We the television viewers don’t know how to appropriately feel or react to situations and circumstances. Thankfully TV has stepped up to that arduous task and offers the proper reactions for us. How would I know that Glen Beck loved America if he didn’t force bloated tears of crazy all over the screen? How would I know when to laugh if sit-coms didn’t add a laugh track? Would I not think that Casey Anthony was a disgusting person if the cast members of The Talk didn’t storm off set and choke through reading the verdict?
If you’ve been living under a rock (as I have) then you might have missed the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial. Casey Anthony having been found not guilty of murdering her two year old daughter, despite her guilt as an all around despicable human being.
I’m not going to go into whether the jurors got it right. Twelve people witnessed the same trial and all of them decided she was not guilty, having sat on the jury of what appeared to be an open and shut case I can attest to the difficulty of convicting beyond a reasonable doubt. What specifically irked me about this case was that it was national news at all.
Are you familiar with Marchella Pierce, or Brisena Flores? Probably not, neither of these children were white, neither of them make great media darlings nor do their equally non white parents. I read a great article over at KPCC multi-america that went into detail about how race played a factor in media onslaught of Casey Anthony. That however is not what has me steaming about the case, because lets be honest Caylee’s death however tragic does not effect me. It does not change the day to day structure of my life, nor should it change yours, it is not part of a growing epidemic, and it is not an injustice for the justice system to work as intended.
What really boiled my blood was the reactions of the ladies on the CBS show The Talk. I have never heard of this show before, now that I have I can say it is the same premise as The View. I do not like these shows, as badly as they want to convince us that they are created by women for women the truth is that they are created in focus groups. Just look at the cast, it’s a virtual mini America without the Latinos or anyone of Middle Eastern decent. Really this show is by Ad execs for people who have nothing better to do.
The day the Casey Anthony verdict was reached head Talker Julie Chen read the decision live on the air. I should say she barely read through the verdict on air she was too upset to get through it without choking up. It was Leah Remini who stole the show by proclaiming, “I’m Leaving.” Then like she was attached to hidden strings controlled by a drunk puppeteer up in the rafters, she got up from her chair, threw her hands up, spun in place, took a step, and sat back down. Head over to Jezebel if you’ve not already seen this incredibly awkward 2:57 of television.
Julie Chen then made the “executive decision” to stay live on the air and allow the cameras to focus in on their absurd reactions.
I don’t know if these ladies really felt emotional about the juries decision, for all I know they did, but if that is true they chose to express it like bad stage actors. It was the comical exaggerated reactions that turned what was a thought provoking issue into “reality” television. None of these ladies knew Caylee, none of them knew Casey, this case had nothing to do with them.
You might say to me, “well the death of a child, even when it is not your child can be very emotional.” To which I agree, just ask my wife, however if they were upset about Caylee’s death where were the tears three years ago when she actually died? Their reactions were akin to those of someone who just found out a crazed serial child-killer had been set free and would soon be targeting their own children.
Children are needlessly dying every day and yet The Talk doesn’t stop to cry. Not for the child who is raped and murdered in the Congo, not for the child who starves to death in Somalia, not for the child who is caught in the crossfire of an angry drug cartel in Juarez Mexico, and not for the child is shot to death by a gang member in Detroit. This one child who may or may not have been killed by her mother in Florida, literally stopped their world.
I tried to think back to the last time I was as “visibly upset” as the ladies on The Talk over anything I saw in the media. Certainly our current House of Representatives has given me plenty of fodder, Scott Walker, John Boehner, Michele Bachman….no. I thought back to the presidential debates in 2007…not quite, closer. I went all the way back to the W. Bush years and though it was close not even then.
Okay, so then when was the last time I acted that visibly upset in my personal life? I thought and I thought and I thought, but I couldn’t find anything. I know somewhere along the line I have acted that way but having thought about it over a number of days I couldn’t remember when it was, and it obviously doesn’t happen often.
This led me to believe the ladies on The Talk were visibly upset not because they were physically overcome by emotion but rather for our benefit. Daytime talk shows like The View, The Talk, or the recently departed Oprah function under the notion that we like the hosts. They are from all facets of our society (just not poor, Latino, or Middle Eastern) and they are supposed to relate to us, not all of us at once but at least a large enough segment of America to justify having that host on the show. Therefore when a story like the Casey Anthony story comes about they need to show that they are moral and emotional people.
Had they all sat there and reacted without choking up and bolting out of their chairs we would have believed they were child killer supporters. I know this isn’t true, part of being human is the ability to show and read emotions from very subtle to exaggerated. Sometimes they can be difficult to read, sometimes they’re complicated and mixed but when they’re honest it doesn’t matter how they come across.
Television is different, producers don’t want any emotional ambiguity because god forbid a group of women react naturally with unclear emotions right before a commercial for Pampers. It has been widely accepted for traditional sitcoms to include a laugh track over a shows jokes (and non-jokes) so that we have no doubts that a line was laugh out loud funny. We are force fed false emotions from our TV friends so that we understand without any doubt exactly what they are feeling and what we should feel.
Without further adieu let me pitch to you a brand new television show,Visibly Upset. It will air every weekday at 10:00pm alongside The View and The Talk. The show will have five hosts all women. Two white women, one black woman, one Asian, and one wild card that can be any one of the afore mentioned races (just not Latino or Middle Eastern) and must be either gay or old.
Each episode will focus on hot button issues currently swirling around the media sphere. The ladies will scream and yell, they’ll cry buckets of tears, laugh so hard their coffee cups of water will shoot out their noses, and they will forever be storming off stage when they feel life is unfair.
Guests will be a mixture of polarizing celebrities like Donald Trump and Michael Moore, as well as real people who have been victims of social injustices. Catholic sex abuse victims, bullied gay children, white people with chronic diseases, or victims of racial bigotry. The hosts will become outraged at the unfairness of these peoples plights that they will end up belittling their guests and the challenges they have faced.
Each episode will need to build upon the previous episode in it’s visible upsetness until there is nothing but screaming, crying, stomping, fighting, laughing and people storming off stage in an absurd performance art piece for one hour each weekday.
If you happen to be a TV executive I urge you to meet with me to discuss this idea, there will never be any ambiguity as to the feelings of the hosts because there will be little other than overacted emotions pouring over the screen.