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Guilty pleasures are rotting your brain

My mom always said, “Don’t watch too much TV, it will rot your brain.” With some of the shows on these days, I have to agree.

Do we need to watch eight seasons of a group of people stranded somewhere arguing and voting each other “off the island?” Do we care about a suburban family whose new neighbors turn out to be aliens? No, and we shouldn’t. Since when did television shows become so pointless?

I knew TV was headed for the toilet when I saw a commercial for a show called “Splash.” In this new reality competition, celebrities are judged on their ability to learn and perform dives each week. Four of the 10 original contestants withdrew from the competition at some point during the season because, in all honesty, competitive diving should really be left up to the professionals.

Did anyone watch this show? It featured D-list celebrities trying to get airtime. There was nothing informative or interesting in this show. The same goes for many reality competition shows. It may be your guilty pleasure, but just know that it is rotting your brain.

I realize that not all reality shows are bad. “Undercover Boss” and “Secret Millionaire” are a step up in quality. At least these shows feature and reward hard-working Americans. Even if we are watching a slice out of their life for our own entertainment, they are getting the better end of the deal.

Even the news can’t get away with being unbiased and straightforward these days. Shows like “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” understand that no one wants to watch the news unless you present it along with a bunch of jokes. No longer do we watch the news to be informed; we watch it to be entertained.

If you want good TV, look at shows like “The Newsroom” or “Friends.” These shows will inform you, educate you and enthrall you. Even if you aren’t a journalism nerd like me you will be on the edge of your seat watching “The Newsroom.” The show takes real events and presents both sides of the story and how the media can distort or censor what the public sees. And who doesn’t enjoy watching “Friends?” It teaches life lessons while still being funny and entertaining.

There is a list as long as my arm of good television, television with strong characters, important messages and life value. But there is a list even longer of shows that are rotting your brain. Stop watching them so they will stop producing them. You don’t have to lose entertainment value to watch good television.

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