Television has gotten out of hand

Tuesday, July 2, 2002

Whatever happened to good quality programming like "Matlock" and "Murder She Wrote"?

OK. I know what you're thinking: "What? Those were boring." That's the reaction I used to get from my college roommates, who made fun of me every time they came back from class to find me perched in front of the television watching Andy Griffith portray a lawyer.

"You're 20, not 200," they said. "Matlock's for old people."

I never convinced them that a good murder mystery is priceless. They liked more recent programming, like reality shows.

I admit I got caught up in the first two seasons of "Survivor" and the second season of "Big Brother," but some of the shows on TV nowadays seem way too outrageous for my old-fashioned ways.

Take, for instance, the new show that is set to premiere in the next month or so where a mother, father and daughter spend a weekend with three guys and at the end of the weekend the parents are supposed to pick which one is best for their daughter.

One of the commercials shows the father asking one of the guys, "Do you want to sleep with my daughter?" The guy is hooked up to a lie detector.

First of all, what parent would ask someone that if they came over to pick their daughter up for a date? These people just met; that shouldn't even be a thought in their minds.

And second, why all of a sudden is a show like this acceptable? Doesn't anyone remember Darva Conger and "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?" That show was made fun of for months, and now this new show, which is pretty much the same thing, comes out and people are excited to watch it.

"That looks cool," I overheard a male college student saying the other day. "That girl is hot."

This guy might as well be the poster boy for why women aren't getting married until their late 20s and early 30s these days. They have to wait for the males to catch up intellectually.

While we're talking about TV, what is up with some of the commercials? The other night a commercial came on for a fast-food chain that actually made me mad. I usually don't care too much about commercials, but this one was just ridiculous.

What happened was a guy ate a new kind of sandwich that was covered in onions and he was trying to freshen his breath by drinking an entire bottle of mouthwash.

I don't think children necessarily do everything they see on television, but this is the type of thing children would probably think would be cool to try. I'm sure the stomach pumping they'd have to get later would deter them from trying it again, but before that it might seem fun. Some of the mouthwash they make today smells pretty good.

The other thing that annoys me about that commercial is the fact that this food chain is trying to sell their new sandwich by basically telling everyone, "If you eat this, your breath will stink so badly for the rest of the day that you might as well go home and go to bed after you eat it."

I really wonder what kind of people are in charge of the restaurant's advertising.

There are a couple of other commercials out now that I'm not too fond of, but that's just because they contain big, hairy spiders.

I guess for all of the dumb stuff on TV there's enough good stuff to outweigh it all. I can't watch "Matlock" every day anymore, but I can watch my other favorite programming -- news shows like "Dateline" and "60 Minutes."

Or maybe I can just get off the couch and get some points for Shape Up Cape!

Heather Kronmueller is a staff writer for the Southeast Missourian.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: