When the first season of Survivor (the very first reality show) started, my friends here in Hollywood who write shows for a living loudly proclaimed that reality shows were taking dollars out of the writers’ pockets, and therefore, they (insert footstomp here) were not watching them! Surprisingly, many of them still have this attitude (in Survivor’s 20th season).
This week, I read an article which stated that MILLIONS of people who lost their jobs in this economic crisis were just simply never getting them back. These two items are related.
Simply put, the world is changing. You have two choices: Change with it, or die. Seriously.
You can say all day long that scripted television is better than reality television (and I would agree with that), but that won’t make the networks stop putting cheaper programming in place of it. All writers everywhere can stop watching it, but does that make American Idol less successful? No, it just makes those writers out of touch.
People can argue about how pervasive the Internet is, and how really, they still love to curl up with their favorite newspaper on Sundays, but is that going to stop the iPad from becoming a dominant way to read books or what used to be printed content? No.
So you can stomp your feet and cling to your mainstream media and outdated jobs, or you can evolve and evolve now. The Internet is where it’s at, folks, like it or not. People want media that’s better, faster and on their phone. Whatever that is, and whoever provides it.
As much as big media hates this reality, people can find just as much enjoyment (you heard me, I said JUST as much) from a YouTube video of a cat playing with yarn, or a podcast created in someone’s garage, as with whatever the Big Media is pumping at us currently.
Face it, principled writers: Dancing with the Stars is glitzy and glamourous and fun to watch. Survivor has some of the best location shooting and underwater photography on television. The Amazing Race travels all over the world, so you see cultures you’d never otherwise see. Every hugely popular reality show has good points.
This is our world now. Computerized, mechanized, at your fingertips 24/7. That is our entertainment. Those are our jobs. Come and get ’em. Or at least, quit your bitching about it. It’s not going away.