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What exactly are we learning from The Learning Channel?


FloraDoraDolly

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FloraDoraDolly

An article from Maclean's magazine:

 

http://www.macleans.ca/culture/televisi ... -from-tlc/

 

 

Quote
By the same token, says Carlos Maza, 19 Kids and Counting—one of the network’s most successful shows, about the Duggars, a hyper-religious Christian family—isn’t harmless fun either. TLC “has contributed to the mainstreaming of this family that ascribes to a very fringe ideology, and thanks largely in part to their reality TV fame, they have become a conservative political powerhouse,†he says.
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hows like the Duggars [19 Kids and Counting], Breaking Amish, and Sister Wives are like modern-day soap operas.â€

this made me laugh

I knew there was a reason I was watching the Duggars - it is a soap opera - you have the villian JB, you have the beautiful daughters Jill, Jessa, Jana and Jinger - the bat crazy mother Michelle

you have their boyfriends, and now husbands - you have drama - Josie and fake money problems

and you can also catch it online - :D

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Didn't TLC officially change their name to just TLC, not The Learning Channel? (Kind of like how KFC doesn't actually officially stand for Kentucky Fried Chicken anymore?)

I mean, nobody's really under the illusion that TLC is teaching us anything these days. I always hated Little People, Big World because the parents were so difficult to watch, but I could appreciate a show that highlighted different kinds of people. At first. And then The Little Couple came on, and they were such a happy, cute family, I loved them. But now they are doing the...4th? show about little people on TLC? How long are they going to try to push this as a novelty? Is there no other type of diverse family they can feature for a change? And they did all those pilot episodes about other types of Duggar-esque families - like that family that all lived on a bus, including their adult, married son and his wife? The ones who traveled the country singing gospel music and - shocking! - had beliefs similar to the Duggars regarding clothes and dating?

One tiny bit of defense for TLC - My Big Fat Fabulous life is a GREAT show. I hope they can turn their shit around and do something else that actually spreads a positive message like MBFF in the future.

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It's basically a lesson in what happens when an educational station has to start getting private/advertising funding. The same thing is happening to the History Channel (Ancient Aliens is NOT History... The Egyptians were NOT aliens). The demand for advertising is making them produce shows that cater to a wider market. Nothing does that quite like a train wreck.

It's why people get whipped in to a frenzy when PBS and NPR funding starts getting low. If they don't get enough donations from "viewers like you", they'll suffer the same fate. And then how will I watch Downton Abbey?!?!?!

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Didn't TLC officially change their name to just TLC, not The Learning Channel? (Kind of like how KFC doesn't actually officially stand for Kentucky Fried Chicken anymore?)

I mean, nobody's really under the illusion that TLC is teaching us anything these days. I always hated Little People, Big World because the parents were so difficult to watch, but I could appreciate a show that highlighted different kinds of people. At first. And then The Little Couple came on, and they were such a happy, cute family, I loved them. But now they are doing the...4th? show about little people on TLC? How long are they going to try to push this as a novelty? Is there no other type of diverse family they can feature for a change? And they did all those pilot episodes about other types of Duggar-esque families - like that family that all lived on a bus, including their adult, married son and his wife? The ones who traveled the country singing gospel music and - shocking! - had beliefs similar to the Duggars regarding clothes and dating?

One tiny bit of defense for TLC - My Big Fat Fabulous life is a GREAT show. I hope they can turn their shit around and do something else that actually spreads a positive message like MBFF in the future.

A novelty of a TV show would be one with single career parents, stay-at-home dads, and families with same-sex parents. But would the Duggars be willing to remain on the air if TLC did that, or would it be a game of chicken?

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Cleopatra7

The main thing I'm learning from the former Learning Channel is that I'm clearly doing something wrong, since I'm not jonesing to get a reality show. In this economy, it seems like getting in your fifteen minutes of fame is the only sure way to get a paycheck. :lol:

Seriously though, I think that TLC is basically a modern day freak show. It's not PC anymore to gawk at a guy with crab hands in a double wide trailer, but for some reason it's okay to gawk at that same guy if he has a reality show, especially if he's constantly getting into manufactured drama (now that I've put this idea out, I wonder if some lurking TLC producer will actually make this into a show...). Just like the old carnival barkers of yore, TLC misleads the audience about just what they're seeing, but in reverse; the carnival barker promises more sex and gore than what you actually see, but TLC downplays the freakish beliefs of the Duggars to make them have more of a mainstream appeal.

I also agree about how formerly educational channels like TLC, Bravo, A&E, and the History Channel are content free these days. I remember when these channels used to have really good programs on arts, history, science, as well as British period dramas, and now it's just horrible reality shows 24/7. If nothing else, they illustrate why we need NPR and PBS.

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SassyPants

A novelty of a TV show would be one with single career parents, stay-at-home dads, and families with same-sex parents. But would the Duggars be willing to remain on the air if TLC did that, or would it be a game of chicken?

Money over convictions, baby. They'd stay and justify it away; pretend they were called to do so.

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I have come to accept that TLC is playing to a demographic that seems to enjoy their programming. As far as the Duggars are concerned, there is little they can do to add to their viewership and I am hoping they have peaked at last season's high. (I guess we will soon find out when the ratings come out tomorrow) Duggar fans will stay with them until the bitter end, though I don't really see this show "ending" per se...it may go to specials six times a year but it will never end. There will still be viewers who cant get enough of those 19 kids. I do get the sense that TLC is trying to change the course of their programming a little....adding more style shows and soon a food show. Maybe they are tired of all the troubles associated with "reality" television. I just know that, except for two shows, which are currently not being aired, I never watch TLC.

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MatthewDuggar

I was in Honduras early last year and they have TLC with many of the same programs (dubbed in spanish) but on the breaks when they show TLC, it's "TLC, Travel and Living Channel". Seems a bit more appropriate actually.

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The main thing I'm learning from the former Learning Channel is that I'm clearly doing something wrong, since I'm not jonesing to get a reality show. In this economy, it seems like getting in your fifteen minutes of fame is the only sure way to get a paycheck. :lol:

Seriously though, I think that TLC is basically a modern day freak show. It's not PC anymore to gawk at a guy with crab hands in a double wide trailer, but for some reason it's okay to gawk at that same guy if he has a reality show, especially if he's constantly getting into manufactured drama (now that I've put this idea out, I wonder if some lurking TLC producer will actually make this into a show...). Just like the old carnival barkers of yore, TLC misleads the audience about just what they're seeing, but in reverse; the carnival barker promises more sex and gore than what you actually see, but TLC downplays the freakish beliefs of the Duggars to make them have more of a mainstream appeal.

I also agree about how formerly educational channels like TLC, Bravo, A&E, and the History Channel are content free these days. I remember when these channels used to have really good programs on arts, history, science, as well as British period dramas, and now it's just horrible reality shows 24/7. If nothing else, they illustrate why we need NPR and PBS.

This... :clap:

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GotCaughtDancing

I wonder if they were bought out in the mid 2000's by a religious person/group or if the main company decided that this would be their christian arm at that time. Because that is around when they dropped all learning, science and started adding more and more Christian programming. They even hid it well with Little Family Big World for a few seasons. Not that they are fundies, but they are religious and left most of that out of the show.

Another station did this (can't recall the first station name It was like lifetime lite) it went to PAX then to Hallmark.

What am I learning from TLC personally? How to keep my sense of humor on overdrive.

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CorruptionInc.

What are we learning from The Learning Channel?

That people are idiots.

(Looking at you, Duggar Family.)

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SassyPants

That people will do, say, sell anything, even their own children, for a shot at shortlived fame and a few bucks.

Going low means realllllllllllllllly low.

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Meloncollie

One of my favorite reality shows was "Starting Over." I think it was TLC - don't remember.

It took place in a group house where women (I think it was only women) stayed for a short time and worked on one thing about themselves that they wanted to change that would help them "start over." The first season started out really nice. Nothing dramatic, but just women gaining more confidence, trust in others, talents they didn't know they had, etc. Season two got crazy. I guess ratings weren't high enough, or new producers thought the pace was slow (it was, hence the show's charm) so they cast people who were complete f-ups who could never change anything in their lives, and probably didn't really want to. Suddenly there was drama in the house, the contestants fought with each other, and they stayed longer, and didn't really fix anything... Cast members had network-sponsored websites to sell products and advice, their one-on-one confessionals were very very fake, and the show lost its positivity and inspiration.

At the beginning of the show, I learned a lot, but when it jumped the shark, I learned that most reality shows are crap!

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Toothfairy

I'm learning that my kids should stay at home until marriage not go to college and create babies. :evil-eye:

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bluehydrangea

It seems overplayed, doesn't it?

It does. I am all for awareness, but when you have as many shows about that as you do about morbid obesity...what is that saying?

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Cleopatra7

It does. I am all for awareness, but when you have as many shows about that as you do about morbid obesity...what is that saying?

It's the freak show element at work again. It used to be that the only place you could see a morbidly obese person was a sideshow. Now TLC can offer a morbidly obese person a gastric bypass in exchange for bring on TV and signing away any semblance of dignity. The people at home get to gawk, the obese person gets services they probably wouldn't have been able to obtain on their own, and TLC makes money. Everyone is happy.

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MatthewDuggar
Everything there is to know about little people, that's what.

Which seems to mainly be that they tend to be obnoxious pricks!

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SnazzyNazzy

I haven't really watched TLC for awhile. I mostly stopped watching after they cancelled Toddlers and Tiaras (totally my guilty pleasure show), and I watch the Untold Stories of the ER, with my kids once in awhile, and I'll watch The Little Couple once in a blue moon.

I would watch a lot more of their crap TV, if they did one thing. They need to pick likeable people. The people on most of their shows, are just so awful personality-wise. I could watch the Duggars, if they weren't so smug and willfully ignorant. I would watch Kate plus 8, if Kate wasn't such an insufferable hosebeast.

Don't even get me started on Sex Sent me to the ER. Most deserved to end up in the ER, from the episodes I've seen.

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LittleOleMe

Which seems to mainly be that they tend to be obnoxious pricks!

I like the Little Couple. They're a wonderful little family (as in amount of them) and they really do care about their children. I appreciate that they told the cameras and the nannies and everyone to leave for the first six weeks after each child so they could bond as a family. It shows a lot of their character. They even keep the children's native language with some things.

I saw the previews for the next weeks "our little family" and while I get the sentiment, it feels hypocritical. They go to DC and they're really upset that people are taking pictures of them. The kids (3,3,6) are also really upset and asking why everyone is taking their picture and staring. I totally get that and I would get in people's faces too about it. "I told you to stop taking our picture. Now either stop or I break your camera". But at the same time, they have a camera crew following them. I'm willing to bet more of the attention was grabbed bc of the camera crew than the fact that there was a little family walking around DC. Sure a few people might have noticed a little family walking around, but the camera crew is what brought a majority of the attention.

I don't pay too much attention to the little people shows, but don't they all have a different form of dwarfism? The little couple are the kind where everything is small. The little family are the kind where the torso and head are normal but the arms and legs are just short, so she could physically carry a child (and apparently twins) without much hassle. Not sure about the roloffs (that's the first one right?) but I know they have one normal height person right? And I know they have had other shows about other people.

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From TLC I've learned that if I have a large family, a little person family, a redneck family OR if I weigh over 600lbs, I too can reap all the benefits from TLC!! Oh and that one show, about "sex" sending people to the ER.

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One of my favorite reality shows was "Starting Over." I think it was TLC - don't remember.

It took place in a group house where women (I think it was only women) stayed for a short time and worked on one thing about themselves that they wanted to change that would help them "start over." The first season started out really nice. Nothing dramatic, but just women gaining more confidence, trust in others, talents they didn't know they had, etc. Season two got crazy. I guess ratings weren't high enough, or new producers thought the pace was slow (it was, hence the show's charm) so they cast people who were complete f-ups who could never change anything in their lives, and probably didn't really want to. Suddenly there was drama in the house, the contestants fought with each other, and they stayed longer, and didn't really fix anything... Cast members had network-sponsored websites to sell products and advice, their one-on-one confessionals were very very fake, and the show lost its positivity and inspiration.

At the beginning of the show, I learned a lot, but when it jumped the shark, I learned that most reality shows are crap!

I REMEMBER THAT SHOW! It was actually (at least in Los Angeles) on the NBC affiliate. I did enjoy it, though some of the directions they were sending these people on I was thinking wow that's a long shot, but will lead to something else maybe. Like remember Red's Travel or the mother crocheting biz? (I think her daughter was in on that one too) Or the auctioneer? A Braxton was on it towards the end, when it did get a little too wacky. It was sad because in the beginning it was women living together trying to work their lives out, but then after a season or two it started to focus on women in the house that didn't get along.

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