ENG 3073, sec. 01
Genre TV vs. Reality
Sadly, the days of scripted television may soon be gone. Reality programming is rapidly consuming much of today's entertainment. One of the genres that is taking the reality hit the hardest is the sci-fi/supernatural genre. Shows in this category are th polar opposite of reality TV and are suffering for it. More networks are letting go of quality escapism and are instead churning out cookie cutter versions of reality. The sci-fi/supernatural genre is the purest form of escapism in programming. Isn't that what television was mean for, to escape everyday life (reality) and journey into a fantasy world of hopes, dreams, heroes and happiness?
Shows like Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Tru Calling, and even soaps like Port Charles, and Passions could all be put into the Sci-fi/supernatural genre. In this genre there is always a conflict between good and evil, with the roles usually clear. The protagonist is the "good" trying to save the world from the "evil" by either fighting or using some spell. There is also always a hero, and this person lets the viewer believe that there can still be good in the world, someone to save humanity. Unlike reality TV the situations in these shows are purely fictional, things that could never happen in real life. Even the premiss of most of them is laughable; Angel's protagonist is a vampire in LA (with a soul, no less), Buffy is a vampire slayer (hence the title), Charmed has three witch sisters that battle the underworld every week and still have normal lives, Tru Calling has Tru rewinding days to save people who were at one time corpses she was working on in the morgue. The ideas sound silly, but the quality of the storylines and the morals, based solely on the battle between good and evil, is much higher than that of any other genre (especially reality, which has no morals).
It's not that these types of shows aren't getting ratings, Angel...