Saturday, June 6, 2009

TV Shows

I have previously admitted to not watching a lot of the television that seemed to have been popular over the last couple of years. Friends, Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Grey's Anatomy, Sex and the City, American Idol, every version of the Survivor show, and every one of the Wrestling leagues has been on my "sorry, didn't watch it" list. I have likewise missed all of the "reality shows" from the tattoo artists to the bounty hunter, from the Osborne family to the Kardasian family. (I freely admit that I did watch "Deadliest Catch a couple of times, but only because I am a particular fan of king crab legs and wanted to see what they looked like attached to the animal.) 

This is not to say that I have not been witness to snippets of the nonsense from these shows from time to time, but more to say that embarrassment, disinterest, or simple anger at the sheer ignorance of these shows emerged rather quickly, causing me to change the channel. I guess the problem was that I never understood what it was about these shows that were considered entertainment. It got me thinking about where we seek entertainment, and what this level of entertainment says about us. 

Could it be that the popularity of such shows simply points to the level of desperation that people are beginning to feel about the world around them? Is it that looking at the foolishness of sitcom characters living caricature lives makes us feel better about our own situations? Could it be the false reality of reality shows make us less stressed out? Could the freak shows of the families portrayed on TV make us complacent about the mostly minor silliness that we find in our own homes? Could it be that watching people whose lives are worse than our own appeals to an inordinate number of us and that juvenile humor is our only form of escape?

I know one thing for sure, the networks certainly love us for what we are doing. With the exception of the sitcoms, none of these shows requires much in the way of a writing staff, making them much cheaper to produce. Those that do have writers don't appear to have very good ones (perhaps with the exception of some of the wrestling). For many of the rest of them, much of the work involved is simply to film (and perhaps orchestrate) the madness going on around them, then edit it in such a way that it appears to make some kind of sense. Considering the plunging revenues of network television these days however, all of this has to be a rather welcome relief to their respective owners.

On the other hand, maybe the new "hulu" commercials are right. Maybe all of this is simply an alien plot, attempting to turn human brains into a form of goo that can be consumed by them (and heaven knows, there is nothing better than a good meal of brain goo when you're really hungry). 


On that pleasant thought, have a great weekend...


2 comments:

Hooda Thunkit (a.k.a. Dave Zawodny) said...

Tim,

Welcome to the reality show free zone.

Although I used to occasionally watch Deadliest Catch, What Not to Wear, Trick My Truck, those wacky Tuttles (no matter how they misspell their name) building motorcycles, plus a couple more, I can and did not fret or shed even one tear when I missed an episode.

The truth is that after a couple of viewings, they all become the same old, sane old, so there's no need to get hooked on them.

These days (and nights) however, the family room spends most of its time on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, and other non network offerings; I almost never visit the channels below 23 (no cable box).

I too can live without network TV and find it almost painful to watch in my house...

Roland Hansen said...

Come on now. Have you made a sneak peek into the future and read my Roland's Ramblings for tomorrow which was written earlier today before I read your just blowing smoke? Not really related to this, but there is a rather alien connection!
Tune in tomorrow people and catch the synchronicity of it all.