Rethinking reality


I am considering canceling my television satellite service and returning to my local cable company.  I was lured away by promises of hundreds of new stations available in high definition any time day or night.

Once the satellite was installed, I took a week’s vacation just to vegetate on my couch. I anticipated happy hours of old movies, fascinating programs on world history, and constant streams of micro-wave popcorn.

Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the majority of those hundreds of stations are either devoted to disgusting so-called reality shows or home shopping networks.


Home shopping is a concept that never caught on at my house. I swore off forever after rushing to order the Wonder Mop (they warned there were only 300 left). I paid $39.99 and found it at Wal-Mart a week later for $14.99.

How many Huggable Hangers or Slap and Chops does a woman need?

Reality shows puzzle me the most. They seem to  be multiplying like rabbits on in-vitro fertilization. “Housewives of (Name your city)” depicts snarky Collagen-plumped, Botox-stretched women who I bet aren’t even housewives.

Shockingly, I learned that some of my most intelligent and thoughtful friends are devotees of reality shows.  This week, I was attempting to demonstrate my superiority by ridiculing reality television and was bombarded by vehement protests.

My buddies are so addicted to “Hoarders” and “Swamp People” that they call each other back and forth to discuss the episodes!  What am I missing here?

I rushed home and punched up “Swamp People” which appears to be about country folks chasing alligators and snakes.   For 30 minutes, I watched a man and woman trying to rope an alligator – I think they were speaking English but I needed subtitles to be sure.

I switched to Hoarders which is about poor, beleaguered souls buried under 5,000 magazines and every milk carton they ever purchased.  It was very depressing, probably because I saw shades of my make-up table where resides every lipstick and blemish concealer invented since 1962.


Don’t we get enough reality television on Cable news?  Rupert Murdoch getting hit with a pie while testifying before the British  Parliament trumped any scripted, caterpillar-slurping foodie created for reality TV.

And yet, I’m wondering if there is a market for a reality show featuring a slightly delusional, almost senior citizen with a warped sense of humor and a high threshold for failure,  trying to give Martha Stewart a run for her money.  I have someone in mind.


Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement.  She welcomes comments at

9 thoughts on “Rethinking reality

  1. Roadtrips with the Bouncing Baby Boomers would be ever so much funnier than the reality shows on t.v. now.

  2. I agree with you about tv. However, we switrched fromj satallite to local cable and the problem is the same. There are a dozen sports channels, lots of advertizing/sales shows, too many silly and boring reality shows which are not real, and any number of sex shows with disgusting titles (you must pay for them, thank goodness so we don’t hace to surf over them )and on and on. I do like NCIS, All in the Family, what not to wear, Reba, old molvies and a few others. But, I would love to get rid of those which we pay for but never watch.
    Shirley C

  3. Well darn, Shirley. I don’t remember all those shopping channels back in the day when I still had cable. I’m appalled by the language used on tv these days and you’re right about all the sex. I understand some cable companies are allowing customers to select their favs and scratch the rest. I’m calling Lee Beck today!!

  4. Oh Martha, I LIKE it. “On the Road with Bouncing Boomers” – we’d get all the pharmaceutical companies to advertise. Of course, the stars will be the women of the Class of 65 at WPHS.

  5. Agree with the Sat. service…Terrible..back to cable we went…terrible….then we ask for the less expensive service available. We now have local stations, plus a few shopping channels….which we never watch, but we pay less than 30/month for service and believe me, it works for us.

    Do not get a promotional package. That only adds confusion when the promotion expires.

    Watchful Eye,

    Chet McLemore

  6. Thanks for the advice, Chet. The reason I left cable was because they ran the monthly fee up to $67 over the years and satellite was only $30 (promotional). Low and behold after the first year they bumped me up to $88 and I expect it to increase any day now. My contract is up in August and I’m outa here. Maybe that’s the key – switch back and forth each year and you get the neat low rate when you go back. Just like AT&T – I get all these promos about low, low, rates for new customers – only I’ve been a customer since I was old enough to have a phone. Burns me up worse then the weather!

  7. When “On the Road with Bouncing Boomers” need a break or in their off season, the girls of ’66 will fill in with “The Adventures of the Salty Sisters”. Just thought I’d offer!!

  8. You got it Becky – maybe we could have a show featuring the Marganitas competing with the Salty Sisters – a good hair pullin’ (staged of course) would bump up the ratings.

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