Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve only seen the show once. But I’m no stranger to reality television. Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Dance Moms, and even Street Outlaws (you gotta let your man have his show, too) make frequent appearances on my DVR list. These shows are cheesy, shallow, depthless, and hold the key to your happiness.
Reality television has become an American phenomenon. It has actually been around for quite a while, with the 1948 series Candid Camera often being accredited as reality TV’s pioneer. And we all remember MTV’s The Real World, which debuted in 1992. From there, shows like Big Brother and Survivor made their way into our television sets, and our lives.
Now, I have been guilty of making claims like, “Geez, people! Why do you care about these stupid shows when there are documentaries on the Discovery channel analyzing the depths of the galaxy???” Not that I spent much time watching those documentaries, but when you see people purposely picking the narcissistic reality shows OVER the informational stuff, you start to wonder about the human race and where it’s going. However, what I began to realize is that when you spend all of your time reading and watching scholarly programs, it is almost certain that one thing will happen, you will get very depressed.
The ozone layer is thinning, the ice caps are melting, there are storms happening around the world that have never happened before, North Korea is plotting a nuclear attack on us, ISIS is recruiting mentally unstable youth, the sun is getting closer and closer to the Earth, and cancer is at an all-time high. Who wouldn’t get depressed hearing about all this in their leisure time?!
That is why happiness lies in watching shows like the Bachelorette. Monday morning comes, you hear your alarm go off, and you hit snooze so you can close your eyes for five more minutes… And WAIT! It’s Monday! Who is she going to give the rose to tonight?!?! And just like that, the Bachelorette makes Monday not seem so bad anymore. You wait all day in anticipation of the show. Who is going to reveal a dark secret about themselves? Are the other men going to find out she slept with Nick? Let’s see if the workout trainer actually cries this week. How is she going to wear her makeup? I need to start wearing makeup…
It is complete mind-dumbing, totally consuming, absolutely frivolous… joy. And this leads to Tuesday becoming more tolerable because you have something to talk about with all of your coworkers, other than the audit you have been complaining about for three weeks.
Reality TV takes our mind off the big picture… our eminent deaths. And it allows our thoughts to be consumed by shallow, egotistical drama. Isn’t it great?! Sure, we will never be the people to revolutionize biomedical research with our theories on stem cell genes, and we probably won’t be the ones they cryogenically freeze so that we can live on in the future to share our invaluable knowledge, but hey, WE will be the happy ones!!! We get to see who the bachelorette decides to marry after six weeks of dating 26 men! What could be better than that?
Of course, I am not proposing that all one should watch is reality TV. That’d be silly. Pick up a book once in a while! However, if all you do it try to gain knowledge and insight about what is going on around us, you might also want to call your doctor to get a script for anxiety and depression, and keep the kitchen knives locked up, okay? Because if there is one thing I can pass along to you, it is that ignorance truly is bliss.