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TV Trends

Updated on March 6, 2012


I was home sick with the flu the other week and I unfortunately had the opportunity to watch A LOT of television.


As a result of my TV solitude, I managed to observe the following 3 TV trends which I would like to share with you...

Trend # 1 - TV Reflecting the Economic Downturn

Back in the high-flying 80s, Robin Leach’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous was a ratings hit. For those of you not old enough to remember, the show featured an annoying little British guy gushing over the opulent lifestyles of celebrities and the super rich. In recent years, when the real estate market was booming, there was a proliferation of home renovation and ‘house flipping’ shows. These promised that easy money could be made by those willing to take a gamble in real estate.

Recently however, with much of the world mired in a recession, new types of programs have hit the air. Storage Wars and other similar programs feature leeches who bid on storage units abandoned by those who can no longer pay their rental fees. Similarly, Pawn Stars puts the spotlight on people who have to sell family heirlooms in order to pay their bills.

This trend has reached a new low with the airing of Hillbilly HandFishin’, where the inbred plunge into a muddy lake to catch catfish by using fingers as bait.

Trend #2 - Procreation and Its' Aftermath

TV producers have always known that sex sells. Now viewers can watch each step of the mating game unfold. First, they can turn into Jersey Shore and see ‘Snooki‘ and her slimy friends take someone new to bed each week. For those looking for something more substantial, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette show young people falling in love… with multiple people… at the same time… all living in the same house (you know, just like how mom and dad got together).

But what happens post conception? Well, there are numerous pregnancy shows on TV... such as A Baby Story, and the popular I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. If you did know that you were pregnant, but still don’t know who the father is, you can book a spot on the Maury Povich Show… which seems to focus exclusively on providing DNA tests to those who just can’t figure out who they have reproduced with. Finally Teen Moms gives us the scoop on the love lives of young people who manage to find time to have intercourse, despite a busy handfishin’ schedules.

Trend #3 - Cooking As A Sport

I remember, years ago, watching the late Julia Child prepare yummy bowls of chicken soup on her TV show. I wonder if Julia could have guessed that today’s television programs treat meal preparation as a combat sport. The Iron Chef, for example, pits noted chefs against each other in battle to see who can best prepare culinary wonders with a given ingredient. (‘Battle cheese curd’ was a particularly favorite episode of mine, although the bloodshed around the Cuisinart was ghastly). Throwdown! with Bobby Flay features and conquistador chef challenging cooks all over America, while Chef Gordon Ramsey stars in a number of programs where he specializes in preparing entries with side order of anger .

Word is that the International Olympic Committee is eager to adopt cooking as a demonstration sport during the next summer games


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    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Excellent article. Television as we know it has totally degenerated into a puerile, infantile, and psychotic mess. I do not watch television at all. I purchase History Channel documentaries and a few good movies to watch on my portable dvd. Besides that, I watch documentaries, movies, and some quality television shows on my computer. I also watch PBS shows and documentaries. Television in its current state has degenerated in to an idiotic free for all! Your analysis was spot on as usual!

    • profile image

      klarawieck 5 years ago

      That's why I've been thinking about creating a REALITY TV SWAP SHOW where you can have Snooky fishing in the swamp with the inbreds, have Maury trying to test the swamp people inbreds for possible harmful relationships within their community (tell teenagers their kids will end up looking like them = sexual abstinence for life), and have Bobby Flay live in a big house with the cast of Repo Men, Storage Wars, and Pawn Stars. They'll be making out on camera every week! Now that's what I call ENTERTAINMENT! LOL

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      The only reality shows that are actually entertainment involve finding new talent. There are so many of them though, that none are unique. Others are exploitation. Period.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      I stopped watching TV about the time all the reality shows set in. I really can't stand it--give me a good book, even one I've read before, over the TV garbage served up every day. There's only one bright spot: with cable tv, you can get BBC TV if you want. Even that is often too far out there to be really funny or entertaining to me anymore.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      I have also noticed the trend. I do like Gordon Ramsay and the other cooking shows. What I can't stand are the the Maury show and the other trailer trash one where every body sleeps with each other. I don't remember its name. They go on stage and there is a bald body guard there to part the fight. In most cases the ones sleeping together are family members.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 6 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Wow! Sounds like there seriously needs to be some fresh injections into TV in the US, reality shows are becoming a little yesterday don't you think? Good hub.