Television has shared an important role in mankind’s short modern history as a unique window of perception, sometimes distorted and other times enlightening.
As part of a particular group of notable inventions, post-industrial revolution, the television has been there for man during his most trying and triumphing moments throughout the last century—Vietnam, the moon landing, and President Obama, to name a few.
Before TV’s and SportsCenter, man has relied on dogs for entertainment and loyalty. Now man’s best friend is facing stiff competition during these technologically advanced days of HDTV, Blu-Ray movies, and high resolution video games.
The cuddly domesticated beasts are up against possibly the mother of all influential inventions.
How did the television become such a dominant entertainment force, a black hole sucking the motivation and leisure time from average Americans like a cartoon marathon does to a stoner?
That loaded (sure, pun intended) question has many convoluted theories, but let’s take a quick and painless peek at the historical timeline of TV to see how it progressed to its ultimate mind-numbing medium: reality shows.
In the 1880’s, Paul Nipkow, a German colleague student, patented the first electromechanical television. By the 1930’s, television was introduced, in a practical sense, to much of the western world—regular broadcasting programs were in circulation by 1929 in Germany.
The rest is history, really: Leave It to Beaver, The Honeymooners, The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan’s Island, All in the Family, Diff'rent Strokes, The Jeffersons, Cheers, Seinfeld, Frasier, Friends….
Toward the end of the 1990s, programming took a turn for the worse. The conventional sitcom had been swallowed up by the world’s biggest douche bags being filmed as they aimlessly wandered around in an “unscripted” reality.
The demented social experiments were a huge hit in mainstream America; viewers eating up anything from “reality” game shows to "Survivor" series.
The quality ratio is far from great today, but there has been a noticeable improvement in reality shows throughout the years.
Not all reality TV is unbearable to watch. Occasionally, viewers come across very educational and meaningful shows that offer an exclusive look into worlds otherwise untouchable.
Now that reality programming is a force to be reckoned with, just about every cable genre was been affected—sports included.
What extroverted or introverted mixed martial artists would we like to see dissected outside the cage in a revealing or extreme reality show? How about an anti-reality show hero, an antagonist with anger issues?
Can you imagine a hung-over Chuck Liddell sitting through a taping of The Hills? In every episode, the Iceman KO’s Brody for every day he wears flannel.
I know, I know…we’ll get Cyborg to take care of the “um, like” drama queens on the show.
Let’s see who would shake things up in the reality realm.