Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

An Hour on American TV

I own a TV, ok?  I own it, and it has cable, and I think I’m wasting my money, but the only things I care about watching are on Comedy Central and they don’t allow you to pay for just one channel.  But tonight I’m tired, and flipping channels, and I’m fascinated.

There’s a program on MTV called “Sex with My Mom and Dad,” serving only to remind me of why I don’t watch MTV.  I don’t even change channels.

VH1, on the other hand, is showing the top 100 hip hop songs of all time.  “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” underscores a Wu-Tang biopic, lamenting the sad death of Ol’ Dirty Bastard (best Wikipedia sentence ever: “In April 1998, he announced his new stage name, Big Baby Jesus (the first of many alternate stage names; see the list below), but was never able to give a coherent explanation for the very brief switch.“)

I want to keep watching, and am fortunately interrupted by a Taco Bell ad, allowing me to flip momentarily.

Flavor of Love, which I have actually never seen, is on the TV Guide channel…um, ok.  I did see its predecessor, that ridiculous celebrities-locked-in-a-fancy-house-boo-hoo, but never imagined that it would spawn not one, but five spinoffs, one of which would invite former contestants from, and I quote, “Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, and I Love New York.

What is wrong, my country people?  Why are you subjecting yourselves to this crap?  Seriously.  I mean, there is absolutely no excuse for this.  You’re watching major television companies capitalize on a program featuring Flavor Flav hitting on dumb girls by then hiring one of the program’s “losers” to “star” in her own “reality” (aren’t you glad I’m typing rather than reciting this?”).

This season, they’re actually bringing back 90210.  I’ve watched it.  It’s total TV porn for kids of my generation who loved Brenda and Kelly…um, because they’re still on the show.  And that’s not the worst of it – there’s a show called Privileged; I saw an episode the other night in which the subject matter of a teenage girl buying porn from Amazon.com was dealt with…wha?  And please don’t get me started on Gossip Girl.  I’ve never even seen it, but I already know.  Oh, I know.

My hour’s up.  Remind me not to turn on my TV again until October 8.

2 Comments

  1. Why do you flip the channel when a commercial comes on? As a writer, commercials (TV or radio) inspire me; if I can be persuaded to buy something in 30 seconds, then I can try to sell an idea to someone in 300 characters.

  2. I don’t typically, but not flipping the channel would have ruined my experiment! If I’d just watched the best hip hop videos, I’d actually have been ENJOYING television!

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