It seems to me like there are a lot of shows out there that have tried to pony off the success of other shows of the same Ilk. You know the ones I’m talking about of course. American Idol begets America’s Got Talent. Jon & Kate Plus Eight begets 18 (or 19) Kids and Counting. Even a show like Little People, Big World has seen a surge of others follow it that recount the lives of “little” people out in different parts of society. And you can come up with dozens of other shows that exist only because another show came before it and had some modicum of success. Some of the “copy cat” shows are better than the originals, others – not so much.
The whole thing kind of irritates me though… I mean, I don’t understand the total lack of originality. And do the networks honestly think we, the audience, don’t see the similarities? Maybe not… Maybe people can’t see when they are being given a derivative and often inferior product as the real thing.
I think about how the Israelites reacted after they had been brought out of the land of Egypt and were waiting for Moses to come down from Sinai with the Law. They got impatient, they got bored, and so they called Aaron to make them a golden calf. And once he is done he says something very interesting…”These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”
Aaron is actually giving credit for the Israelites’ freedom to this golden calf and the people buy it! Kinda unbelievable… They had seen the Lord bring them out of Egypt with a “mighty hand and outstretched arm” yet they set up this idol based on the success God had granted them. It’s derivative and in this case counterfeit.
Lest we be too judgmental of the Israelites, we do the exact same thing today. We accept something as being of ultimate importance, as being the source of all happiness – though at it most it is really just a derivative of the real source of happiness and joy. God is the originator of all things and so anything good and pure and true comes from him, but too often we look to friends, family, jobs, gadgets (a personal weakness), hobbies, sports, and a thousand other things to replace God on the throne of our lives.
And just like the producers of those second-hand shows, we hope that the second things will be better than the original. Sometimes the shows are better than the originals, for us though creations can never fit the role of the Creator. The Originator is always better the the derivative.