Saturday, October 23, 2021
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Lack of Originality on Television

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There are two things I will admit to you before I vent about television. I do not have cable, thus I am limited to about seven channels, and I am still upset at FOX for canceling the greatest show ever made, ‘Arrested Development.’
If plagiarism was an enforceable crime in the television business, FOX would get an F on their ratings and would get kicked off television completely. The creativity and blatant remakes of shows on ABC are mind-boggling, yet somehow receive high ratings to stay on the air.
The first evidence I present is the popular show, ‘Dancing With the Stars’ on ABC. The show has been on top of the Nielsen Ratings before ‘American Idol’ came back and has also allowed celebrities to display their moves on the dance floor. Later in the week, you change the station to FOX and watch a supposedly new reality show formed with more creativity than even Thomas Edison himself could have thought of. It is called ‘Skating With Celebrities,’ and yes, I was being sarcastic.
Fool you once, shame on me, fool you twice and we get the new FOX show ‘Renovate My Family.’
This show allows one lucky family to have their house rebuilt as a new makeover team creates the family’s dream home. The team is led by Dr. Phil’s son—I kid you not. Does this theme sound familiar? Simply tune the dial back to ABC and you can see the same thing on the hit show ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ with everyone’s favorite designer, Ty Pennington.
The list goes on as ABC creates a show where two families trade mothers called ‘Wife Swap,’ and then FOX comes along with their hit ‘Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy.’
Do you like shows about nannies taking care of your kids? Like Doublemint bubble gum, you can double your pleasure with the original ‘Super Nanny’ show on ABC or view the exact same premise on FOX with their show called ‘Nanny 911’ later in the week.
When there are new shows that do come out, they are very similar to plotlines of movies, except they are stretched out into long seasons. Instead of watching ‘Prison Break,’ I would recommend the movie ‘Shawshank Redemption.’ They both deal with the same plot as an innocent guy is trying to break out of prison as we cheer him on. The only difference is that the latter was better and lasted less than two-and-a-half hours.
With the rise of reality TV and similarly-themed shows displayed on different channels, there will be very few real television shows left on the market such as ‘Law and Order’ or ‘Lost.’ Instead, viewers of fellow channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 will face the harsh reality of television one day becoming, dare I say it, boring. Stand true to real television shows with originality, not ‘American Idol.’ I mean who else has had real success in the music world because of ‘American Idol’ besides Kelly Clarkson?
Entrepreneurs, businessmen, parents and teachers preach about originality and creativity becoming the keys to success and fortune in a capitalistic system. If the current television market has taught us anything, it is that instead of envisioning the future of Microsoft or the iPod, I should make a comedy show about six friends hanging around a coffee shop where one is a struggling actor, another is a paleontologist and the others could be a waiter and a chef. I’m pretty sure FOX would buy the idea, anyway.