Teen TV Critic

Trashing Trash TV

By Vivian Rose

Well, the shrinks at Harvard can stop theorizing: I have just determined the leading cause of insanity in America. It's trash TV, and the only good thing I can say about it is that it's aptly named. Well, at least the trash part is right. I don't know if it can actually be termed "TV" because then it would have to be some form of entertainment--which it's not. But it is definitely annoying, frustrating, nerve-wracking and headache-inducing!

I made the mistake of taping several episodes of various leading trash TV shows and watching all in a few hours. Half way through the Jerry Springer tape, I was also halfway through an economy-sized bottle of aspirin.

Take the show that involved brothers and sisters having sex with each other. Springer's sicko guests literally get up on stage and proudly confess to incest, saying things like, "A woman knows what a woman wants." (That's a quote from two teenage sisters.) Even gabby Springer seemed speechless. Five minutes into that episode I was already disgusted with the show.

Which brings me to the eternal question regarding trash talk TV shows: Why? Not "Why do Springer's nutcases do what they do?" but "Why would anyone watch this garbage?" Because the baser side of human nature makes money! Don't ask me why, but sick sells.

So does violence. On one Springer episode--regarding people caught in love triangles, how original --it took less than thirty seconds for a vicious fight to break out on stage. (I wouldn't want to be part of security for that show!) Men fought over women, women fought over men, and several people had to be separated by security guards.

The most irritating thing about trash TV is that the language many guests use is so bad it gets bleeped out. People have entire arguments that you can't hear a word of because virtually every word has been bleeped--one of the most insanely frustrating experiences of my life. More aspirin!

After finishing up with Springer's Psycho Show--don't you think that's a better title for it?--I moved on to Sally Jesse Raphael, whose show was marginally less annoying. One of her guests came on crying because, "If my husband doesn't think my clothes are sexy enough, he takes a pair of scissors and cuts them off me." Okay. Enough said, I get the picture. He's one of Sally's Psychos.

At the commercial break, a message is posted about upcoming episodes and how to get on them if you're actually stupid enough to want to. One went like this: "If your teenage daughter is sexually active and trying to get pregnant, call this 800 number." Excuse me? It would seem to me that if your teen daughter were sexually active and trying to get pregnant, you would want to keep the situation private while you tried to talk some sense into her. What kind of socially unconscious, raving idiot would actually go on TV and advertise that fact?

While watching all this garbage, I had one Deep Thought: If space aliens were to pick up some of our TV signals and catch a few trash TV shows, they would report no intelligent life on Earth.

Totally Teen TV! is delighted to welcome Vivian Rose as a regular contributor. Best known for her daily film reviews on the popular Teen Movie Critic website, the Winslow, Arkansas native began her career at the age of 9 on a local radio show. Now 15, Vivian has been writing celebrity interviews for the Tampa Tribune for the past three years. She also reviews movies with adult anchor Steve Voorhies on the local CBS affiliate KFSM-TV in Fayetteville-Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

To write Vivian about this site,
contact vivianrose@ipa.net (Vivian Rose)

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