My Thoughts On Reality Television

By David G. Firestone

People wonder why I don’t watch a lot of television. Truth told, I really don’t. I watch documentaries, and the news, and auto racing, but other than that, I really don’t turn the television on all that much. After what I experienced this last week, it should be easy to understand why I wouldn’t watch that much TV.

Last week, I decided to watch the Isle Of Man TT races. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating, that I’m not big on motorcycle racing. I promised myself this year, I would make a more concerted effort to try and watch more racing. So I wanted to watch the race. I couldn’t figure out what channel the Isle of Man TT was on. After a few minutes on Google, I discovered that the races were being televised on a television channel called “Velocity.”

Velocity bills itself as a car guy network. Almost all programming is devoted to either restoring or customizing cars. The bulk of their prime-time programming is car customizing reality shows. I tried to watch some of these shows, and was quickly reminded why I hate reality television shows. Reality TV is the worst genre of television EVER! Every one of these shows are fake. These shows have fake drama surrounding them, and the endings are predictable.

While these reality shows are bad by themselves, Velocity has found a way to make it worse. Every commercial for upcoming episode I saw, the ending was spoiled in the commercial! Not that it really matters, every ending is the exact same. The car they are either customizing or restoring is finished in time, regardless of the drama, and the customer loves it. But if you insist on watching these shows, you will know the ending of the show before it airs.

Why would you spoiler alert the show in the previews? What sense does that make? I understand you want to show the cool car, but in doing this, you have really taken any and all incentive to watch the show away. Don’t show the end, just show the basic plot, and you’ll be able to draw more viewers.

The other thing I noticed about these reality shows on Velocity is that they are all the same show, but with different people and different locations. The plot-lines and production values are exactly the same, and I’m willing to bet that if you took the title cards out of the shows, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. Again, this isn’t the middle of the day, this is prime-time! Why wouldn’t you have more unique programming during prime-time, instead of the same show with different titles?

I really wonder how Velocity stays a television channel with a total lack of creative programming, no original ideas, and spoiling their shows during previews. I haven’t seen their viewership numbers, but I can’t believe they are that high. It shouldn’t come as a shock that Velocity is owned by Discovery Media, which also owns TLC. So the company that brought us Cake Boss, Jon and Kate Plus 8, 19 Kids and Counting, Toddlers and Tiaras, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo bring us Velocity as a television channel, and Velocity is no less intellectually barren than the above-mentioned shows.

People wonder why I don’t watch much television, and the above should show why. I do watch TV, but I don’t watch reality TV. I really hate that television has been reduced to this. I wish reality TV as it is now would go away, and never return.

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