By Ryan Almodovar
Last night found me on my couch, flipping through channel after channel on my television for an excuse not to go to bed at 7:30 p.m. After about five minutes, my search finally paid off—Animal Hoarders. For those not familiar, this show is basically the same formula as the shows Hoarders and Intervention, but instead of people abusing drugs and collecting garbage, these people were collecting animals. One woman had over 90 cats, while another was apparently trying to start her own animal rescue shelter in her trailer. Somewhere between the introduction of these maniacs (“I spent over $400 dollars last month in dog food”) and the inevitable intervention (“They’re my babies!”), two things dawned on me:
1) We have at least three obsessive compulsive collecting shows: Hoarders, Animal Hoarders, and People Hoarders (19 Kids and Counting). I’ve completely lost track of how many shows we have about cake.
2) America has apparently gone completely insane.
It’s true, the heyday of reality TV has long since come and gone, and scripted TV just isn’t up to par with what it used to be. But I’d like to see American television ditch the whole reality thing for a while, maybe negotiate a deal with Univision to switch writers and premises for shows for a while. It’s a fact that Latinos are the most rapidly growing minority, so why not direct some of that mindless programming towards us?
We are probably still a ways off from seeing an English version of Hasta Que El Dinero Nos Separo (which I admittedly watched religiously) but we’ve run the well dry of ideas for television shows, so let’s start making English versions of Spanish shows. If TV just recycles everything anyway, why not broaden the appeal of the fine networks of Univision and Telemundo beyond Latinos and bring the same kind of programming to American audiences?
Oprah is retiring from her show and already has her own network on basic cable. Instead of treading through replacement hosts that will never match up, why not ask Cristina to make a jump into an English market? Why not a Sabado Gigante spinoff on VH1 called El Chacal of Love? It’s basically The Bachelor, but instead of handing out roses, you guessed it, you get played off by the trumpet. Let’s get these Spanish franchises and series into American primetime. Imagine tuning into NBC on Tuesday night, watching The Office, 30 Rock, and the new critically acclaimed Zero in Conduct.
So maybe I’m joking more than a little bit here, but my point is that television needs to do more to bridge the gap between the mindless garbage that passes for entertainment (Keeping Up With The Kardashians) and the largest group of potential viewers in the television market. I keep holding my breath for good writing and scripted TV to make its triumphant comeback, but until then, let’s make sure we’re entertaining the masses.
Contributor, Ryan Almodovar
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.