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Three Horrifyingly-Bad Reality Shows

3:24 PM Posted by DarknessFalls

Every so often, I take a flip through the channels and try to watch the television shows friends or acquaintances are raving about. While some reality shows such as Deadliest Catch or Ice Road Truckers are educational to a certain point and marginally interesting, the other reality offerings on television are simply horrifying. Here are my picks for the three worst offenders.

Jersey Shore

First of all, local residents have been complaining for years that cast members do not actually live on the Jersey Shore. A quick Google search reveals that Snooki graduated from Marlboro High School in Marlboro, NY, JWoww is from Franklin Square, NY, and Vinny graduated from the University of New York at New Paltz. While lots of people live in Jersey and commute to New York City to work, this is not the case. These folks are New Yorkers and have no problem embarrassing the real inhabitants of the Jersey Shore for profit.

Secondly, the use of the word 'Guido' and 'Guidette' and the huge over-exaggeration of Italian-American stereotypes is simply appalling. There are hundreds of ethnic slurs that are simply not used in polite conversation, let alone on television. One slur is not somehow 'less bad' than another. This show isn't just low-brow and vapid, it's offensive.

American Idol

While some contest shows such as Dancing with the Stars focus on the positive and couch their criticisms tactfully, the first nine seasons of Idol featured downright-rude Brit Simon Cowell. Perhaps I am simply a sensitive person, but what is the point of making people cry for no good reason? "No, thank you" is better than "you suck!" The trio of Stephen Tyler, Randy Jackson, and Jennifer Lopez are far more gentle and equally effective, but the damage is done.

To make matters worse, asking people from the general public to shriek out a song a capella is simply torturous. Even successful recording artists sound horrendous under these conditions. I'm expected to watch it? Watching the auditions is on-par with slamming your hand in a door repeatedly. I'd rather listen to my wife sing in the shower. She's better at it than these 'hopefuls'.

Teen Mom

I remember when MTV used to play music videos. Now, they are glorifying teen pregnancy. Young girls watch this show and see it glamorized. Headlines of sick 'pregnancy pacts' have been published since the show's predecessor, 16 and Pregnant, hit the airways in summer of 2009. There is also a Teen Mom 2. Do we really need three series showing pregnant children? What about the girls who die from birth complications, lose their babies, or suffer other tragic ends? Yeah, MTV doesn't show that part. This show is voyeurism at its worst.

Reality TV isn't known for being the classiest or most cerebral genre, but these three series are beyond the pale. If you have young children, make sure all three Teen Moms and Jersey Shore are blocked from your television. If you're a music lover, avoid Idol or suffer the consequences. According to Nicholas Johnson, all television is educational television. The question is: what is it teaching?

Matthew Warren works for Gump Tees, a nerd-centric t-shirt site. Themes include science, space, movies, math and more.


  1. caleb y my sister said...

    good programs in Argentina are equal with another name and are truly a disgusting, nasty truth would have to ban these programs @nepeshhala:disqus 

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