Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Retirement and junk food TV

From the Bravo website

Yesterday I watched 2 hours of The Real Housewives of New Jersey which should really be titled The Clueless Bitches and Their Stupid Spouses of New Jersey. I’m not proud of the fact that my butt stayed in the chair as the program rolled to an unsatisfactory conclusion. I would rather report that I watched a Nature show, or even a lite chicflic. But I did neither of those two things. I watched junk food TV.

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled against the FCC, saying the agency's rules on indecency are too vague and violate the First Amendment. With the ruling, some feel the government’s primary tool for policing the airwaves and promoting civility in our society has been undermined.

The background to this ruling is quick and dirty: the FCC had beefed up its policy in 2004 during the Bush administration, and levied stiff fines for impromptu expletives and sexual content. Fox, ABC, and NBC responded to the fines by petitioning the Supreme Court. The Court ruled against the networks, and in favor of the FCC on April 29, 2010. The ruling stated that the FCC followed their administrative guidelines, but the question of the constitutionality of such rules went unanswered. This question went to the Appeals Court. A quote from the ruling includes this: “… unconstitutionally vague, creating a chilling effect that goes far beyond the fleeting expletives at issue here."

I don’t know anything about law, but I do know something about civility. We ain’t got much left in this society. The Real Housewives of New Jersey is very tame compared to the offerings on Fox, and probably other stations too. Housewives is like high school, but with more money and a New Jersey accent. Oh, and a whole lot of hourglass figures, big hair, glitz and questionable fashion taste. It’s the equivalent of a Whopper Jr, rather than a double bacon cheese ½ pounder with onion rings and a chocolate shake.

There are a whole lot of shows out there with topics I won’t discuss here. It goes far beyond “reality” TV and into voyeurism. Surgery shows, taboo shows, stunt shows, reenactments of life threatening situations, cartoon sitcoms, guy TV…what the hell are we doing to ourselves and our kids? This stuff is the lowest common denominator of entertainment…coliseum fare.

Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.


  1. I watch the Real Housewives entire repertoire and am ashamed of myself that I actually watch that crap.
    However, next Monday, my butt will be planted firmly in the big leather chair and I will watch again.

    Love your blog!

  2. Glad you enjoy my ramblings, and confessions! Enjoy the show on Monday-and pass the popcorn.

  3. Thankyou for your comment!
    Wow, that housewives show sounds hideous! I'm glad we don't get it on TV here! My pet hate... shows that film people in traumatic emotional moments that should be private, milking the tears and heartache for the TV viewer. So shameful and exploitative.

  4. I can't watch those shows, they make me talk to the TV. My daughter loves them, but they are bad for my blood pressure ;)
    I hate trash talk on TV and in movies, but I also believe in Free speech's a conflict, I know. Like my love of eating potato chips, when I should be eating salad instead


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