On the other hand...
M has been sick since Sunday (she seems finally to be getting better, thanks), which means pretty much constant television, much of it in my presence, since sick in our house seems to entail Advil, blankets, pillows, a glass of water, and Mommy, not to mention any and all food and drink you desire, especially when you are starting to get better, and lack of nutrients seems to have become an impediment rather than a side effect. But I digress.
There's been a lot of Zack and Cody and Hannah Montana and Food Network, which we're used to. Then there's been The Ellen Show, which is just a total delight, only to be enjoyed on sick days, given timing issues (if loving Ellen makes me banal and mainstream, I'll take it). Then there's reality TV.
Oh. My. God.
What Not to Wear is fine--stupid and hegemonic, but at least the protagonist gets some clothes out of the shame. Ditto with Ace of Cakes, and the like, which at least involve people doing things which are of interest to some other people. But have you watched reality TV on MTV lately? Here I betray my sheltered television ignorance, and I am shocked, shocked, I tell you, by the likes of Parental Control, where the parents who hate the kid's boyfriend or girlfriend send the kid out on dates with people of their choice, while they sit home with the hated boy/girlfriend and watch the date by video, fighting all the time in the trashiest of manners, and then the kid chooses between the boy/girlfriend and the parentally-selected dates.
Hello? These are real people?! I mean, obviously it's scripted and people behave according to the norms they've learned from other reality shows, but, my God, this is Rome fiddling while Nero burns, the extreme sign of decadence and degradation, the antithesis of Gilmore Girls. I tell you, we are doomed, and television is at once the engine and the representation of our doom!
And, no, I have nothing to say about Jon and Kate!