Monday, April 18, 2011


I was told recently that several long running soap operas are ending this spring. I no longer watch any daytime TV, but I have to say that the news pained me a bit. You see, I grew up in an era where soaps were “STORIES”, and you didn’t interrupt or act up during the precious time they were on. My great grandmother, and various other female members of my household were enthralled with them. As I got a bit older, I have to admit that I got sucked into the world of kidnappings, long lost twins, and amnesia stricken unintentional polygamists.

The draw to these “stories” was mainly that they could NEVER happen. You were allowed to escape into a world that was ridiculous, sumptuously decorated, and completely fake. It was comforting to know that your life, while bits of it could mimic some parts of an episode, would never be that “fantastic”. It was pure fantasy, and everybody knew it. The world of the soap, and your world were firmly divided by REALITY, and most people were not tempted to try to live a soap opera.

The new trend that is ultimately causing the death of the soap is “REALITY” TV. This is where television has taken a decided turn for the worse. The trouble with “reality” on TV is that it is not much more real than a soap opera, but is being packaged as “REAL”. Many people honestly believe that life is like that for regular people. Now don’t scoff! I have seen the younger generation who is growing up with this phenomenon, and they are being sucked in to an ALTERNATE reality. They believe that everyone has to scream and cry, and fight, and curse, and have an emotional roller coaster ride every single day, and that this is normal and REAL. They believe that almost everyone will become an instant celebrity at some point, become a back stabber, do drugs, be successful, and then become a deranged lunatic. By elementary school they have already begun to imitate “REALITY” TV, and it’s not a pretty thing.

It seems a worthy cause in my opinion to correctly label our entertainment, if not for the benefit of the audience for which it was intended, at least for the generations to come. After all, they won’t have the good ol’ FAKE “REALITY” to compare their REAL reality to.

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