I'm beginning to see how right this is. We don't have TV at home, but while we're away in the summer we watch quite a bit of it (which makes us more grateful that we don't have it at home). I have a natural inclination towards TLC's A Baby Story or What Not To Wear; I assumed it's just because I'm a woman who's had babies and wears clothes. Still, I notice that the shows that I get the biggest kick out of are the dumbest. My husband and I saw advertised something called "I Survived a Japanese Game Show." It looked absolutely ridiculous--and I laughed out loud every time the ad for it came on! It showed something about people jumping off these giant platforms into a lake that had huge, blow-up structures in it. The people kept falling flat on their face. Every time they hit I busted up like an idiot (maybe I just don't get out much)!
I also find that I love shows like American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance for the same reason. I love it when ordinary people who have no stage presence end up on national television. They always have really sweaty armpits, or spit when they talk, or turn around in front of the camera. Maybe I'm a dweeb, but I live for those moments!
I saw an example of the opposite problem just yesterday when my boys were watching cartoons. I remember cartoons as mindless entertainment--Coyote falling off the cliff for the umpteenth time--but every kids' cartoon that they watch starts out with a message for parents on what educational or social skills the cartoon helps preschoolers develop. I also grew up with Sesame Street and Square One and loved them, so there are some aspects of educational television that I liked as a kid, but I think it's gotten totally out of control. The worst example I saw--and my total apologies out there to any of my friends who love this show, please forgive me--was something called "Lou & Lou's Safety Patrol." The story consisted of two kids (who always walked around carrying water bottles and wore bike helmets) who were helping their mom make an emergency preparedness kit. I couldn't handle it anymore! I jumped to the remote and found Tom & Jerry on Cartoon Network. Aahhhh....mindless television....(and the boys thought it was hilarious).