Now Reading...
The Coffee Bar

T is for Trash TV

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I watched a lot of TV as a kid. More than I do now, anyway. In fact, the TV habit didn’t really stick around into my adult life, which became busy with school and work, sometimes both at the same time. These days, I actually watch very little TV and I tend to criticize of a lot of the junk that’s on TV now, especially the so-called reality shows. Oh, and shows like Man v. Food. I don’t mind that he visits different cities and highlights good food, but the eating challenges gross me out to no end.

One genre that I seemed to enjoy as a kid (or maybe it was just because my mom, grandmother, or whoever was in the room was watching it) was the TV talk show. I don’t mean the late night versions hosted by Johnny Carson or David Letterman, but rather those that have been classified as tabloid talk shows or, more disparagingly, “trash TV” when you start consider the likes of Jenny Jones or Jerry Springer. I’m actually referring to the early pioneers, such as Phil Donahue, Sally Jessy Raphael, and the one and only Oprah Winfrey.

(I’m learning a lot from Wikipedia during this challenge, by the way.)

Coincidentally, Oprah hosted an episode of her show in 2010 that talked about where the other hosts are now. (Answer: They had all but faded away….) Since then, it seems like everyone and their cousin has attempted to host a show…Tyra Banks, Rachael Ray, even Danny Bonaduce.

Did you have a favorite talk show or host? There were a lot in the 80s and 90s, but the most prominent included:

  • Phil Donahue
  • Sally Jessy Raphael
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Geraldo Rivera
  • Montel Williams
  • Ricki Lake
  • Maury Povich

Many people think that, once the TV talk show era was ending, audiences started shifting over to the next best thing: reality TV. My question is where do Dr. Phil and the other “doctors” fit in today? (Don’t forget that he was “launched” by Oprah!) I watched Dr. Phil for a while, but lately, even he seems to have shifted into wanting to be more controversial and inviting certain guests based on the trashiness of their situations, and not in an honest attempt to help them.

The Doctors is a spin-off of Dr. Phil, who spun off from Oprah. Then there’s Dr. Oz, also co-produced by Oprah’s company, Harpo Productions. At one time, many hosts seemed to be offering a kind of therapy to their guests. I’m not sure that’s the case these days.

Are these Important Topics, or Trash TV? You decide:


About katietesta

I am a mom, a wife, and a freelance writer. I love to research and have a passion for social justice and nonprofit work.


4 thoughts on “T is for Trash TV

  1. They are all entertaining, but I guess Oprah. Don’t remember ever watching a lot of TV. Guess the attention span was not there in the old days … now the problem is time. 🙂

    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

    Posted by Silvia Writes | April 23, 2013, 14:09
  2. I loved Phil Donahue. Oprah was good, but a bit new age-y for me. I don’t want talk shows anymore. They’ve all gotten pretty silly. 🙂
    from The Dugout

    Posted by Mare | April 23, 2013, 21:12
  3. I remember when Oprah and Phil Donahue were starting out in Chicago. Oprah started out as the host of “AM Chicago” on the local ABC station, and Phil had his own show on WGN.

    Posted by John Holton | April 23, 2013, 21:58

Talk to us!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blogs We Follow

Rev. Dr. Evan M. Dolive

Follower of Christ, Father, Husband, Author, Blogger, All Around Nice Guy

Interrupting the Silence

An Episcopal Priest's Sermons, Prayers, and Reflections on Life, Becoming Human, and Discovering Our Divinity

MK is Stacked

The epitome of librarian boob puns.

Life Through the Big Screen

A podcast where I invite guests from all walks of life to discuss their favorite movies, and we use that film as a starting point to talk about deeper issues such as faith, politics, and social issues.

A Common Sea

"I feel we are all islands floating in a common sea"--Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Pie Eyed

Living the Pie Life

Just Me With . . .

a blog without a niche

The Cake Eccentric's Blog

Cake Artist Serving New York's Capital Region 855.518.CAKE


Resources for Writers

What Matters Most

A Mother's Devotional


Independent views from someone who offers some historical context

Gastronomical Three

"First we eat, then we do everything else." --M.F.K. Fisher

Write, Read, Watch

Bringing the frights you deserve.

The Fearless Cooking Club

It's never too late to start

%d bloggers like this: