Forgotten show gave birth to reality

By Peter Boskey

What happened to the standard family sitcom? You know, like “The Cosby Show,” “Roseanne,” “Step by Step” and so on. They were everywhere when a majority of us students were growing up, and now they have disappeared, making way for an entire new genre to emerge – reality television.

There are even sub-genres of these, from seasonal series such as “Survivor” and “Real World” to dating shows like “Blind Date,” “Elimidate” and the awful “Shipmates.”

I don’t have a problem with reality-based programs. I think they often are funny (except “Shipmates,” the most pointless show ever) and offer a different twist on entertainment. Plus, it saves the production company the money it would spend on real actors and actresses.

However, no one gives credit to the show that started it all. There was one show that dared to put cameras in the ultimate reality setting long before “Real World” and “Temptation Island.”

That show is “Cops.”

Sounds quite bizarre, but it is true. “Cops” is the first successful reality program to hit television, launching reality programming into the entertainment industry.

Not only has “Cops” invented a new genre of entertainment, but it also has bragging rights of its own. The four-time Emmy Award-nominated series currently is in its 14th season and proves to be one of the longest-running primetime shows ever.

All this achievement, yet so underappreciated. I hear people say that it is a stupid show, a boring show or that it is the same thing every episode.

I beg to differ. If anything, the program shows us the different, and many times eccentric, situations the boys in blue tackle on a daily basis. I also find the show humorous. This may sound sick, but I find it funny how stupid a lot of Americans can be when they get arrested for easily-preventable crimes.

Then again, I don’t think the show is the same unless you sit down with an actual officer and watch it. If you haven’t, I suggest you do, because it is hilarious.

In any respect, I do believe “Cops” is still the ultimate reality TV show, but it never will get the ratings that “Real World” does. I don’t understand why the people that say “Cops” is the same thing every episode are the ones consistently watching “Real World.”

Does the word “hypocritical” come to mind?