News & Features » Miscellany

Outraged over voyeuristic television? Make a choice, not a scene.

Get Real

comment
I just don't get it. The talk shows have been full of so-called pundits for the past few weeks moaning about how the new crop of reality TV shows are corrupting our morals, pushing standards to a new low and generally doing everything except rotting our teeth. Bushwah. They're not doing a single thing except entertaining the people who watch them. And I'm one of them. Heck, if television had that much power to shape us we'd all be as funny as Lucy, as well informed as Peter Jennings, as nakedly aggressive as Bobby Donnell and as sartorially impaired as Regis. And we'd all believe in aliens. Wait. Maybe I'd better rethink those last two examples. I see a lot of people dressed like Regis lately, and some of my best friends believe in aliens. But that's not the point. The point is that the pundits are missing the point. Hello? It's just television, folks. And I, for one, think the two latest reality TV shows are pretty darn entertaining. I'm really curious to find out who The Mole really is, and I can't wait to see if Billy dumps that girl with the orange hair on "Temptation Island." We might as well face it. We're a nation of gossips and voyeurs. And what's wrong with that? Nothing. We gossip with and about our friends every day. We're all on guard against the office back stabber. And not a week goes by without most of us looking around our circle of acquaintances and trying to figure out who's zooming who. So ABC's "The Mole" offers up one more saboteur to be on the lookout for. And Fox's "Temptation Island" lets us pull back the curtain and see which of a couple of dozen attractive strangers has the right stuff when opportunity comes knocking. So I say, "Let the games begin!" After all, they're only games, right? Right. And if the contestants want to play and we want to watch, where's the harm? There's no need to get our knickers in a knot. Of the two latest reality-TV entries, I like the one the pop psychologists and doomsayers hate the most, "Temptation Island." But I'm watching "The Mole" every week, too. Both have a lot going for them, aside from beautiful contestants and interesting premises. On both, the contestants get to go to interesting places and have fun experiences. There're skydiving and trips to exotic vacation spots such as the South of France on "The Mole," and "Temptation Island" is set in a tropical paradise. Have you ever such a gorgeous beach with such exquisite white sand in your life? So to heck with the naysayers. If all they want to watch is "Book Notes" and "Meet the Press," well, fine. There's plenty of that stuff on TV, too. As for me, I'm enjoying the heck out of "The Mole" and "Temptation Island." And I'm looking forward to the debut of "Survivor II." If you are, too, don't let the pundits shame you into saying that all you ever watch on TV is "Masterpiece Theatre." But if you feel an urge to shop where Regis shops, well, maybe you are spending too much time watching trash TV. Here's a tip for you: Tim Russert is a much better

Add a comment