Sunday, October 11, 2015

Faux Southern Twang

Watching television these days is like trying to find a particular fish named Benny in the Pacific Ocean--a crap shoot at best. With choices like "The Real Housewives of I don't really care" and "It's another singing competition" and lest we forget "The dumber I sound and look the more the producers will try to make me look smart and educated" to my all time favorite "The ultimate survival show for people who are crazy enough to live where the rest of the 7 billion people on this planet would never dare to go."

Whew! A one time through my cable channel list and you find at least five choices each that are similar to the shows that I mentioned above.

Have they simply run out of ideas?

Or are there just too many channels?

I grew up in the 70s and had three channels to choose from: ABC, CBS and NBC. These stations all broadcast their signals from Cincinnati and we received the transmissions via a UHF antenna. There were other stations in the Cincy area but we didn't receive them because they were broadcast over the VHF spectrum and our antenna wasn't equipped to accept both signals. Many a time, I found myself outside in whatever weather conditions turning the 50-ft pole that held the antenna hoping for a clearer picture. During the week we only watched television to hear the weather forecast, hear what Walter Cronkite had to say and to watch Gunsmoke on Mondays and The Waltons on Thurdsays. Television was a luxury then, not the attention-grabbing, relationship-killing, mind-sucking and mindless sitting on the couch eating whatever you can find activity that so many of us enjoy today.

With all of the selections to choose from, I usually find myself watching a rerun of a sporting event from 1989 on ESPN Classic. I'm not really watching it but I have it on in the background as I waste more of my time cruising eBay, Twitter and Facebook. Occasionally, a program will come along that will grab and keep my attention for a few episodes....or until they start killing everyone off or there's a contract dispute. The best part about Friends and Seinfeld was that the original cast stuck together during low ratings, contract negotiations and television superstardom. Could you imagine someone other than Phoebe or Kramer in their respective ensembles?

The original CSI was one of the programs that I used to watch. Characters came and left; two additional shows were spinoffs and enjoyed their own successes. Ted Danson does a really good job playing the lead investigator and I found myself watching this past Sunday night. That's another thing--they change the time and night of your favorite program and you don't get the message. I thought the program had been taken off the air.

I was flipping through my channels hoping there might be something interesting on when I saw the promo for CSI and NCIS: New Orleans. Another eureka moment: Aha! I didn't know there was a third NCIS; it might be worth checking out.

I tuned in on Tuesday night and almost from the get go I was turned off.

WHY? Fake southern accents.

There, I said it. Yes, many southerners have a distinct drawl to their voice and are quite aware of it. Other southerners, such as yours truly, have migrated to the south and may have picked up a way of speaking that is different than how they were raised. I have incorporated "Y'all" into my  vocabulary with no problem but will occasionally throw out a "youze guys" just to confuse people.

In reality, most of the people down south don't speak with such a pronounced twang because a.) they've moved to the city from somewhere else or b.) no one can understand them and it's a perfect way to get teased mercilessly.

So why does Hollywood continue to perpetuate such a lie? I may be the only person that this bothers or I might not. Who knows? What I do know is that it bothers me enough to not pay attention to anything other than the fake accents during the show and that's reason enough to turn the channel.

If I need to hear a pronounced accent I can just crank my car, head on over to the 'Pig, grab myself a Coke and do some loafering.

Y'all get my drift...that's the real twang...and I'll see youze guys later.


Lin said...

I can't watch TV any is horrible! If I do turn on something, I make it a point to walk to the TV when it starts and turn it off when the show is over. About all I can handle these days is "Project Runway"...forget the rest. I often wonder what my mom watches--it's all so insipid, scary, gruesome, or mindless.

Vital Signs PGH said...

Amen Sista.

Must be an authentic southern belle or gent to get it.

Gianetta said...

Lin: I usually watch sports. Or HGTV...

Sandy: I guess after 30 years I might just be a belle or my head is still ringing from hearing that twang.



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