TV has long been shaping societies, and the views of the masses. This is an ongoing fact. From the perfect ‘made for TV’ families, to the toothpaste that makes one’s teeth ‘gleaming’ even if they were previously a darker shade of grey.
The marketing angle ‘buy our products’ ‘watch our show’ ‘agree with our beliefs’ , and ‘live the way we tell you’ , is the bottom line.
I want to move on to topic of the TV series. These ‘depict’ the daily lives of ordinary people. Their struggles, their work, their relationships, and more. The main purpose of these shows is to shape the way we, the viewers, see the world, and how we should respond in our day to day lives.The main issue I have with many of these series is that they are nothing close to real life. I understand the need for ‘escapism’ to deflect the realities of one’s daily monotony, or despair, and to focus on something which is uplifting, but the seeds of this alternative life are being blurred more and more each passing day. If all the misfortune, scandal and murder happened in real life at the same frequency as on these shows, everyone would be either ‘in jail’ , dead, or in an asylum.
The reality is that ‘reality’ is no longer adequate, and the push for fantasy has overtaken. Look at the list of programs on TV and you have your answer. Superheroes, vampires, zombies, one-day marriages, millionaire matchmakers, supermodel wannabes.
I could mention many more, but this short list reflects the nature of modern society. We have actually reached the point where fantasy and reality have become blurred, For example watching movies about superheroes and zombies will somehow transport us into these worlds where we can act out the lives of these screen characters( children have been doing this for generations because we expect kids to have wild imaginations, which is a part of childhood). But the difference is ‘we are adults’ and should be quite easily be able to distinguish between the two. Or so I always thought.
On the visual front, the world of ‘beautiful people’ has now become a part of everyday life. We are now watching shows, both reality and fictional where there are no longer ‘unattractive people’ Everyone is a model of desire.
There is someone for all tastes. Tall, short, blonde, dark, Asian, Caucasian, Latino, curvy, sexy, 6-packs, abs, all of these things and more are depicted on our screen with the overriding factor. ‘Beauty’. Substance has now become irrelevant. Ability, natural talent, intelligence. All of these things have taken a back seat to beauty.
I often look at stars of yesteryear, and wonder how they would fare in today’s world. Talented musicians, actors, presenters, magicians. Elton John and Billy Joel are both talented singer/songwriter from the last few decades. Where would they be in today’s society?Actors such Mickey Rooney, Gene Hackman, Olivier. All (in my opinion) supremely talented actors of heir generations, but by today’s criteria, would they have made it? None are overwhelmingly handsome, and are not the ‘ideal male’ specimens.Everywhere we look today we are seeing people with no talent, but who have ‘the look’ , becoming incredibly successful both through accolades( still don’t understand why), and of course, financially.
What is needed is some kind of event to bring us as a planet, back to reality. What kind of event, I will leave you to speculate, but something has to gives that jolt we need to ‘awaken us’. Maybe something to threaten our very existence might actually shock people into realizing what our priorities should be.