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Television is many things. It can be used to inform, teach and educate. 

However, let us not fool ourselves. It is primarily a business and profit is its’ ultimate goal. Those profits can be found in Televisions primary mission; to entertain.
Throughout broadcast history, T.V networks have provided a vast selection of different categories to entertain the viewing public.  Sit-coms, police and detective dramas, science fiction and soap operas etc. are examples of fictional or scripted shows.  News shows such as 60 minutes, 20/20, Dateline etc. are examples of non-fiction informative programming.  These can entertain, while at the same time providing useful and desired news and information.

In recent decades, “Reality T.V.” shows such as “Survivor” and “Big Brother” have entered the mainstream.  Focusing on a confrontational content that features supposed non-actors in contrived situations, it is generally a benign low-brow form of entertainment.   However, a new and disturbing form of reality television has sprung up.  Its’ popularity is a reflection on the dark nature that permeates today's society.  I call it “Humiliation Television.”

To illustrate, let me ask the following questions;

- When did subjecting oneself to insults and degradation publicly, and on camera, become a desired career path?

- Why is the need for some modicum of fame cause some people to lose any sense of self-esteem and dignity?

- Why would any one take seriously a show that claims to be unrehearsed, spontaneous and true to life, when it is obviously staged? Dialogue and actions done on camera are pre-determined by the producers to create an illusion of authenticity.

In following articles I will examine different types of these shows that make-up Humiliation Television.

See Part 2.

WHAT A SHAME-  A look at the low points in the modern media.

Look at me world!

I would like to make clear the parameters of this article, regarding what programs are considered to be part of Humiliation Television.  These shows feature guests and situations that can either be scripted or true to life.  In some cases, it is the intent of the producers to mask the true nature of the show.  However, they all have this in common; the guests or antagonists are portrayed, through their actions, as contemptible human beings.  They are only to be looked upon as creatures worthy, at best, of pity or worse, to be scoffed and laughed at. They have one other important characteristic; they choose, due to certain incentives, to make public their failings, bad decisions and improper actions.  This is done in the desire to “entertain” the viewing public.

The first type of reality show I would like to examine is the “Jerry Springer/ Maury Povich" category.  Yes, these shows have been around for a while, but in recent years have spawned a host of imitators.   I don’t include all talk shows (Oprah and Dr. Phil have their problems with authenticity and sincerity, but at least they attempt a semblance of caring about their guests).   This type of talk television doesn’t even attempt to realistically disguise their intent, which is to provoke physical and emotional confrontations among those appearing on the shows.

These programs are such trash, with repugnant guests and subjects that don’t merit any sort of constructive criticism.  How much of these shows content are real and not staged is unknown, but that really is beside the point. Removing and destroying any sense of shame and/or humanity among the guests is the order of the day.

See Part 3.

WHAT A SHAME-  A look at the low points in the modern media.


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One of the most popular and trendy examples of Humiliation Television is the"Save me from myself" programming that entails rescuing failing restaurants and/or bars.  The basic premise of these shows is the Host visiting eating and drinking establishments, whose owners have contacted the producers asking for help.  

In the span of a few days the heroic star of the show has solved all the problems of the business and set it on the road to success, sometimes with a free exterior and interior makI understand the need or desire for fame and notoriety that drives many people.  Often swallowing your pride may be necessary, but these shows are beyond what could be considered realistic and true to life.

To begin with the owners and managers are presented as stupid incompetents, who shouldn't be trusted with running a lemonade stand, let alone a business that serves the general public. They are portrayed as having no clue about problem solving, or even being able to identify what problems actually exist that are hurting the bottom line.  It could be accounting, menu selection, food and drink preparation, employee supervision etc., you can be assured they are not doing it right.  You begin to wonder if these individuals are actually capable of taking care of themselves, and may suffer from mental illness.

Naturally, if those who are in charge are useless, you can bet on the fact that the employees are a reflection of that type of leadership.

See Part 4.

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