The abomination of Talk Shows

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Holadem, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I am posting this AHL because I am interested in the social aspect of this phenomenon, rather than it's TV show side.

    A french litterature courant(sp?) called "Parnasse" appeared at the end of the 19th century, as a backlash of the main current of the time, "Le Roman" (Romanticism ?!), whose icons included the likes of Victor Hugo, Emile Zola etc... One of the main traits of the "Roman" courant is it's dwelling on the description of feelings, its focus on the tortures of the soul. Anyone who has read Les Misarables can attest to this. Naturally, the backlash courant (Parnasse) condemned all this. In a poem written by one of the Parnasse icons, he compares "Roman" books to a whore on a stage shamelessly displaying her "charms", while the public feeds on her with unhealthy hungry eyes.

    This is exactly what I feel like whenever I stumble upon a talk show. One of my biggest cultural shocks as an immigrant. I was shocked to the core of my being by the shameless display people exhibit on national TV. I am not talking about extremes like Jerry Springer, no one considers that normal I hope. I am talking about the likes of Ricki Lake, Maury etc, whose guests seem to be pretty normal people. What drives people to go talk about say, their relationships, family troubles on freaking national television?! WHy would a mother think that bringuing her troubled teen on TV would actually change anything? Do people actually expect any help from these shows? Iam asking because I don't think they are all in it for the money. A lot of the guests seem pretty sincere about their problems.

    When did all this start? Am I the only one who loathes these things? From talking to my friends, it sure as heck seems like I am...

    --
    Holadem
     
  2. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    I can't stand these talk shows either. I have no interest in being banned from the forum, so I won't go any further than that. [​IMG]
     
  3. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    The Romans called it 'bread and circuses', and WC Fields stated succinctly that suckers should not be given breaks.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ben Menix

    Ben Menix Stunt Coordinator

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    I feel (heh!) the same way about all of the "real-life" programs, that are really just a spin-off of talk shows. I was very dismayed last night to see a commercial for the new "reality tv" program, "Last Resort"; every season they will take something like 4 couples, whose marriage is on the brink of failure (supposedly) and have them spend a few months at a private marriage counseling resort. In exchange, of course, for the privelege of allowing a film crew to follow them around as they try to save their marriage. I really hope this one is faked.
    What this says about the culture in which I live...I shudder to think.
    Ben Menix
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  5. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    I can't recall the specific quote from To Die For, but it's something like, "You're not anyone unless you're on television." I think that's part of what drives people to go on these programs, that the experience is some kind of validation. At this point I assume that most who go on know what they are in for. It's a way to make some money (appearance fees) and be in front of a nationwide audience, even if it means degrading yourself and your family.

    You have to understand that the shows are highly manufactured, and I don't know that you can even trust that the guests are telling the truth. For example, I've read where people show up on different talk shows with different problems. Essentially they're making the rounds, perhaps as if actors for hire. Obviously they are encouraged to get as worked up as possible.

    I can't say that I understand the appeal. I find them depressing more than anything else and don't find the kitsch value that drives them in part.
     
  6. Rob Tenniswood

    Rob Tenniswood Stunt Coordinator

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    A girl that went to my high school went on one of those shows (Dini Petty - you Canadian's will know who she is...). She, her boyfriend, and his twin brother went on there with a 'good twin/evil twin story'. They made themselves look completely idiotic. When she came back to school, someone asked her why she'd go on national TV and talk about her boyfriend and his twin's personal issues. Wanna know what she said? "Oh, that...we made that up. They paid us each $800, and we got a free trip to Toronto out of it..."

    Daytime TV is awful. Please don't ban me :)

    Rob.
     
  7. Ben Menix

    Ben Menix Stunt Coordinator

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    I think a lot of it goes back to the old axiom that we all need someone to feel sorry for, especially those of us that spend most of the time feeling sorry for ourselves.
    The worse we feel about our own life, the better a daytime talk show discussing the absolutely ridiculous problems that some people are having makes us feel. I think that's why Springer's ratings started falling when he admitted that almost everything on his show was manufactured...it was harder for people to believe it was real.
    So now that the demand is explained, the supply becomes obvious. 1) Nature abhors a vacuum...where there is a need, it will naturally be filled sooner or later. 2) They get paid, and a free trip to Toronto. [​IMG]
    I wouldn't do it myself, but I know people who would.
    Ben Menix
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  8. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    A friend and I used to watch this trash over lunch. He lived about 5 minutes from our place of employment, so we'd pick up some fast food and plop ourselves down on his couch for the sole purpose of ripping on the guests. It was like a sick, freaky MST3k in that living room...
    Ahh, good times. My favorite shows were the "We've been married for 10 years and I have a secret... I used to be a man." Look, these things are obviously manufactured. They're just a twisted form of entertainment - kind of like tabloid magazines.
    The "Reality TV" shows don't bother me, and can be interesting, but I draw the line when they start screwing with real people's marriages. Marriage is a sacred institution and used to be highly respected and upheld. There was a time when everyone you know would alienate you and your best friends would beat the hell out of you for cheating on your wife. It's unfortunate that this is not still the case.
     
  9. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    4 out of 5 people on talk shows are actors. I know someone who was on one of the trashier shows, and the other 4 people were actors
     
  10. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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  11. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    What gets me are those bullshit 'Send my wild teen to bootcamp' shows that they do. Do they really expect us to believe that those kids are going to be alright now because they spent a week at bootcamp!?

    I guarentee you that those punks go right back to the way they were before the show when they got home. Some of them probably even gave their mothers a beating for putting them through that.

    Not to open this potentially dangerous can of worms, but does anyone remember that whole thing with Jennie Jones? She should have had the common courtesy to take herself off the air after that.

    HBO did an excellent documentary about the apalling practices daytime talk shows use to get their guests on, some even resort to threats to sue if they don't appear on their show! They even try to purposly get them to fight, between commercial breaks, they have someone come out and talk to the guest and tell them they need to talk back.

    This one women was so upset about her breast implants that she performed surgery on herself to cut them out! Do you know what Maury said about that? "That's good talk show material." Sickening display.
     
  12. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Yes, talk shows are a joke. What I fail to grasp is why we now have a show glamorising papparazzi. This is the same "profession" responsible for killing Princess Diana, one of the few people in public life that almost anyone could like. Now we are to treat these stalkers as professionals? Please.
     

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