American Eye Dull

Creativity in television is dead! Our cable is littered with reality tv, much of it borrowed or purloined from the British. One would think that the creative teams from Discovery and the likes would come up with an original jewel that would set the United States apart.

As an inventor and someone who believes creativity and ingenuity should be rewarded and praised, I am embarrassed and repulsed by The Shark Tank, an ABC Americanized rip-off of Britain’s BBC show, The Dragon’s Den. While the Den wasn’t always understanding or willing to listen to the inventor’s vision as he or she saw it, our US aberration is everything an invention show shouldn’t be. The pompous know-it-all panel of judges are eager to insult, berate, and demean creative, educated, lucid, innovators and visionaries –just what made our country the great leader that it once used to be. Rather than ridicule and attempt to beat these people down to make them look bad, wouldn’t it be refreshing and uplifting to actually produce an invention show that inspires and rewards real honest and novel ingenuity? What a novel thought–to actually encourage a novel and different idea.

That’s where I come in. As one who is a self-appointed trend watcher and an observer of media in our culture, I have seen a huge reduction in any smart content and thoughtful viewing. Let’s consider these for next season:

Shooting Stars- We are bombarded by local and national media with frivolous and pointless observations about people we really shouldn’t care about or have any connection. In reality, the celebrity that seems to dominate our news craves the spotlight and receives press for the most minor and pointless of achievements. In this new exciting show, we encourage B class actors to play the role of the target. Similar to Top Shot, but we use celebrities as moving targets. Why tire them out dancing?

Hoarding With The Stars- See the glamour and glitz of the crowded overflowing filth encrusted homes of your idols. See your favorite star possessed by his or her possessions. It’s real wholesome reality television for the entire family.

Celebrity Death Cab – By combining our inexplicable obsession for 2 dimensional celebrities who have nothing of substance to say, our love affair with the contemplation of the inevitable progression of death, and mind boggling but whimsically cute trivia, comes a truly addictive show. Each week, a “celeb” or someone claiming to be one, like someone with an obsession for fame and fortune, takes a ride in our modified cab of death as they are bombarded with rounds of questions. If knowledge should prevail, his or her favorite charity benefits and if the contestant should prove unworthy, the Death Cab wins.

Long live fresh and wholesome programming ideas to entertain and educate our public, but especially today’s youth. Enough said.

About Karl Robb

Karl Robb has had Parkinson’s disease (PD) for over twenty-five years. Karl believes he has had PD since he was seventeen years old and was diagnosed at the age of twenty-three. Now fifty, he is a Parkinson advocate, entrepreneur, inventor, writer, blogger, photographer, Reiki Master, and speaker on PD issues. Karl is the author of the book, A Soft Voice in a Noisy World: A Guide to Dealing and Healing with Parkinson’s Disease. He has been chosen as a blogger partner for the 4th World Parkinson Congress being held this September in Portland, Oregon. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His writing has been featured in The New York Post and he has appeared on BBC radio, the CBS Saturday Evening News, Japanese television, as well as several local Washington, D.C., television stations. Karl is a former board member and a Virginia assistant state director of the Parkinson’s Action Network and a board member of the Parkinson Voice Project. You may reach Karl via email at, visit his blog at, on Facebook, or contact him via Twitter @asoftvoicepd.

Posted on April 22, 2012, in Comedy, Philosophy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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