What’s the newest trend in television programming? No, not reality tv. That’s more weathered than Richard Hatch’s bare ass. It’s ‘List Shows.’ List shows either numerically rank or randomly riff on a wide-range of of pop-culture phenomena. Wise-ass c-list celebrities commonly spice up the proceedings with intercut droll commentary.
Whether they’re skewering decades (VH1’s I Love the 80’s I get it already. My childhood is now worthy of mocking at the the altar of uncool.) or what celebrities dress like, (E!’s 101 Starlicious Makeovers) these shows leave no superficial rock unturned.
Even quasi-educational channels (Like the Las Vegas Tourism Board Cha…. sorry, I meant the “Travel” Channel) are getting into the act. Recently, the Las Veg… damn, sorry… The “Travel” Channel counted down The World’s Best Bathrooms for the discriminating excreter on the go.
Why are these shows proliferating faster than a bootleg copy of a Paris Hilton video? I have a few theories. Obviously, they’re cheap to produce. Stock footage + “celebrity” commentators who can be bought for a Starbucks Decaf Mocca Java and a trip to Krispy Kreme = a low cost product.
Second of all, they’re easy to watch. It’s television for those who really feel they should be doing something else. List shows don’t have anything difficult and confusing that requires your attention such as a plot, or tribal alliances. There’s no mucking about figuring out why Dr. Carter has grown an unbecoming beard. You can pretty much jump in at any point of the show.
“Hey, they’re talking about Smurf figurines! Cool!”