TV's 20/20 hindsight

Just in time for the economic recovery, TV networks trot out their most earnest recession shows.

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters / File
A woman meets with a recruiter at a job fair in New York's Union Square on Oct. 25. The job fair was part of a promotion for the new Lifetime TV show 'The Fairy Jobmother,' hosted by Hayley Taylor, seen on the promotional sign.

If you are rooting for economic recovery (and what kind of misanthrope isn't?) then this article from the Television section of the New York Times is exactly what you want to see...

In the current economy, reality shows like “Downsized” on WE TV and “The Fairy Jobmother” on Lifetime are trying to redress the balance by focusing on people who have lost their jobs, not just their minds and their manners. It’s a natural progression. Sitcoms like “Outsourced” and “Raising Hope” have already adjusted to the bad economy by moving to the land of foreclosures, low wages and high unemployment.

Typically, by the time Hollywood has caught on to an economic condition, commissioned the scripts, greenlit the production, filmed the actors and gotten the finished product on television, you are already closer to the end of something than the beginning. Look at all those asinine shows about flipping houses and "rock star real estate" people from 2007. Or the investment bankers-as-superheroes show Bull that aired on TNT over the summer of 2000, just in time for the post-tech bubble meltdown.

TV is similar to the magazine cover indicator but it's more delayed. The Depression shows are here. And this is great news.

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