PBS, The Plaster Saint Of Reality Television

Knitting Wars PBS

So I was on my way to work this morning when I saw a poster for Knitting Wars and thought, “Wow, reality television has really scraped the bottom of the barrel.” Here are some other thoughts that went through my head:

  • I would totally recap that show;
  • If you gave knitting needles to the cast of The Real Housewives Of New Jersey, amazing and bloody things could happen;
  • I have, like, five scarves that I need to finish; and
  • I bet this is on the Lifetime Network.

Upon closer examination, I realized that Knitting Wars was nothing more than an ad for PBS, mocking America’s love of shoddy reality television. The ad reads: “THE FACT THAT YOU THOUGHT THIS WAS A REAL SHOW SAYS A LOT ABOUT THE STATE OF TV,” and then asks for a donation.┬áThose self-righteous hypocrites.

While I’m all for quality programming (what, I watch Mad Men), I can’t help but wonder how a station that spawned such gems as Frontier House, Manor House, and the ever popular Antiques Roadshow has the nerve to scoff at reality television. Are the on-camera confessionals any less exploitive because the cast member is wearing a bonnet and dress from the nineteenth century American West rather than a t-shirt and leg warmers from American Apparel? And is it any more schadenfreudy┬áto watch a person’s dreams dashed when they don’t get that rose than when the vase they found in the attic turns out to be from Pier 1 Imports? Heck no.

So while PBS may have a point, they need to change their tone because these ads make me want to tell PBS exactly where it can stick that smug satisfaction: In a tote bag, of course.

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