Tonight marks the final episode of American Idol on FOX – but I’m sure as hell not going to watch it for several reasons, including the fact that it’s long since damaged FOX’s prestige as a major TV network to the point of almost nobody taking it seriously. Not to mention tarnish the TV industry’s reputation as a whole by being at the vanguard of the so-called “Reality TV” genre, which should have never come into being almost twenty years ago.
True, American Idol made superstars out of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Hudson – but it also exposed us to, unfortunately, Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell, whose popularity and reputation will no doubt plummet fast and hard not long after American Idol signs off for good tonight, proof that they’ve already outlived their welcome on the pop culture horizon. The same also holds true for Paula Abdul, who was never much of an entertainer to begin with – unlike her idol, the great Gene Kelly, whose accomplishments remain major benchmarks in show business history. Hell, Kelly’s female leads in many of his best films were far better than Miss Abdul, partly because they worked hard at their craft and proved it on-screen, one reason why movie musicals like Anchors Aweigh, On The Town, and Singin’ In The Rain continue to stand the test of time – whereas Miss Abdul’s music videos and her choreography haven’t aged well (a reminder that not everything in the 1980’s was letter-perfect), all the more reason for hear to fade into obscurity for good, though I’m sure that others won’t agree with my views.
And American Idol and other so-called “Reality TV” shows have also stifled creativity in the TV industry, which has, in many respects, sacrificed originality and quality for profits and mediocrity (how else to explain the presence of Fuller House and other reboots of old TV series which never should have been green-lighted to begin with)? Not to mention teach inappropriate and bad values which have only made things worse, and not just for us as a society – including the fact that another so-called “Reality TV” personality is currently hogging the national spotlight (and who’ll never get elected President of the United States in November, if the American public has its way).
In the end, American Idol’s end and fading into permanent obscurity fast will be no less significant than other fads and follies throughout history which may have been popular in their time, but which hardly anyone really cares about, which brings to mind the ancient Roman saying, “All glory is fleeting.” On the other hand, the end of American Idol means that the TV industry will finally get its act together and not only abandon “Reality TV” as a means of profits, but also green-light and broadcast the kind of programs that we want and deserve to see – and the kind that’ll be remembered and cherished, even decades after American Idol and its ilk have been rightfully forgotten.
JOHN LAVERNOICH is the author of five books (including not only the first two Chameleons, Inc. novels, but also his most recent, Memories Of My Youth), as well as various non-fiction articles and short stories that have been published in print and on the Internet. To learn more about Mr. Lavernoich and his various creative accomplishments, please check out the following websites listed below:
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