Sunday, December 26, 2010
Reality TV -- further evidence that the Apocalypse is upon us.
I was thinking of just taking the rest of the year off from the blog. You know, renew the creative juices and all that good stuff. I was surfing the channels last evening after a hectic but enjoyable Christmas Day. Just as I was thinking of hitting the sack it came on. Another episode of "Hoarders", or as I like to call it "Horrifiers."
I am not trying to knock all reality shows, although many of them are quite deserving of a heap of criticism. They definitely run the gamut. There are, of course, the bottom feeders, like the one where couples were invited to a resort while the producers then tempted them with eye candy to see if they could break up their relationship. Then there are the Peeping Tom shows where we live vicariously with some offbeat family. The more laudable efforts would include "Intervention", where lives are actually trying to be saved and "The Deadliest Catch" where we see how dangerous just going to work can be.
But Hoarders is truly in a class of its own. These folks are not the bottom of the barrel, they are the slime and vermin that live underneath the barrel. I have seen everything from inch thick creeping mold to dead animal carcasses as normal adornments in some of these living quarters. A washed dish is as rare as the sect that worships the left hind leg of a salamander. Their houses make Ma and Pa Kettle's place look palatial. Homelessness begins to look like an appealing alternate lifestyle. Kind of reminds you of that old adage "Be it ever so squalid, there's no place like home."
More woeful yet is the fact that these newest TV personalities are not your typical recluse who has no contact with the outside world. These are people who have raised families in these conditions. It's often their offspring that have engendered the producers to come and film the place being cleaned up. They realize that this public embarrassment is their only way to rescue the individual and provide some therapeutic release for themselves. Naturally, the subjects themselves have no part in the cleanup. How could they, these things are their "treasures." Could you part with a cereal box from 1961 or a partially eaten pizza that has retained its nutritional value even after 12 years? They would rather sit out on the front porch complaining about how their life is being torn apart.
The fact that writing about this show is self-recrimination is not lost on me. I never was one who could turn away from watching a train wreck. My only hope is that the show is canceled due to low ratings as the audience moves on to the newest entry "Perverts and the Women Who Love Them."
Got to go now. I'm hungry and I know there's pizza around here somewhere.