Fake TV


In this supposed golden age of television, I am having a hard time finding programs I want to watch. Having recently switched to Amazon Fire Stick and Hulu Live, I have found a few movies and series that are pleasant new discoveries, but it seems the vast majority misses whatever it is I am looking for.

Here is what I have found.

Reality Shows. These have never appealed to me because they simply are not real, in the least. They are about backbiting, eye candy, and stupid games. I do make one exception, Deadliest Catch, which is more real, dealing with elements like weather conditions and personalities. Also, it is brilliantly edited and produced.

Dark Shows. I have found some new shows produced by the likes of Amazon and other companies outside of the realm of broadcast TV, that have high production standards. But most of them are very dark, dealing with the worse of humanity. They are all about lying, cheating, stealing, breaking the law, murdering people, and anything disgusting. I am all about a good story and I am no prude, but copious amounts of gratuitous gore and profanity turn me off because they are so overdone and way beyond the realm of reality. There are story lines not set in the zombie apocalypse or a dystopian future. We need more imagination.

Hallmark Shows. Incidentally, this post was almost entitled “It’s Not a Hallmark World”. Some people love these shows and movies because of what they don’t have: profanity, violence, and dark themes. But in real life people get cold in the winter. We all don’t have beautiful cabins in Vermont or fall in love with a gorgeous, recently windowed man or woman. Real people and real families struggle with poverty, addiction, illness, and personality and relationship issues. It is foolish fantasy, and even uncaring, to try to avoid getting our hands dirty with reality preferring to escape into our bubble of safety and comfort.

News Shows. Cable news shows are, for the most part, not news. Worse, they are annoying. Chattering heads who differ with each other, don’t answer questions, and spout partisan nonsense have worn out their welcome. So-called news shows that drive their partisan agenda by vilifying and ridiculing the most outlandish representatives of the “other side” are stupid. There are still a few real journalists out there. There are still people who will press for answers to important questions, but they are few. Seek them out.

Real life is not filled with pretty people playing stupid “reality” games. Life is real enough. Real life is not some sort of bubble which only wholesome stuff happens. Life has some serious ugliness. But real life is not all darkness where everybody is constantly up to something evil either. Life has a lot of beauty, love, and kindness. Real life is not all people arguing and hating each other, though there certainly is way too much of it. Sometimes, we even have respectful, civil discussions.


Thankfully, television is fake.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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