“Everywhere you look, everywhere you go, there’s a”…whisper of a quality 90’s TV show. Columnist compares popular shows from the 1990s to current television.

Photo by Hannah HarperBy Mattie Stevens, ’13

You know every word to the theme song for “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” laugh at the naive remarks of Joey from “Friends,” feel a sense of happiness when you hear the opening credits to “Full House,” and dream of living a life similar to Corey and Topanga in “Boy Meets World.”

But what do we cherish about today’s TV shows? The amount of girls who are “DTF” that The Situation brought back to the house, the daily fights between the overly-tan and surgically-enhanced Housewives of (fill in with over-priced community) or which teen mom went to court with her baby daddy?

TV shows from the 90’s were filled with fun family hijinx, guaranteed to put a smile on your face. What made these shows so lovable was that they were relatable to elementary school kids, high schoolers, young adults, and even some parents.

The main reason TV today is a negative influence is due to the fact that there are more reality TV shows and less shows with real actors. Shows that come to mind from my childhood include “7th Heaven,” as well as reruns of “Full House,” and “Sister Sister.” However, when asked what shows I am reminded of with today’s television, “Real Housewives”, “Jersey Shore” and “Teen Mom” are the first among many others to pop up in my mind.

TV today is centered around reality, or what seems to be reality. Although such shows claim to represent the real world, many of them prove to be scripted or have a plot.

When meeting the women from “Dance Moms” at a local dance competition, they were quick to inform me that they’re not usually crazy, demanding, dance moms, but that the majority of them are told to act more dramatic.

Recently on Twitter, members of the cast of “Jersey Shore” have tweeted that Mike “The Situation” isn’t actually as much of a trouble-maker as the show portrays him to be. On Feb. 6, Jionni LaValle, husband-to-be of the show’s Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, responded to a tweet attempting to sympathize with him regarding the drama Mike Sorrentino is accused of starting on the show. “I appreciate the concern buddy, but TV shows you what you want…n mike is starting sh**…#hespaidtostartdrama.”

Such accusations and claims put the legitmacy of many reality TV shows into question. Why do producers feel the need to pay people to act a certain way? The idea behind reality television is capturing an interesting way of life on camera for the rest of the world to see. If you need to pay someone, it’s not showing how that person would usually live or conduct themselves, taking away the reality aspect from reality TV.

Shows such as “Boy Meets World,” “Friends,” and “Fraiser” were not reality TV, however their plots were more realistic than those on shows such as “The Real Housewives” and “Dance Moms.” This aspect is what makes shows from the 90’s so much more appealing to the public. If TV producers can focus on bringing it back to the 90s, these shows will attract the admiration of many viewers.

It is up to today’s up-and-coming producers and screen writers to remember how much they enjoyed the hilarity and simplicity of television in the 90’s, and use it as inspiration. So for all you out there hoping to go into this kind of business, remember: not only will society improve as a result, but we won’t have to wait until 11:30 at night to watch shows similar to “Friends” on Nick at Nite or 6:00 a.m. to catch “Boy Meets World.” It’s up to you to restore television to its glory days.

Graphic by Erin Sankey