Culture, Faith

Reality TV

On Monday night, I cooked dinner for my family and said goodbye to my husband, as he had to go back into work to work on the server.  Normally we would spend the evening with our little girl and after putting her to bed, get ready to watch 24.  I love 24, it is one of my favorite tv shows, and I enjoy watching it with Will.  With Will having to go back in to work, normally I would be bummed.

This past Monday was different, however, as I looked forward to having some “me” time.  And the reason I looked forward to that “me” time, you see, was because there was a part of me that felt conflicted…at the same time that 24 would be on, the Bachelor finale was due to air.  And I am ashamed to admit it, but I wanted to watch The Bachelor.   Without Will home, I had the perfect excuse to my dilemma…of course I couldn’t watch 24 without him, so alas, I would sacrifice and watch it with him on the Internet, leaving me to watch the Bachelor with slightly less shame.

So I tuned in, admittedly eager to see whether or not it would be Molly or Melissa that Jason chose.  After two hours of drawn out, melodramatic moments, it was finally revealed–Jason proposed to Melissa.  Being the romantic that I am, I found the moment quite sweet, and being the romantic that I am, I let myself become hooked into the program and hoped the best for them.

Well, after the two hours of drama, my husband was STILL at work and I thought, hmmm, now they are going to air the “After the final rose” special…might as well watch that one too.

And then, I became literally sick to my stomach.  I watch Jason end his engagement to Melissa on national television and then proceed to ask Molly to give him another chance within a 30 minute time span.  Molly initially looks shocked and I held out hope that she would have some sense and at least state that she would need some time to think about it, but within another fifteen minutes, they were holding hands and kissing.

I would imagine I must sound like some shallow female since I am blogging about The Bachelor.  But I have a reason for it.  In all seriousness, how sad is it that our society has sunk to such a program, that not only glorifies and encourages physical/sexual intimacy prior to marriage, but does so between 25 women and one man, in a fantasy type world (because really, what average American can afford to do tours of cities by helicopter or travel to New Zealand with three women?), and plays up every tear, every argument, every private moment for the world to see?  And you know what is worse?  That I wasted time watching it.  I knew what the show was like.  I know it does not glorify God, and that as a Christian, I should probably not be watching it.  I knew this because I was ashamed to admit I watched parts of it, especially to other Christians.

I was able to tolerate what I knew the show was (which shows I need to allow the Holy Spirit to do some more work in me)…but what I could not tolerate is the after show in which it was so blatantly arranged that this man would dump his fiance in front of the world and begin physical intimacy with another woman after the commercial break.  I praise God here, for it was the literal sense of nausea that came upon me that reassured me that despite my weakness in watching such a program, I wasn’t so desensitized that I could stomach the utter depravity that became apparent.

I hope it does not seem like I am being overdramatic.  Reality tv has become a huge market, and I do love my Dancing with the Stars.  Yet, what does it say about our society that so many of us, myself included, would tune in to a program such as the Bachelor?  Are we so eager to escape our lives, are we so hungry for love that we accept the world’s version of it offered up in the fantasy of this program?  Shame on me for spending an evening watching a program that treats the desire for a spouse so trivially, and marriage so carelessly.  I pray that I would be wiser in my future television choices, and that God will continue to use the Holy Spirit to convict me when I choose poorly.


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