Ghosts of Television Shows Past

From where I sit, which is on my couch, I can’t help but notice that civilization is steadily moving in reverse. The future is so 2017; what’s trending is the past – get with it. There are various topics this can apply to but in this instance I’m talking about TV shows. I thought I was lazy for watching so much television but it appears as though Hollywood studio execs have one-upped me and have proven they can be lazier by reviving shows of yesteryear rather than creating anything new.

First off the 80s dating show Love Connection is back. For all you young folk who’ve never heard of it, Love Connection is basically Tinder on television with one exception: instead of swiping away a potential suitor in private, sparing them embarrassment and years of therapy, you get to reject and humiliate them on national television. Terrific. For Christ’s sake we have dating apps, websites and the Hallmark channel devoted to getting people together. Are we that socially inept that it was necessary to bring back Love Connection? Or have we just run out of ways to humiliate people?

Apparently we have because Fear Factor is also back. Yes, Fear Factor – the show where the contestant who’s willing to surrender their dignity in order to survive the unreasonable wins money. With the only difference of this 3rd revamping of the show being Ludacris is now the host we’ll all get to relive the magic of watching people be buried alive as well as stare in awe as they lay in a tub full of worms while the worms crawl in and around the contestants orifices. Lovely.

I imagine it doesn’t take much talent to land a spot on the show but if you don’t fancy eating cockroaches or balancing spiders on your nose like a performing seal you can take your talent-less self to The Gong Show. What exactly is The Gong Show, you ask? Well, have you ever seen America’s Got Talent? It’s like that but instead of a buzzard the judges use a gong, and also there’s hardly any talent. Look, when a person’s ability to go a fair amount of time without blinking is enough to land them on this show I’m just not convinced you can qualify it as a talent show. At first I thought The Gong Show was resurrected because America truly had run out of talent and this was all we had left. I was wrong because as it turns out the execs at ABC were so devoid of new television show ideas that not only did they bring back The Gong Show (which originally aired on NBC in the 70s) but they’re also bringing back American Idol.

I know it feels like it was only yesterday that American Idol bid us farewell but that’s only because it was. Maybe I’m being cynical but I’m having a hard time believing there is still a plethora of untapped talent just waiting to be discovered. Everywhere you look there’s a talent show: right now there are two talent shows specifically for dancers (World of Dance and So You Think You Can Dance), a talent show for everyone in America who thinks they have talent (America’s Got Talent), a talent show for the untalented (The Gong Show), a talent show for singers where judges judge you on your voice as opposed to your voice AND appearance (The Voice, and also I thought this is how it was supposed to work in the first place), there’s even a talent show hosted by Steve Harvey that is specifically for children and old people (Little Big Shots and Little Big Shot: Forever Young). Every age demographic currently has a show they can audition for whether they have talent or not, so what exactly is it that American Idol is going to bring  to the table that isn’t already there? At this point the only people we’ve yet to see on a talent show are unborn children and unless the producers are planning on featuring a fetus auditioning via a live sonogram I don’t really see the point of the return of American Idol.

If they really want American Idol: The Revival to have a shot they should take notes from the network they purchased it from (Fox) and simply hire new judges and name it something else so you don’t feel like you’re watching American Idol – you know, like they did with Name That Tune, er, I mean, Beat Shazam. That’s right, Fox, I’m on to you, you’re not fooling anyone with that modern name change and host Jamie Foxx. The only difference between Beat Shazam and Name That Tune is you have to guess the song before Shazam does; so it’s basically like playing Name That Tune against a computer.

The list of repeats, revivals, resurrections, and redundancy goes on but I think you get the gist of it: it’s all backwards from here. No need for someone to create a time machine, we’re living in one. We began by making emoji’s the new hieroglyphics and now this. What’s next, witch trials for people who magically alter their photos with those stupid dog filters? Huh… Maybe conjuring up the past isn’t so bad after all.

 

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