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supersweet16icpic.jpgEntertainment Weekly’s current feature—the Top Twenty Most Appalling Shows Ever—provides a reminder of how bad television can get. No matter how bad we’ve gotten in this writers’ strike, it’s actually been worse while the writers were available! (Though not by much…)
“Jail” took us into O.J.’s cell, sort of like a web-cam on real TV. “Kid Nation” exploited kids as young as eight. “Britney and Kevin,” “Paula” and “The Anna Nicole Smith Show” all poked fun at the not-so-funny side of celebrities-gone-goofy. “Temptation Island” was liberal even for Fox, and “Wife Swap” just never made sense, at least on broadcast TV. Most of the cable shows mentioned on E.W.’s list are too gross to even mention.
I guess it’s been awhile since I’ve watched MTV; I knew music videos were pretty much out, but I had no idea that shows made it on the air called “Date My Mom,” “A Shot of Love With Tila Tequila,” “Room Raiders,” “Damage Control” and “My Super Sweet 16.”
“The Jerry Springer Show” was the champion of the list of “Most Appalling” TV Shows. I remember the controversy it caused and how audaciously and ridiculously bad it was when it was out. However, I actually think things have gotten worse since then, and this list serves as a living memory of stuff that never should have made it onto the hearth that once was the family’s national gathering place.
What is it about our culture that allows it to settle for absolute garbage that is as uninspiring as it is unhealthy? Is life that boring? Or are we that lazy?

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