Not Quite “As Seen On Television”

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

I sat down to watch a bit of television and enjoy a beer when I had an epiphany. Now before you go attributing my sudden clarity to my dipsomania I should tell you that I was barely three sips in when I came to a sudden realistion: my life is boring. And so is yours. Well, at least in comparison to what we see on TV each day.

The shows we watch always seem more glamorous than anything you or I do on a daily basis. And I’ve noticed a trend in a television; a trend towards upping the ante on any type of show. We no longer have sitcoms about a high-school teacher steering his students towards a solid career path, as seen in the 80s’ Head of the Class, but gritty serials about terminally ill teachers that start manufacturing drugs to make ends meet. A chef on television no longer visits the local market to buy a spices, but needs a safety crew on standby in case the pyrotechnics needed to make a dish go awry.

In every show, in every possible way, what we see on TV is just so much more interesting than anything we do.

Television: a promising young chef has thirty seconds left to add the final touches to a dish. The stakes are high, if you’ll forgive the pun, as the winner in this show will win mammoth prizes and work as a chef at a top restaurant. Tension mounts as the judges, the cameras and later, millions of viewers at home, are glued to the showdown.

Your life: you burn your toast and only your dog is watching. You cave in any buy an artery-clogging burger from the nearest fast food outlet.

Television: a talented youngster from the wrong side of the tracks defies destiny with dance moves that impress judges and an entire nation on a televised talent show.

Your life: get pick-pocketed by the youngster who, ironically, bullied the kid who chose dance lessons over life in a gang.

Television: a zany handyman takes only one episode to turn a near-condemned house into a palatial home for a destitute family of fifteen.

Your life: you end up in the casualty ward of your local hospital after accidentally nailing your thumb to a shaky bookshelf.

Television: a collection of people with no formal dance training pair up with professional dancers and in turn, with hard work, become more than capable ballroom dancers.

Your life: drink too much wine and get booted out the pub after your attempt at break-dancing results in a waitress flinging a tray of food and drinks all over the DJ’s table.

Television: a renowned chef travels all over the world, creating dishes from local ingredients, all while slurping on a glass of red wine.

Your life: you finish the bottle of wine, pass out, wake up after midnight and attempt to make popcorn.

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