that one!
What's next? Quaker Gun Runners?

There are parental locks for content on your TV. Would I be able to lock out any reality programming or install a "beard" filter that disallows any features resembling ZZ Top on my TV?

There's a little hope that programming of this sort will run its course and eventually swing back to content with substance. Or it will continue to swirl around the bowl and we will follow in the footsteps of other collapsed societies.

More than likely,this shit storm will run out of steam when the droves of people tired of it go over to the Internet or other venues of entertainment that provide more choice and don't rely on a 24 by 7 HILLYBILLY festival.

Its about time that the market speak up and not accept this type of material for mass consumption.

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I don't know about any of this. I don't have cable; but I know a lot of rednecks 'cause I live in Louisiana.

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I don't watch any of that hillbilly shit, nor do I pay attention to it. It might be someone's idea of America, but it isn't mine.

For the record, though, "This Old House" was not the first reality show. "An American Family", filmed in 1971 and aired on PBS in 1973 was where it all began. The Loud family was never the same...and neither was American television.

The reality tv bullshit really got going with MTV's "Real World" debut in 1992. Later came "Big Brother" and "Survivor" around 1999-2000. After the success of those shows, all bets were off and the floodgates opened with "American Idol" and all the rest of the swill.

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I don't know about any of this. I don't have cable; but I know a lot of rednecks 'cause I live in Louisiana.

Awww Cher, we don't have rednecks we have couyons! :D

But I do agree, i watch very little TV...too much reality for me!

It is affecting every aspect of our lives...drama!!!

I am so sick of people getting all pissy over the stupidest stuff, and I think it is because people are watching all this reality drama mess!

Civility, respect and decency toward another human being is no longer shown, rather "the real housewives of I'm gon jack you up cause you cut your eyes wrong at me!" mentality prevails! :rolleyes:

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I personally don't mind shows like "Pawn Wars" or even "Storage Wars". I like being informed about items and their value - much like I enjoy watching "Antiques Roadshow". I've never seen a Kardashian moment, never a "Real Housewives..." show, no idea what a "Honey Boo Boo " is and I can't stand all the talent shows that are on.

I do have to admit to having one guilty pleasure as far as reality shows go....but I won't say which one!

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I personally don't mind shows like "Pawn Wars" or even "Storage Wars". I like being informed about items and their value - much like I enjoy watching "Antiques Roadshow". I've never seen a Kardashian moment, never a "Real Housewives..." show, no idea what a "Honey Boo Boo " is and I can't stand all the talent shows that are on.

I do have to admit to having one guilty pleasure as far as reality shows go....but I won't say which one!

Does it possibly involve ducks and beards?

:hunter: :hunter: :hunter:

I love antiques roadshow!

The best was the 2 Native Alaskan artifacts a lady got from a relative ...valued at $200-300,000!

I would have fainted... And then sold them both! :D

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To the starter of this topic, Sue Nami (I get it, your name that is), I tend to agree with some of what you are saying. However, I have not seen any of the shows you have mentioned besides "Pawn Stars". I like Pawn Stars for the information and facts that They provide with each interaction/transaction between seller and buyer.

My question to you is:

How is it that you seem so "perplexed" with all the so-called shows about American "hillbillies" (etc..) when you are a resident of Kyoto? As far as I know, there is no city named Kyoto in the United States of America. If I am right, that means you live in Japan. Again, if I am right and you do reside in Japan, why would you really care about American Television programming? Do the Japanese get every t.v. show that is made for and/or produced in America? (I am not defending these nonsense shows, just curious why you would care being that you live in Japan, if you do)?

If Japan does get all the shows that are made in America and for American television, I strongly suggest you Forget all those "redneck" shows and watch "Game of Thrones", the "Sopranos" and of course, "Breaking Bad". Now that is quality AMERICAN television at its finest.

Edited by kingzoso

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Awww Cher, we don't have rednecks we have couyons! :D

But I do agree, i watch very little TV...too much reality for me!

It is affecting every aspect of our lives...drama!!!

I am so sick of people getting all pissy over the stupidest stuff, and I think it is because people are watching all this reality drama mess!

Civility, respect and decency toward another human being is no longer shown, rather "the real housewives of I'm gon jack you up cause you cut your eyes wrong at me!" mentality prevails! :rolleyes:

Awww, darlin' heart, yes, our couyons!!! There are rednecks though, you know - in the foreign country of north Louisiana. :aw:

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To the starter of this topic, Sue Nami (I get it, your name that is), I tend to agree with some of what you are saying. However, I have not seen any of the shows you have mentioned besides "Pawn Stars". I like Pawn Stars for the information and facts that They provide with each interaction/transaction between seller and buyer.

My question to you is:

How is it that you seem so "perplexed" with all the so-called shows about American "hillbillies" (etc..) when you are a resident of Kyoto? As far as I know, there is no city named Kyoto in the United States of America. If I am right, that means you live in Japan. Again, if I am right and you do reside in Japan, why would you really care about American Television programming? Do the Japanese get every t.v. show that is made for and/or produced in America? (I am not defending these nonsense shows, just curious why you would care being that you live in Japan, if you do)?

If Japan does get all the shows that are made in America and for American television, I strongly suggest you Forget all those "redneck" shows and watch "Game of Thrones", the "Sopranos" and of course, "Breaking Bad". Now that is quality AMERICAN television at its finest.

Not to mention that Japan has some of the vilest and demeaning and ridiculous television programming in the world...stuff that makes Duck Dynasty and Honey Bear look quaint.

Plus, shows like Survivor and Big Brother and others were based on foreign tv shows from Norway and the UK and elsewhere. So it's not just the U.S. who has a "reality show" problem.

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LOVE Survivor! Starts back on September 18....:)

Thought about starting a thread to discuss the competitors, strategy, and predictions of possible winners.

If people weren't watching these shows, they wouldn't be on anymore - so I don't see it as a "reality show problem" as much as supply v. demand. Plus there are so many other channels to watch, reality t.v. shouldn't even be a blip on your radar, if it's not your thing. Never have seen Duck Dynasty, Honey Boo-Boo, and just about every other "redneck" show out there. Don't plan to either.

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loved the original survivor and idol.

still watch biggest loser.

love escape to the country, antiques roadshow, and there's another british one ... homes up for auction, i think it's called ...

love the one where the guy restores old stuff ... american restoration?

can't stand all those other ones ... turtle man, gator boys ..... etc etc

never watched big brother, kardashians etc

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I have watched a few of them. No Honey Boo Boo though; I haven't seen a single episode. I am hooked on Dance Moms :bagoverhead: and So You Think You Can Dance. SYTYCD is by far my favorite; the contestants work really hard and are genuinely talented; the feedback from the judges is constructive and duly noted. There's also some amazing choreography (Travis Wall, Sonya Tayeh).

The dancers have (in most cases) trained for years. You see the injuries etc. Every now and then a street dancer makes it really far, and that's because they are talented, able to pick up choreography and continue to improve.

Another one I've enjoyed, but haven't seen in a year or so, is Billy the Exterminator. Always entertaining, that one!

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Good guess, but no, it's MUCH more embarrassing than that!

My favorite "Antiques Roadshow" moment was the little 'ol farmer who brought in an old Indian blanket that had been draped over a rocking chair in his house for years. Turns out it was one of the earliest Native American blankets known and was worth a half million. The farmer broke out in tears when he was told! You couldn't help but be happy for him!

Does it possibly involve ducks and beards?
:hunter: :hunter: :hunter:


I love antiques roadshow!
The best was the 2 Native Alaskan artifacts a lady got from a relative ...valued at $200-300,000!
I would have fainted... And then sold them both! :D

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Still no reply from sue nami from the question I asked him/her (post #7).

I ask that you respond to the question(s) I asked you. I took the time to read your most inane post about American "rednecks" and "hillbillies". I would like to read your reply (if you have one). And why would a person living in Kyoto, Japan, care what shows Americans make or watch? (I prefer shows about American History or well made shows made for American viewers).

I live in Dallas, Texas, in the United States of America and I could care less about what shows are made in and produced in Japan. How is it that you are so "disinterested" in the reality shows that you mentioned when you are not even a resident of the United States of America? I am a Proud Citizen and I do not care for 99% of the shows you mentioned. I choose not to watch them, because that is MY choice. I do not "bitch" about shows that I could care less of.

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Awww shucks. I was hoping Sue Nami (yes, the name is obvious) was real and not a phony member like Hana Hardcore.

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Hey Sue, excellent post, you're not alone on this one!! (Have you been a fly on my wall...?)

Every-single-time I flip to one of those 'pickers', 'diggers', 'dumpster-divers' (well maybe not yet but give 'em time) reality shows, I ask, "Are we seriously getting off on watching people finagle a few bucks off of somebody's unwanted shit, like cockroaches in a day-old pizza box?" It makes us Americans look VERY PATHETIC, UNJUSTLY!

Do viewers not realize that they have been lulled into complacency to the point that they actually PAY to view this shit? Have the viewers and networks become so complacent and given up? Is it actual entertainment to watch "the Old Man" play solitaire and complain about the other guys in the pawn shop? Seriously,are we really paying their $100 a month to catch up on the latest gator huntin'?

1. No, they do not.

2. No, it is not.

3. Seriously, I don't know what the hell I'm paying for.

What would viewers have thought had this programming come out in 1990? What's available today has the professional and entertainment standards of public access television for the mentally challenged and inbred.

LOL, absolutely!

A sign that things were changing is when 'The History Channel' dropped any pretense of actually having historical,non-fictional content and changed its name to simply 'History' or "Histree' as Larry the Cable Guy pronounces it. Some executive or marketing guy must have said "Well,if we call it 'The History Channel' we're obligated to actually have programming that is focused on something historical. So if we simply change it to HISTREE,we can load up our programming slots with a shitload of hillbillies playing with fish,stills,trucks,gators and anything else on the planet that's a sign of arrested development and has absolutely nothing to do with history.

Exactly!


It seems as if we're moving towards the Deliverance Entertainment Channel where we sit for hours and watch the goings-on of an inbred,cross eyed,banjo playing bastard and accept this for entertainment.

Right you are again! More importantly, it's Deliverance because the American people are expected to just bend over,"Squeeeeeeeeeel like a pig!", and accept it.

When did this transformation take place? And who is behind it? And why are viewers not complaining? Perhaps this is the struggle between the cable channels giving up and making one last ditch effort to maintain an audience while the majority of affluent subscribers leave to watch other higher quality programming available on the multitude of alternate media outlets available today.

Three very important questions here.

1. I personally believe it all started to change after the 9/11 attacks, when nationalism ragingly crept up the backside of the American public.

2. Yes, who is behind it....Sue, is it this the very same 'who' that has destroyed movies, music and journalism etc...??

3. People don't complain for multiply reasons, but mostly for the one you pointed out: Standards have been lowered. This 'who' has depicted the American people as rednecks so Americans will 'know their place'. "

Its about time that the market speak up and not accept this type of material for mass consumption.

It's time the market speak up and not accept.... PERIOD!!

Again, great post!

Edited by MLE

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For the record, though, "This Old House" was not the first reality show. "An American Family", filmed in 1971 and aired on PBS in 1973 was where it all began. The Loud family was never the same...and neither was American television.

That's true, but if we're talking about the kind of 'reality' shows we're getting today, completely scripted and contrived, you could say Ozzie, Harriet, David and Ricky Nelson had the first reality show.

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Still no reply from sue nami from the question I asked him/her (post #7).

I ask that you respond to the question(s) I asked you. I took the time to read your most inane post about American "rednecks" and "hillbillies". I would like to read your reply (if you have one). And why would a person living in Kyoto, Japan, care what shows Americans make or watch? (I prefer shows about American History or well made shows made for American viewers).

I live in Dallas, Texas, in the United States of America and I could care less about what shows are made in and produced in Japan. How is it that you are so "disinterested" in the reality shows that you mentioned when you are not even a resident of the United States of America? I am a Proud Citizen and I do not care for 99% of the shows you mentioned. I choose not to watch them, because that is MY choice. I do not "bitch" about shows that I could care less of.

'Most inane'... I'm puzzled as to why you would say this because I found Sue Nami's post to be most intelligent...?

Even if you don't care about shitty reality television, don't you care about how your fellow countrymen in the entertainment industry paint you as an American to the rest of the world? Or does that not matter...?

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If people weren't watching these shows, they wouldn't be on anymore - so I don't see it as a "reality show problem" as much as supply v. demand. Plus there are so many other channels to watch, reality t.v. shouldn't even be a blip on your radar, if it's not your thing. Never have seen Duck Dynasty, Honey Boo-Boo, and just about every other "redneck" show out there. Don't plan to either.

Disagree, it's not a supply and demand issue, it's a COMMAND issue as a result of an economic one. The entertainment industry cannot afford to pay a million dollars an episode to actors on a popular television series like they once did with those on "Friends". Also, are there really "so many other channels to watch" because I have about a thousand of them and can never find anything to watch...? If you're into history and there is only one history channel out there and all they play are reality programs then there is an obvious problem, isn't there?

Maybe people like Sue and myself are different and we need a little more intellectual stimulation than today's average television connoisseur.

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I don't have cable and don't want it. I just watch PBS most of the time. They have good programming and their News Hour has the best news. I love Nova and their documentaries...they have lots of good stuff.

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Maybe people like Sue and myself are different and we need a little more intellectual stimulation than today's average television connoisseur.

Maybe you and Sue are the same person and you're having a conversation with yourself? Where is this 'Sue' person anyway? Who starts a thread and then abandons it without a trace?

If you are so intellectual read a damn book instead of watching reality tv in the first place. You two are 1) overstating the popularity of reality shows; hence 2) overstating the problem of reality shows.

I have no problem avoiding the programs you and Sue are bitching about; I haven't even heard of 75% of the ones you mention. If y'all are so intellectual it shouldn't be that difficult for you, either.

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My question to you is:

How is it that you seem so "perplexed" with all the so-called shows about American "hillbillies" (etc..) when you are a resident of Kyoto? As far as I know, there is no city named Kyoto in the United States of America. If I am right, that means you live in Japan. Again, if I am right and you do reside in Japan, why would you really care about American Television programming? Do the Japanese get every t.v. show that is made for and/or produced in America? (I am not defending these nonsense shows, just curious why you would care being that you live in Japan, if you do)?

If Japan does get all the shows that are made in America and for American television, I strongly suggest you Forget all those "redneck" shows and watch "Game of Thrones", the "Sopranos" and of course, "Breaking Bad". Now that is quality AMERICAN television at its finest.

To clarify, I don't actually live in Japan. Much like my user name,my location is fictitious. I was born and raised here in the U.S.

Thanks for the suggestions regarding Game of Thrones,Sopranos and Breaking Bad. I've heard lots of good things about GOT and BB but have yet to catch any of those shows. Sopranos was one of the best shows I've seen in a long time.

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I've been away from the forum because I've been too busy reading books.

Maybe you and Sue are the same person and you're having a conversation with yourself? Where is this 'Sue' person anyway? Who starts a thread and then abandons it without a trace?

If you are so intellectual read a damn book instead of watching reality tv in the first place. You two are 1) overstating the popularity of reality shows; hence 2) overstating the problem of reality shows.

I have no problem avoiding the programs you and Sue are bitching about; I haven't even heard of 75% of the ones you mention. If y'all are so intellectual it shouldn't be that difficult for you, either.

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