There is a time and a place on TV for documentaries, real-life stories and fun competition. But it isn't every night on every channel, especially as we head into a time when we'll be exposed to a surfeit of "real reality" TV -- war coverage from Iraq. Some news channels already have confused and even bored audiences with a merry-go-round of reports on the what-ifs of war. But when real bombs start killing real people, the boredom will give way to daily anxiety and a demand to know what's going on.
One must wonder what the creative community -- those charged with producing new ideas, riveting drama and innovative comedy -- are doing. Why have they cast off the wit and warmth of the Jerry Seinfelds in favor of muttering Ozzy Osbournes and dim-witted Joe Millionaires? Let's hope the current generation of Americans, scornful of books and addicted to the TV remote, won't be left without creative and well-produced programming.
And after the war? Maybe -- we can always hope -- TV will return to a variety of some reality and some fantasy, including tasteful comedies and spirited dramas to go alongside the voyeuristic shows we have dubbed "reality."
In the end, the public's good horse sense usually prevails. Based on the results of this survey, that happy end may be nearer than the networks think.