Reality better than reality TV

By Clyde Davis: Local columnist

It probably started with watching the TV Land awards. A sense of nostalgia for the good old days — really not so old — just the 1980’s or ‘90s- came with the memories brought on by watching the awards.

Love Boat, Night Caller, Cheers,Coach, Seinfeld and their kind were something to look forward to. They took you away from the reality of life, to a place which was clearly imagination.

Yes, there is good fiction on TV nowadays. It’s called The Mentalist. Pure and simple. (My wife would add House, but I think he’s obnoxious.)

Other than that, it all seems to be reality, or what passes for such.

Whether it’s the innocuous kind (somebody cooking up a storm or a bunch of guys looking for ghosts, a show I really do like) or the somebody’s gonna get killed kind (have you ever wondered what could happen when Cheaters or Wifetrade gets really ugly?) it seems to be reality based.

I do discern that there is a whole world out there of TV fiction I probably do not engage.

The other evening, we were in the heights of boredom when we stumbled upon Coach. No, I mean the actor who played Coach. In this show, however, he was a grouchy old man.

Oh, wait, Coach was a grouchy old man. He was just funny. Big difference.

Even the fiction seems to create an air of reality TV. Like the above show.

Oh yes, it’s called Parenthood. It seemed to be desperately trying to pose real life problems confronted by real life people.

I don’t need to know about Hollywood insiders’ latest problems — I have enough of my own — and I find it hard to sympathize with people who make millions a year.

Nor do I need to look at how some of those same famous people function in rehab. I would much rather watch people lucky enough to take a cruise and fall in love, or a deejay ex-detective who solves or prevents crimes.

I don’t need to listen to Nancy Grace’s strident voice, though I often agree with her views on justice. I much prefer Seinfeld’s cast of quirky friends, especially, yes I admit it: Neumann.

I definitely don’t need to visit real housewives-of-wherever, New York or New Jersey or Miami. The only response possible would be, what planet do these people live on?

I much prefer Murder, She Wrote.

Perhaps these are all merely excuses. If I were a real TV fan, a dyed in the wool couch potato, I might be able to see beyond what my little time spent watching The Glass Teat (credit: Harlan Ellison) shows me.

But with my limited exposure, reality, not escape, seems to predominate.

Summer is here. Evenings are lighter longer, and outdoors calls.

With a little luck, I can catch a Priceline flight to Fantasy Island.