Art of the Real
Mark Burnett's next reality show should be ''The Sitcom,'' where 16 people compete to create the next hit sitcom.'' BRUNO BULLETT Pittsfield, Mass.
I am so fed up with reading about reality shows and how the networks are gleefully planning more for the coming season (''if we ran reality TV...''). I can see real people at the mall. I prefer to see talented people on TV. This was all emphasized by my recent purchase of the DVD ''Freaks and Geeks.'' Perfectly cast, well written, and, of course, canceled. Sure, the reality shows are cheap to produce, but there has to be room for quality shows. ROGER B. DOWD firstname.lastname@example.org Trenton, Mich.
It's disingenuous to suggest that reality programming degrades or discriminates against minorities; it degrades everyone. The genre debases and corrupts every aspect of the human condition, and it won't stop until its producers have their own Janet Jacksonesque moment. Someone will die on ''Fear Factor,'' perhaps a gang rape on ''Survivor,'' and then the whole grim cycle will end. MONTY MICKELSON Mickelson4@earthlink.net West Hills, Calif.
Bravo on the reality TV issue, though it would have been better if it were a cover-to-cover. Other items could have included a Q&A with Mark Burnett, a memorial to Mary-Ellis Bunim, a flashback to one of the first reality shows (''An American Family''), a chart of the ''originals'' and their evil spawn (e.g., ''Survivor'' spawned ''I'm a Celebrity...,'' ''American Idol'' spawned ''American Juniors''), a preview of reality shows to come, a ''Where are they now?'' of previous reality characters, the state of reality TV in Europe, and even a ''How to Prolong Your 15 Minutes'' guide for upcoming reality stars. MELANIE BOATSWAIN-WATSON email@example.com Toronto
I may have disagreed with Ken Tucker in the past, but with his commentary on reality TV, he is dead-on. Why do I avoid watching reality shows? Because the ''characters'' are one-dimensional, ignorant, shallow, and -- hear this, producers -- boring. Give me Chandler and Joey or anyone in sitcom land any day over these reality fools. Here's hoping this trend soon becomes a thing of the past. MARTY V. MITCHELL firstname.lastname@example.org Richmond
Marquis de Sad
Thanks for the refreshing piece on Morrissey (''Happiness Is a Sad Song''). His music, along with the Cure and U2, was the music of my youth, and it saddens me to think that kids today will have dreck like Britney, Hilary Duff, Good Charlotte, and the latest in the merry-go-round that is ''American Idol'' to look back on as the soundtrack of their youth. In a music world where lip-synching is routinely rewarded, it's overdue for some real musicians to put the ''art'' back in ''artist.'' ALEX MEITNER AlexM216@aol.com Forest Hills, N.Y.
Unlike many of my fellow ''Firefly'' fans, I'm delighted Fox and Joss Whedon have parted company (''The X Factor''). ''Firefly'' on Fox meant ''Firefly'' scattered over the TV schedule like a mosquito on a windshield, plus commercials. Thanks to fan demand, we have a shiny series of commercial-free DVDs and an upcoming feature film that will kick the goose out of Fox's attempts to kill this fine creation. JANET BUTERMAN email@example.com Edmonton, Alberta