Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
What has happened to television? I remember a time when we could hardly wait
for Monday night and "I Love Lucy" to come on. There were funny shows on
television, "sitcoms." We watched the likes of Dick Van Dike, Mary Tyler Moore,
Lucille Ball or Carroll O'Connor and laughed like hyenas.
Somewhere over the rainbow television went haywire. We have satellite TV now,
zillions of channels to flip through, but, there is nothing to watch. Reality
television has taken over the air waves, like a quarterback with the football.
We watch chefs prepare food in the kitchen while ducking vicious curses thrown
at them like pots and pans. We watch "teams" on a deserted island connive,
scheme, and lie to survive a game of elimination to win a million dollars -- and
a lifetime supply of mosquito repellent, I assume. We watch singles form
emotional liaisons and coldly eliminate the competitors to come up with the
perfect match, whom they dump as soon as the show ends. And worst of all, we
watch guts and gore as crime scenes assault us like scenes from Steven King's
I try to watch TV while a Nanny teaches parents how to take care of their own
kids. They are fighting, jumping, biting and screaming little monsters until the
parents find out about "time out" and declare war on Sippy cups. Have these
people never heard of Dr. Spock? After 30 minutes, I cannot stand listening to
screaming kids any longer as my eardrums might burst and send me flying around
room like a balloon losing its air.
Hell's Kitchen, aptly named, is hell for TV viewers as well. It used to be that
restaurants had front stage and back stage. Front stage was where the patrons
were, and we were never subjected to the goings-on involved in the preparation
of food. If we wanted to see food prepared, we would go to mom's house for
dinner. Now we get to see chefs overcook or under cook steaks, throw away
enough food to end world hunger, curse like pirates with a toothache, and sweat
like sumo wrestlers.
Contestants on game shows now have no questions to answer but only numbers to
choose. No skill is involved, merely chance. Enormous amounts of money are
turned down as contestants say "no deal" to try to get even more. It's like an
addiction. More often than not, they end up as runaway racecars that can't quit
trying to win until they crash on the wall. Greed in all it's glory. Not a
And those crime scene investigation shows -- what can I say? You've all made the
mistake of turning on the boob tube to the grizzly site of human remains,
battered, slaughtered, burned beyond recognition, drawn and quartered and all on
display for our entertainment and amusement. Almost worse than the shocking
display of carnage is the indifferent attitude of the police and doctors who are
as cold and cynical as a homeless person in January. When crime scene
investigators stop caring, it's time for them get out of the business.
Well, I could go on and on describing how television has gone south and there is
nothing on it to watch. I wish we could have more comedy shows, television that
makes us laugh like we are wearing fuzzy slippers. Maybe those days are gone
forever. Viewers are more sophisticated. What used to be funny isn't as funny
when we see it in a rerun. Networks are unwilling to pay comedy writers and want
unscripted reality shows that can make the payments on executive mansions.
How much more of this type of entertainment can we take before there is mass
hysteria in our living rooms? Is this actually considered interesting
entertainment? We can only hope that the pendulum swings back and viewers
eventually get the last laugh.
Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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