I blame the writers. Everything would be so much better now if they hadn't gone out on strike back in 2007. The Writers Guild of America walkout back then brought TV and film production to a standstill. For one hundred days, writers did not write. Comedies, dramas, soap operas and so forth could no longer get fresh words for characters to say. There were no characters.
Well, at least no scripted characters.
The powers that be in New York and Hollywood came up with a way to keep audiences in front of their TV sets where they belonged. Or their computers. Or their phones. Bypass that traditional oracle of entertainment and find ways to put shows out that were called "new media." Wouldn't you need writers to create this "new media?" Not if the powers that be just turned on cameras and pointed them at real people doing real things. If you wanted to be a millionaire, and who doesn't, you could have a show. If you wanted to try to survive on a desert island in competition with a bunch of other contestants who were not clever enough to simply sit in a chair and call your friends for answers to win your million dollars, you could have a show. If you wanted to be the next top model or design clothes for that next top model to make your million, you could have a show. At this point, you didn't really need to have much more than a potential humiliation and a million dollars prize money to have a show. And you didn't have to pay writers. Blame Idols from America and Stars with whom you might have Danced. Watching celebrities babble and fail without the aid of a script was quite the bonanza back in those wild times.
It was in 2008 that a little show called Celebrity Apprentice showed up. After four years of hollering "You're fired" at civilians, game show host Donald Trump started shouting at stars. Or what passed for stars at that time. Who needs writers when you've got a guy who bankrupted his own casinos belittling "celebrities" like Jose Canseco and Omorosa. Must-see TV indeed.
If those same powers that be had just gone ahead and paid a higher percentage to their creatives for DVDs and YouTubery, we probably wouldn't have the "president" we have right now. Certainly he would not have had the exposure given to him once a week the National Broadcasting Company ended up lavishing on him. Next time the WGA and those studio heads start fussing with one another, I hope cooler heads will prevail.
And we probably wouldn't have to worry about keeping up with the Kardashians either.