Earlier today I decided to see what was on TV so I could just zone out for a while. Sort of the calm before the storm of classes starting on Monday.
As I scrolled through my YouTube TV channel line-up, here are some of the 4:00 pm options I came across:
- 60 Days In – In the series, volunteers are incarcerated as undercover prisoners for 60 days.
- Accident, Suicide, or Murder – Explores the unbelievable true stories of suspicious deaths.
- Very Scary People – Revisis the twisted lives of some of the most frightening, diabolical characters in recent history. The stories trace the heinous, criminal acts of these elusive miscreants and the eventual road to justice.
- Border Security – America’s Front Line follows the work of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and agents as they clear travelers at land, air, and marine ports of entry, inspect cargo, and secure America’s borders. In search of illegal travelers, weapons, and contraband, there’s never a dull moment for the men and women who work for CBP. It also seems like there are Canadian and Australian versions of this show.
- American Greed: Scams, Scoundrels, And Suckers –The business-reality program focuses on the stories behind high-profile corporate and white-collar crimes, betrayals, and scams in American history,
- Most Terrifying Places in America – Each episode featured the legends and stories of several reportedly haunted locations throughout America.
- Naked and Afraid XL – This series is a spin-off of Naked and Afraid. A group of people are given the task of surviving in the wilderness for an extended period. Each survivalist is only allowed to bring one or two helpful items of his or her choosing. They are not given any other items, clothing, food, or water.
- The Incredible Dr. Pol – an American reality television show on Nat Geo Wild that follows Dutch-born veterinarian Jan Pol and his family and employees at his practice in rural Weidman, Michigan.
- Drugs, Inc.: The Fix – Enhanced episodes of “Drugs, Inc.” provide a comprehensive look at society’s most abused drugs: cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana.
I’m not sure what this list of TV shows might be saying about the state of TV watching in America, but to me, it doesn’t paint a pretty picture of what seems to entertain some people.
Now, this is not meant to be judgmental; I am sure there are some people reading this post who watch some of these shows. I’m as guilty as the next guy since I opted to watch 60 Days In, and immediately became hooked. For whatever reason, I’ve always been fascinated by prison shows, since it is an environment that is so different from what I am used to (Oz was my all-time favorite). Unless there’s some demand among the prisoners for a juggling accounting teacher who can bench press about 60 pounds, then I know I would only last about 30 seconds before I either have a panic attack or start crying. If I had to go to prison, I think I would prefer solitary confinement, but I hope to never find out. You can be sure I would never volunteer for being a participant on 60 Days In.
There were also lots of other TV options available, perhaps a bit more mainstream. For example, there were several sports options, a wide range of movies, cartoon shows for kids, and a few comedy shows. There were also a few cooking shows, but I have zero interest in those shows.
I’m sure the various broadcast and cable channel executives know what kinds of shows appeal to people, and are simply, and sometimes sadly, meeting that demand.
Let me close with a song that was running through my mind while writing this post: 57 Channels (And Nothin’ On) by Bruce Springsteen: