Thursday, May 31, 2007

Talkin' TV Trash

Yes, it’s summer and all the really good shows are done for the season- or are they? I am slightly embarrassed to admit my recent TV watching has been mostly reality TV shows- the term itself an oxymoron.
I know, that although they’re called “reality”-- they are not real. They are edited and sometimes scripted (I have seen ads for script writers. They call them story producers.) and definitely cast- but there are no laugh tracks, no shipped in studio audiences, no breaks for celebrity phone calls, baby nursing or breakdowns. I like that. And they show me things that are interesting with real life as a background, (no one styles their clothes or does their nails and that hair in the sink is real.) The scenes play out with real people that I can dislike and mock for who they really are verses the character they are playing written by a writer I may not admire.
But, because of this recent trend of reality TV viewing, I fear I have been raising a bunch of critics in my house as we gather to watch American Idol, On the Lot, America’s Next Top Model, So You Think You can Dance, Project Runway, Last Comic Standing and What Not to Wear.

We say nice things, we try to make snap judgments based on a thirty second glimpse into one’s talent, personality or back story. Sometimes we’re right, and if so—we never let the others in the room forget- for however long our “selection” lasts in the competition, we will say- I picked her from the start or I told you he was good. Or I knew Benjy was going to win.

We hate when the judges are mean just for the sake of cruelty, or when they are so wishy-washy nicey Paula-esque. We want honest remarks that are constructive.
Last night my husband told my daughter she was being too critical of one of the contestants, but isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing? Aren’t we the home judges?

But if judging is okay but criticizing is bad, then what about reviewing and assessing?
Book critics criticize, movie reviewers review and good Christians should never judge. So where does that leave us?
I’m calling myself An Opinionated Assessor, an O.A. who can’t wait for the debut of The Pirate Master tonight.
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