Posted in TV

Why Morning TV Sucks: A Tale of Two Women with Doctorate Degrees

No wonder people don’t watch TV much anymore. Network TV treats us like we’re dummies. We must have fast cutting clips to keep us interested. Rather than focusing on content with depth, they offer up talking heads who say one or two things quickly–then cut to commercial. I was watching The Today Show, and got disguested when “the experts” start talking about relationships. The Three-Year Itch is the new Seven-Year Itch blah blah blah.

The piece started out with an interesting bit of research by sociologist Kelly Musick at USC. “Relationships start to deteriorate over a short period of time.” If The Today Show had stuck with Prof. Musick and let her talk more about her research, it would have been very interesting. She studied couples who have been together 1-3 years vs couples who have been together 4-6 years. “There’s something that is getting in between what people want and fantasize about in a marriage, and what they actually do.” That’s something I’d like to hear about.

But no. Rather than go deep, The Today Show goes wide. A talking-head marriage and family therapist says people are used to being bombarded with stimulation, so if they’re not feeling excited 24/7, they get bored (isn’t that called ADHD?). Then the in-studio wonks spout their wisdom, which is high-school-hallway caliber. ‘Keep the interaction positive.’ ‘Remember what you liked about the other person in the first place.’

One of the in-studio wonks was Dr. Dale V. Atkins, author of Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life. She recommended “caring for the other person, even more than we care for ourselves.” Later in the interview, she said it again, “You have to care for that person really more than you care for yourself.”

Hold up there, chief. We women know better. We’ve gone the way of self-sacrifice, of “my job is to meet his needs, and if I’m not doing that correctly, it’s my fault.” We’re waaaaaay past that now. We see how that set up gives him all the emotional power in the relationship. We value our sanity (and if he’s smart, he will too).

So we have two women with Ph.D.’s, two experts. Dr. Musick has done the research, and we get to hear two sentences from her. Dr. Atkins has made a career out of lecturing and media appearances, and she feeds us the crap that we’ve been trying to recover from for years.

Lord knows why I was watching TV for relationship advice when Johnny Lingo was waiting for me over on YouTube. Just what is my worth in cows? Thanks to Leahpeah who linked to 3 segments here, here and here.


This is a personal blog. Expect a potpourri of stuff.

10 thoughts on “Why Morning TV Sucks: A Tale of Two Women with Doctorate Degrees

  1. TV is pissing me off. If I hear another co-worker talk about “So You Think You Can Dance” like it’s the greatest thing since the Gateway Arch or Riverboat Gambling or The World’s Biggest Ball of Yarn or whatever these “Missoura” yokels think is so grand about the Heartland: I will kill myself.

  2. RE-enter Pasadena politics (see today’s blog).

    I am? Are you serious or are you kidding?

    If you’re serious – is this kinda like when Uma Thurman in Kill Bill goes to that one place to learn how to be a better ninja or whatever she was?

    And if you are serious, write more to me in e-mail about what you’re talking about. I thought I was in exile because I lost my job? LOL.

  3. Heheh..well, you do have a good sense of humor.

    I thought I was in exile cause I lost my job 🙂

    I wish I had a Zen master or something a political Yoda!


    1. Who is Leahpeah? She is hot.

    2. I love Google:

    “If you think about it
    the tampon is also
    a stringed instrument”

  4. Waitwaitwait… you were watching the Today Show and expected depth? If you’ve *ever* seen it, you know it’s tripe. What I’d really like to know is this: if you dislike TV so much, why don’t you just stop watching?

    Do yourself a favor, try it out. Spend the $50 a months on NetFlix, iTunes, or wherever you’d like to get your entertainment instead.

  5. I didn’t expect depth from The Today Show, but I was taken aback went it went from simply inane to flat out wrong. This blog is blather, see? We deal in the foamy stuff, see? We don’t take to it kindly when the foam goes bad. I think this Today Show segment was actually based on a 1 July NY Times article–but that’s another story.

  6. Hey, you were the one saying “they didn’t go deep, they did go wide” 😉

    But yes, I see your objection to Dr. Atkins. It’s bad advice – if it’s targeted to women only.

    If both sides in the relationship care more about the other person than themselves, it can be a wonderful thing. So maybe the proper way to phrase it would be “care about that other person as much as they care about you”.

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