Talk shows are great for entertainment and the occasional valid opinion.
TV shows are fun to watch in general. However, talk shows tend to stand in their own category since they separate themselves from the rest of the pack by being as raw and real (sometimes) as they can be. Sitcoms are fun since they don’t require much of the audience save for their attention and support. Talk shows need a little more, but in finding the support of their followers, they also walk a finer line when it comes to influencing the masses versus directing how they think and act. Talk shows are, for better or worse, the only reality TV shows that are sometimes expected to go off-script, since the level of bias that some shows, and their hosts, promote, can create a serious rift in society.
Here are five reasons talk shows are great, and five reasons they’re terrible.
Great: They’re entertaining
First and foremost, a lot of TV shows are meant to be entertaining. There are all sorts of reasons to start a show, be it special interests that are shared or information that someone feels the need to share. But the fact is that talk shows are typically there because someone thinks that the show will draw people in because they’re interested in hearing what the hosts have to say. The truth is that some shows are nothing more than modern-day circus acts, as The Jerry Springer Show and others have displayed in the past. But the fact is this: you have the choice to watch or ignore these shows. They’re entertainment that might occasionally have a solid point.
Terrible: The shows are insanely biased
No one wants to believe that this is 100% true, since the belief of many is that talk shows are there for entertainment value, but also to make solid arguments. The View is one such show that many people think is worthwhile, but others believe, and rightly so, that the biases displayed skew the main point of the show. Even the title of the show suggests a possible bias since the ladies on the panel might think they’re being fair, but in the eyes of society, they’re speaking their own opinions and blasting others if they don’t fall in line. It’s not an opinion, unfortunately, it’s a fact.
Great: These shows can help validate various ideas
Even with bias, many talk shows have proven to be highly entertaining since the hosts are charismatic and the flow is great enough to keep people watching. A good idea is easy to understand and enjoy. Many people would agree since several talk shows have been embedded in the public consciousness for many years, even after they aired their last episodes. People still talk about the Springer Show to this date, especially when it comes to comparing it with others. The Late Show has been a hallmark for longer than most remember, which proves that the ideas that are brought to light are popular enough to stand the test of time.
Terrible: The personalities used are not always the best for speaking to people
This is where people tend to agree and disagree the most since the hosts of said shows can be widely loved by a lot of people, or they can be seen as polarizing figures that don’t belong on the show. The View is still a great example since the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, and Joy Behar have plenty of followers, but they have a lot of detractors as well. Unfortunately, this means that the things they say and the values they try to push aren’t always in line with their audience. Still, they make for good TV since most publicity works no matter how bad it gets.
Great: These shows give a voice to many people
More than a few people in society tend to think that their voice goes unheard or doesn’t matter. However that might sound to some folks, it’s unfortunately very true. Talk shows do manage to pool ideas and give these people something to cling to and agree with, and this in turn allows them to believe that their voice and values do matter. The truth is that every voice should at least be heard, even if what is said or believed is not always in line with what many people want to hear. Giving people something to identify with is important since it makes life a little easier to think that you’re not alone.
Terrible: They’re hypnotic and can influence a lot of people
Giving people a voice can backfire since it might give them the talk show’s voice. Let me explain that. Some folks don’t want to think for themselves. It’s tough, it requires a lot of introspection and discipline, or it’s simply too easy and allows for utter chaos to spew forth. The problem with talk shows comes with the biased and sometimes uncertain views expressed by the hosts and the general idea of the show itself. Too many people find themselves caught up in the ideas that are pushed by one show or another and will find that their moods and even their values shift on occasion due to what they watch and come to believe in. It sounds a little out there to be real, right? Sadly, it’s a little too common.
Great: A lot of shows do promote diversity
One of the best things about talk shows is that they’re usually inclusive and very diverse. In this day and age, there’s no sense in excluding anyone from a show that has to do with a variety of social issues that are bound to come up. From the Arsenio Hall Show to the Steve Wilkos Show, there are a lot of talk shows that practice a lot of diversity in who they cast, who they invite as guests, and who they’re operated by. If nothing else, talk shows are a great hodgepodge of humanity.
Terrible: Negative ideas get far more attention and acceptance
People love drama and conflict. Take a look around the world sometime and see which gets more attention, a tragedy, or a triumph. Triumphs are great, they inspire people and they give a person that good, warm feeling that keeps them going. The truth though, is that tragedy will almost always draw a bigger crowd. The idea is that it’s because people are empathetic; they want to see if they can help or give their two cents on what should be done. The truth, unfortunately, is that while this is true, a lot of people simply want a good show. It’s cynical, but it’s true.
Great: The shows give people an outlet for their ideas and beliefs
Talk shows cover a lot of different topics, meaning there’s always a chance that someone’s idea might make the panel and become something other than a good idea. In this manner it’s possible to spread great ideas, vital information, and views that are positive or at least useful when it comes to society. This is something that helps society to build and maintain itself in several different ways. If not for ideas, we might all be living in caves wondering how many different ways we can use a rock, apart from hitting each other with them.
Terrible: The hosts/writers…whoever, lose touch with their audience
As it’s seen these days, a lot of talk show hosts have taken it upon themselves to voice opinions that are less than popular. Somehow, a lot of these people are still allowed to keep their position even if they’re censored, suspended, or otherwise punished. The negative part of this is that if they’re allowed to remain, it might bode well for free speech, but it says nothing for their reputation, or that of the show if they’re allowed to say whatever they like without having to pay the consequences. In other words, you can say whatever you’d like, but not without having to pay the piper when all is said and done.
WTR? (Why’s That Radass?)
Honestly, talk shows are fun since they are a source of entertainment that has been around for decades now. But while they are fun and they are amusing, there are those shows out there that are less than useful and should either be revamped or shut down entirely. Other shows will always rise to take their place, but sometimes it’s necessary to go back to the drawing board and say goodbye to hosts that think they’re more important than the show.