TV Dinners, or, Anatomy of a Ruined Meal

What is with this obsession with showing surgery on TV?  It’s not enough that the medical and forensic dramas that dominate the schedule regularly feature gory make-up and effects to simulate it, the news has to top them with real footage of actual surgery and other medical procedures – at dinner time.

How many times have I watched the news while eating my dinner – my version of time saving multi-tasking – only to be confronted with an image of someone’s heart or other organ being worked on?  Then there’s the various solutions to obesity they like to show, like liposuction.  There’s nothing like watching human fat being sucked through a tube to make you savour that meal.

But, I don’t think there’s anything that can make you feel sick to your stomach like an inside view of a colonoscopy.  I do not want to see the inside of anyone’s ass or intestines at any time, let alone when I’m eating.  That glistening surface of some pinch point that appears to be the gateway to the next chamber of someone’s innermost privacy is forever burned in my mind.

It’s bad enough that broadcasters would show this stuff on the late news, leaving you with the lasting image to haunt you as you try to sleep.  But, they couldn’t stop there.  They had to put it on the evening news, too, when many people are eating.  It’s just tasteless and inconsiderate of their audience.  Even if I wasn’t eating, I wouldn’t want to see it.

Shocking images are considered good television, I suppose.  If the alternative is talking heads, they’d rather put you off your dinner than risk boring you into watching the competition.  The competition is showing it, so they have to.  Their ratings are more important than your enjoyment of a meal.


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2 Responses to “TV Dinners, or, Anatomy of a Ruined Meal”

  1. adlawrence Says:

    I think this is more a matter of personal taste. Eating or not, I WANT to see the inside of someone’s intestines. I am curious to see them in the same way I love to watch programs about the depths of the ocean. These ‘places’ are just as much a part of reality as our day to day experiences, but our access to them is limited – creating the inevitable hook of curiosity. I haven’t studied long and hard to become a marine biologist and am unlikely to be graced with the opportunity of exploring the oceanic floor, just as I have yet to spend the years in medical school learning how to perform a medical procedure.
    With that said, I do think there is a matter of taste in how and what is chosen for television. While I may be interested in finding out how bone heals after reconstructive surgery, I don’t think that this means I want to see a broken bone jutting out of someone’s skin on the 6pm News or a plastic surgeon breaking an individuals nose so that it may be reset. I am more into it for the technicalities rather than the gore.

    Great topic, thank you for the post 😉

  2. paulmct Says:

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I agree there’s a time and place for it. A science, medical, or health show, for instance. At least you would have an idea what to expect and be able to filter it out, if you’re not especially interested. You’d also realize it’s probably not something to watch over dinner.

    But, the news has a lot of things most people want to keep up on – current affairs, international developments, sports, and the all important weather. If I stop watching just to avoid the sickening stuff, I miss the Canucks highlights.

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