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- Download the Rec’d & Wreck’d header and include it in your post.
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- List three things you would recommend (rec’d). Rave until your heart’s content.
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– Type: Books
– Genre: YA Contemporary
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I’ll be doing TV shows! [After writing this, I found that my rec’s are all fictional TV shows & all my wreck’s are “reality TV shows.” I do enjoy quite a few reality TV shows – primarily court shows – but I think a lot of them suck. The 3 I chose are particularly sucky. That’s why I ranted for a long a** time about them.]
I was tagged by B!
The Big Bang Theory
I got into this show after it had been on TV for a while, but I became a huge fan as soon as I watched one episode. I have a Soft Kitty tee-shirt & 2 sets of Soft Kitty ankle socks (if you’ve watched the show, you know what that means). The intelligence, awkwardness, & favorite hobbies of the main characters (minus Penny, about whom I’m upset because she’s an embodiment of the stereotype – she’s pretty so she must be dumb/uneducated) speaks to me, personally. “The physics is theoretical, but the fun is real!”
I started watching The Mentalist after it went off the air. Yes, I realize my rec’s are all older shows – deal with it! Even though I’ve watched the entire series, I never miss a replay on TV. Episodes I’ve seen before are still interesting the 2nd & the 3rd time I watch them because of the characters’ interactions, the great acting, & an amazing concept of a con artist/TV “psychic” using his well-honed observational skills to help the police solve crimes. If there’s anything else like it on TV, I don’t wanna know about it!
Another “oldie, but goodie,” Bones still has new episodes (unlike The Mentalist 😦 ). I chose this show, not only because I watch both old & new episodes whenever I have the chance, but because I see similarities between the first two shows in Bones.
Take the wild intelligence (& often faulty social skills) of The Big Bang Theory, add Patrick Jane’s observational skills from The Mentalist, & you have Temperance Brennan… AKA Bones. Partnered with her polar opposite – the tough, socially adept, FBI Agent Seeley Booth – Dr. Brennan helps solve murders using the skeletal remains to tell a person’s story. How they lived, how they died, Dr. Brennan sees everything in the bones.
UGH. Just looking at his smug face makes me wanna change the channel. But, since I can’t change the channel on a picture, I’ll relay why I don’t like Dr. Phil instead. It’s really a problem I have with most – if not all – TV doctors: You can’t diagnose a patient in an hour, or however long your TV segment is.
What makes Dr. Phil worse, in my opinion, is that he trained & worked as a mental health professional. Making a mental health diagnosis & helping mental health patients isn’t something that you can cram into 60 minutes (even though he does offer additional services to guests for after the show sometimes). I see what Dr. Phil is trying to do – breaking some of the silence & stigma, making mental health subjects easier to understand, etc. – but I also see him exploiting his guests’ suffering for ratings.
I’ve been sucked into watching one or two episodes of his show based on their tawdry premises, & it makes me feel dirty. I’ve seen him badger people he doesn’t know, slut-shame guests, & diagnose issues that professionals often say require working with patients for months, in one-on-one therapy sessions, to diagnose.
Dr. Phil is not the giving, caring, altruistic persona he portrays on TV. He’s trotting out people who are in need, for entertainment purposes.
I’ll admit it: I used to like watching Cops (please wait until the end of this post before grabbing pitchforks & projectiles!). I gotta say, I’m extremely disappointed in myself that it took me so long – especially with the information available on the World Wide Web. However, as I became more interested & involved in feminism, I started to realize that this show puts inequality on display.
FOX, an organization not known for its sensitivity, dropped Cops in 2013 soon after the black advocacy group ColorOfChange.org protested. FOX didn’t say that the group’s campaign – that included: asking the network to drop the show & contacting advertisers to ask them to pull commercials from the show – had affected its decision to drop Cops. But, how could it not have an effect?
Unfortunately, when FOX dropped the show, Spike TV swooped in to pick it up. Despite the best intentions & efforts, the show changed TV stations instead of being sent where it belongs – the trash bin.
I used to watch Cops & think it was exciting & it showed police officers doing their jobs (even though I know all the editing that goes into all “reality TV shows”). Now, I can see that most people who get arrested on the show are minorities. We see the stereotype that African-Americans, Latinx, Hispanics, & other racial minorities are criminals, & it’s portrayed as “reality.” We see cops performing illegal searches & racial profiling people they choose to pull over, & many viewers will think that’s normal police behavior.
ColorOfChange made a good point before FOX dropped the program: Videos that support stereotyping minorities as criminals, make police misconduct look like standard operating-procedure, & sometimes show police brutality “linger in the subconscious of viewers.” This leads some people to be more suspicious of minorities & it promotes “unconscious attitudes” & “implicit biases about both race & class.”
People who already think minorities are criminals will think that their prejudices are justified when they watch Cops & the police are arresting African-American, Latinx, & Hispanic people almost exclusively.
Another show I naively thought was good before I took a second to, y’know, think about what I was watching. The higher-ups of different companies each week disguise themselves so they can work at their own businesses in secret.
The premise is: the bosses get to see how their businesses run on a daily basis, & they get to interact with low-level employees who aren’t afraid to be honest because they don’t know who they’re really talking to. The producers/directors concoct some story for the undercover bosses to tell their “new co-workers” to explain why a camera crew is following them. The bosses learn about employees’ struggles &, at the end when they reveal themselves, they give lavish gifts to a few employees with whom they worked while undercover.
It sounds so sweet, doesn’t it? Unlike Cops, I caught on to Undercover Boss’s problems after only 3 or 4 episodes.
First thing: A lot of the bosses going undercover are high-profile people (CEOs, CFOs, owners, etc.). They appear in TV & photo ads. Putting on a fake mustache, some well-worn clothes, & using a fake name shouldn’t fool as many employees as they do. I think employees only “outed” one undercover boss in the episodes I watched. While writing this post, I read that it happened a few other times (I don’t know exactly how many).
Second thing: While I like reality TV, I’m not a complete idiot (maybe I am for liking reality TV in the first place, but regardless…). I know that most reality shows claim to be unscripted, but they recreate/reshoot scenes & “strategically” edit the footage. But, Undercover Boss leans more “scripted” than “improvised” in my opinion.
If it weren’t scripted – or, at the very least, guided towards desired outcomes – why would these employees tell a supposedly new co-worker about all their personal problems? Co-workers might become friendly after a while – a few months, a year maybe – but the boss is only undercover at one location for a couple of days, or a week at most.
It’s unrealistic because it’s not real.
Third thing: Undercover bosses use some of the information they get from talking with their employees to improve business practices. However, a big part of the show is giving a few worthy employees the money they need & deserve… or so they claim.
If an Undercover Boss really wanted to give back to his employees, he could easily raise their wages, offer benefits, or work with their schedules. Most of the companies could afford to bump up their employees’ benefits just on the publicity they’re getting from the show.
Instead, the show makes a big production, literally, about giving a tiny fraction of the workforce what they need to survive.
Fourth thing: You might notice I used “he” before when I described a boss. That’s because, out of episodes I watched, only one had a female boss going undercover. But I only watched a couple of episodes – maybe my assumption is wrong?
Hmm… nope. I found that Undercover Boss featured 13 women in its 101 episode, 7 season (to date), run. The 1st season had 9 episodes & 0 female undercover bosses. The 6th season had the most high-profile female employers with a whopping 3 women going undercover. Otherwise, each season featured 2 women, respectively, with seasons ranging from 9 to 22 episodes long.
The problem here isn’t that I think Undercover Boss underrepresents women who happen to be CEOs in their spare time. No, the problem I have is that the show – with women running around 12.9% of the businesses it showcases – accurately represents female business-heads.
Anyone who wants to do it! It was pretty fun – I especially liked the part where I got to rant. 😀