CourtneyK ponders “It’s the End of the World as We Know It….”

…and I feel fine…but hey. Speak in hushed tones, don’t shout, don’t look, don’t wig out man. But I think the end of the Reality TV reign may be coming to an end. (HOORAY!!) There’s light at the end of this Trend Tunnel; but is it hope or is it Apocalypse? Let’s take a look.

Slowly but surely, reality shows are losing viewers. Audiences are looking for content again; I can’t tell you how happy that makes me! Don’t get me wrong, I have some reality-ish shows that I’m addicted to (Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Hell’s Kitchen, the occasional Toddlers & Tiaras, various Food Network shows and Home Improvement/Buying shows) and I don’t see those becoming less than viewing staples in programming’s future. But the “garbage”, the competitions that don’t mean anything; those seem to be quietly fading into oblivion.

In popular culture, zombies have been gaining ground. I’ve had many conversations as to “How to survive the Zombie Apocalypse” with my pals. Resulting in hoots of laughter and eye-rolling, but still: the fact is the conversations are happening. Not to say that Zombies are the new thing: but look a little closer and you’ll see what I see. The Start Over or Mulligan. Think about it. The normal storyline for shows is disaster narrowly averted, but averted none-the-less. Heroes swooping in to save the day! However more and more, shows are presupposing that the disaster isn’t averted and what do we do then??

Shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead, survival combined with zombies. How do people combat themselves and the menacing flesh-eaters? The battles with the zombies alone would be boring, there’s more story inside the survivors that’s driving the viewers to profess their undying (pun intended) devotion.

The ill-fated FOX drama Terra Nova (now canceled); the budget busting series that showed how humans have to go back in time to a different timeline (yeah, that made me raise an eyebrow too) to start the human race over because we’ve damaged the Earth so much the air is grey-brown and having an “extra” child constitutes a prison sentence. Bleak future guys, bleak at best.

Then there’s the TNT hit Falling Skies. Aliens. Big ole’ crazy parasite-aliens. Taking children (the symbolism of ‘hope being lost’ is not lost on me) and turning them against the adults; classic move. Again, the survival is the story; the uniting of human factions, the need for one another; the war is almost secondary.

What’s next? There’s a new show on the horizon, Revolution coming to NBC. So far, no aliens or zombies that I can see; but rather technology itself that’s betrayed the human race. No no, not like a Terminator. Think massive EMP makes anything even associated with electricity useless. How would humans survive? We’ve become so dependent on our gadgets for just about everything; what would life be like if it the Age of Convenience were to suddenly cease? Basic survival skills would suddenly make you the most popular person around, what would that kind of power do to a person? Then there’s those who could bring it all back; there’s a plethora of story there! I was fortunate enough to get little glimpses of this new show at San Diego International Comic Con 2012 earlier this month. Starring Billy Burke (The Closer) as Miles Matheson, we’re going to see how people will fare without anything to do with electricity. Naturally, the creator is Eric Kripke (Supernatural) so that means I’m automatically going to be watching it, getting good and invested only to have my heart ripped out. He’s notorious for that, but he’s excellent at it so, what are ya gonna do?

So the new trend, The Mulligan? The Do-Over? The We’re-Totally-Hosed? What do we name it?? And what is television trying to do? Make us use our brains again? HOORAY! While devastating wars, plagues, evil aliens, floods, cannibalistic undead may happen, we as a species must press on. And that’s where the richest parts of the stories are going to stem from. I’ll definitely be watching; what about you? Are you interested in a Global Reset?


  • Good article! I’m so with you on those lame competition shows like Big Brother and the like. Now I do love shows like Amazing Race, Hell’s Kitchen, and even parts of Survivor (mostly the challenges). But by and large, reality TV can suck it! Good riddance.

  • Sorry, ran out of room. I just wanted to share a quote I saw on Facebook about those who control our programming. Firefly was canceled in its first season. Jersey Shore is now in its fifth season. Just gives you some perspective. Okay, I’m done.

  • Melissa Savage

    Gosh I hope you’re right! I have to say I’m not a big reality TV watcher anyway; I love me some original programming. I had avoided The Walking Dead until now (zombies=gross) but I finally watched the pilot on my flight back to Australia. It’s actually pretty darn good.

  • Thanks for reading and commenting, Jeremy and Melissa! It’s good to hear your thoughts, keep it up! 🙂