In my day, people had standards when it came to watching television. I’m talking about the days when teenagers and adults couldn’t wait for the dashing Alex Trebek to come on with his fascinating and challenging Jeopardy; back in the days when people roared at Lucille Ball, not at the antics of Drew Carey and Mimi. More specifically, I am appalled at my fellow student’s fascination and borderline obsession with the channel commonly referred to as WB.
“When Joey looked deep into Dawson’s eyes on the beach, I thought for sure their old flames of desire would rage and they’d kiss and get back together! Too bad Jenn had to come along and interrupt them.” My mind raced as my gossiping friends discussed this new information. I was still attempting to piece together the first names mentioned with students seated around us in the Mo-Street CafÃ©. “Oh, I was mad when the commercial interrupted just before Pacy discovered that Andy was cheating on him in the insane asylum!”
It all clicked then. This was not a real life drama at our comparatively simplistic university; this was a WB program full of scandal and supposedly interesting conversation material. This would not be the only time I’d feel left out for not tuning in at the appointed hours in order to follow the complex lives of Dawson’s Creek characters.
WB Dramas such as the aforementioned “Dawson’s Creek” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” have taken Americans by storm. Our little campus is no exception. Across the nation, millions sit enthralled, in front of the television, while such characters as Joey and Dawson spin their trials and tribulations in an entangled web of soap opera magic.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is watched religiously as well. Adolescents and adults alike watch Buffy’s quick moves and fantastic fighting skills as she defeats every child’s worst nightmare. If these hour shows are clearly fictional and unrealistic, then why do they hold people around the nation captive night after night? An enigma I have yet to unravel.
The river-folk of Dawson’s Creek are all approximately 16 years old and they attend high school, therefore should have generally the same problems as other teenagers out in the real world. Yet, they are far from typical as they confront dilemmas such as Jack realizing he is no longer heterosexual, Pacy’s beloved girlfriend, Andy, is clinically insane in need of an asylum, or Jenn and her best friend, and school busybody, have too much to drink and Jenn’s friend decides to take a nightly ocean swim which quickly becomes her demise. These are not ordinary, commonplace problems plaguing high school students.
Most of these situations do not ever arise, let alone occur in the same year. Perhaps it’s the traipsing around the river in their family boats that affect their heads. Lack of parental supervision is another unrealistic factor in this drama. Unheeded, Joey slips in and out of Dawson’s perpetually open window at all hours. Most parents would keep better track of their teenagers in order to direct their child through the normality of today’s turbulent adolescent times. However, in the extreme televised W.B. dramas, no parents hover protectively over these 16 year olds and they certainly don’t interfere with their child’s daily happenings, vices, follies, and relationships.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” cannot be excluded. This drama is nonsensical and off the wall as well. Buffy is a high school senior who became the “chosen one.” She is chosen to battle the evils of her small, but vampire populated town.
Her faithful friends follow her lead as they too unflinchingly plunge stakes into the demonic hearts. No teenage girl out of T.V. land has the audacity or opportunity to fight vampires and demons as Buffy so stylishly does.
She amazingly manages to dress perfectly, wear flawless make-up, attend school, achieve decent grades, and fight the forces of evil until wee hours of the morning every day! Sleep deprivation or stress is obviously not an issue. Her parents and her friends don’t even question her demonic fighting days. Again, lack of parental supervision is evident.
These are only two examples of the approximately 12 hour-long shows on the WB channel. All programs broadcasted are one hour long and extraordinary lifestyles and characters, yet they differ in the extent and variety of problems and plots in order to keep up the ratings.
How does a fictitious T.V. show elicit so many responses and conversational material? It couldn’t possibly be that they experience similar predicaments. It must be that the WB characters experience such glamorous stressful situations and handle each predicament elegantly as they unravel the troubles of their lives.
Who wouldn’t want their ordinary problems more spicy and complex? Unpretentiousness is out. Complexity is in. The epidemic WB must end. The people’s obsession with the programs is preposterous considering the lack of depth and candor of each show. The shows are not worthy of the time and effort it takes to sort out the protagonists from the antagonists or the pregnancy problem from the sexually transmitted disease dilemma.