Years ago, when looking at shows on television, it was something that was fun and can easily be enjoyed. You had plenty of shows that was appropriate for people of all ages, even with the introduction of reality shows. Shows such as “The Real Word” and “Road Rules,” I consider, to be the start of the reality show phenomenon, even at a time where many sitcoms were the highlight of television.
Throughout the years, television has changed in good ways and bad ways. These days, there are so many reality shows, it’s hard to keep up with any of them. With sitcoms, though still appealing, hasn’t had the same affect on its audience as it used to, especially during the 90’s (at least in some communities.)
A long time ago sitcoms contributed to quality television. New casts members and storylines were being thought of and brought to life everyday, while bringing on a variety of emotions that went great with each storyline. You had shows like “I Love Lucy” that brought on all the laughs, and shows like “Good TImes” that had both raw emotions and plenty of comedy. These shows gave you a variety of inspiration that ended up evolving as the years went on, bringing on newer sitcoms of equal quality.
During the 80’s ”The Cosby Show” was one of the most popular shows and was the most unique with each storyline that brought on plenty of laughs, yet still had a creative way of bringing real life situations to the screen at the same time. Bill Cosby brought on the type of comedy that can always be appreciated, even today, compared to the sitcoms that we see nowadays. And it was very inspirational to the black community when it came to portraying a successful black family. The same can be said about “Roseanne.” That show was unstoppable when it came to the laughs and always executed raw emotions brilliantly when it came to serious topics. These shows were the perfect blend of what you want to see when it comes to sitcoms on television.
While sitcoms today have the same amount of good laughs, it just hasn’t quite been the same. The comedy seems to always center around “crude” humor, and not always appropriate for all ages. Though still popular, most would choose an 80’s comedy over today’s comedy any day.
Reality shows had a way of evolving too, the only difference is, the influence it has brought on hasn’t always been so good. People get confused when thinking that everything that goes on during a reality show is 100% real, when in fact, that’s not always the case. Back in the day, a reality show wasn’t all that bad to see and at times was pretty intriguing. These days, it has brought on so much bad influence to our youth. Immature behavior, gossip, unstable relationships, betrayal… the list doesn’t stop and it seems to be a never ending cycle. The problem is, this is what the audience wants to see, and with the “actors” involved it seems to be where the money is, so why not make a fool of yourself on television?
Another problem with reality shows is, the players involved, are automatically dubbed a “celebrity” or “famous”. Being famous and a celebrity takes hard work, and being on television doesn’t automatically make you one; a huge misconception with what it takes to make it to celebrity status.
Not all reality shows are bad. There are a few that are known to be very real, and inspirational at the same time, while still maintaining a degree of respect. Shows such as “Tia and Tamera,” and “Mary Mary,” are what I like to call a breath of fresh air. These shows represent their everyday lives, and while going through their own trials and tribulations, manage to maintain respect and decency, something we used to see in old school sitcoms.
So there’s a little bit of a similarity with the better reality shows and old school sitcoms, just like there’s a bit of a similarity between newer sitcoms and the not so good reality shows of today.
Competition shows have been put in the category of being “reality” but these shows are obviously very different. These shows demonstrate a healthy competition between players, like in “American Idol” and have even succeeded in helping people pursue their dreams. Other competition shows that are similar to “American Idol” though haven’t had the same success at creating stars, like “The Voice” and “American Has Talent” are also shows that involves healthy competition. “Survivor” on the other hand is a very different competition show all together, however.
Television changes all the time. It’s important to help in maintaining a healthy degree of quality so it can get back to the way to used to be. As someone part of the entertainment industry I notice all the time, how today’s influence can inspire new shows, whether they’re reality or sitcoms and vice versa. As changes keep being made, and shows continuing to evolve, new contributions are being discussed everyday as a way of maintaining quality tv. Hopefully in time, we’ll begin seeing shows that gave a similar feeling that “The Cosby Show,” “Roseanne,” and all the other old school sitcoms used to give.
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