Every couple of weeks, I see a new lament in CS or MPSIMS or here about the latest tastless TV abomination, usually associated with Fox. I’ve started 1 or 2 myself.
You’d think by now, we’d be so low that there’s no place left to go up up. Well, untrue, IMHO. We have JUST entered the “scum layer”, having past through the “titillating”, “cheezy” and “predictable” layers on the way.
And as we sink, the deeper in scum we are, the more it doesn’t LOOK like scum. It begins to look like “home”. To quote Jim Morrison, “I’ve been down so godamned long, that it looks like up to me”.
This is not all a bad thing, probably. The networks probe the human psyche in search of triggers they can pull to draw our eyes and our ears. And they find MANY people willing to lay themselves bare (physically or mentally) in exchange for hard cash or some kind of psychological need/comfort (I am not among them). And as the network standards of permissibility change, some of us will be exposed to our own little mental skeleton closet up on the screen. Some of it might be “good scum”. We will become connosieurs(sp?) of scum.
You may ask, “Yojimboguy, what do you MEAN by scum”? To that I say, “One man’s scum is another man’s tapioca pudding. The reason we are sinking into it is that we can’t get a hold on it”.
I would argue that, “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?” suits well as a contemporary example of “scum TV”. Essentially, toying with the emotions of the real world contestants for the amusement/titillation of the audience. Springer, Sallie Jessie, and their ilk represent another 'flavor".
I’m not sure whether I would include purely fictional material among the “scum family” of programs, though I invite opinions to the contrary. There is something specifically voyeuristic in knowing (or at least BELIEVING) that these are real people, that in my mind, multiplies the “scum factor”.
I was torn between posting here or MPSIMS, but I’d like to get some feedback on these aimless ramblings that don’t really add up to much, except, “Get used to it. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet”.