This is not to say that I have not been witness to snippets of the nonsense from these shows from time to time, but more to say that embarrassment, disinterest, or simple anger at the sheer ignorance of these shows emerged rather quickly, causing me to change the channel. I guess the problem was that I never understood what it was about these shows that were considered entertainment. It got me thinking about where we seek entertainment, and what this level of entertainment says about us.
Could it be that the popularity of such shows simply points to the level of desperation that people are beginning to feel about the world around them? Is it that looking at the foolishness of sitcom characters living caricature lives makes us feel better about our own situations? Could it be the false reality of reality shows make us less stressed out? Could the freak shows of the families portrayed on TV make us complacent about the mostly minor silliness that we find in our own homes? Could it be that watching people whose lives are worse than our own appeals to an inordinate number of us and that juvenile humor is our only form of escape?
I know one thing for sure, the networks certainly love us for what we are doing. With the exception of the sitcoms, none of these shows requires much in the way of a writing staff, making them much cheaper to produce. Those that do have writers don't appear to have very good ones (perhaps with the exception of some of the wrestling). For many of the rest of them, much of the work involved is simply to film (and perhaps orchestrate) the madness going on around them, then edit it in such a way that it appears to make some kind of sense. Considering the plunging revenues of network television these days however, all of this has to be a rather welcome relief to their respective owners.
On the other hand, maybe the new "hulu" commercials are right. Maybe all of this is simply an alien plot, attempting to turn human brains into a form of goo that can be consumed by them (and heaven knows, there is nothing better than a good meal of brain goo when you're really hungry).