Saturday, September 19, 2009

Jay Leno Is Back & Television Is Saved?

This week, Jay Leno premiered his new prime time show on NBC. I would like to tell that having announced this, I can now say that television is saved ... but I can't. 

I'm not saying that the new Leno show is bad, as quite frankly, I haven't watched it. Then again, I hadn't watched Leno on his previous effort "The Tonight Show" for many years. As a consequence, when he turned that venue with great fanfare over to Conan O'Brien, it went pretty much without notice in my home. When he debuted this week with interviews of Jerry Seinfeld (another person who's show I didn't watch when it was on) and Kanye West (someone who I had barely heard of), it was fairly easy to pass up watching.  

Quite frankly, most of television today falls within the bounds of something fairly easy to ignore, as I have written before. Recently in fact, it has reached astonishing new lows with such things as a series about people whose house has become filled with filth because they can't throw anything away, another that sees entertainment in showing an addict's intervention, and an increasing number of shows featuring dysfunctional members of the Kardashian family doing whatever it is that they do. 

They even ruined my crab fisherman show "The Deadliest Catch" by adding one in which swordfish and tuna are caught (unless "Charlie the Tuna" gets caught, not so much); and the networks may finally kill the "CSI" shows in the same way that they did the "Law and Order" series for me, with the addition of yet another (CSI, CSI Miami, CSI NY, NCIS, and now NCIS LA)

And don't even get me started on the overabundance of talent shows with their and incipient cast of talentless judges. I mean come on people! I know that creativity pretty much died in movies and network television years ago, but the rabid level of crap currently being broadcast ought to qualify as abuse of the air waves. 

Quite frankly, I can't tell these days whether Armageddon is upon us because of all of the shows on the subject on the History Channel, or if I should simply be convinced that it is already here from looking at the new fall line up on TV. 

Thank goodness for a good bit of the talk radio being broadcast and a great deal of the literature out there. As for radio, while some of the national programming can only be taken in small doses, due to the constant self-promotion and non-stop pontificating and bloviating of the hosts; the local stuff here in Toledo continues to provide something well worth the effort of listening. 

As for the written word, it has always provided a great deal of knowledge, insight, and solace to me (especially when it's not my poor efforts). As well as my continued attempts to read both novels and original reference material, I always enjoy falling back on blogs when I have the chance. With the current state of mainstream media news, they my be the future of news in this country. 

So thanks Jay Leno for coming back to television! You may not have saved it from the dismal state that it has been reduced to, but you have proved that entertainers and audiences alike may not know when a good thing has gone bad or when to walk away from the tube. (Hey, maybe on one of your upcoming shows you could interview Bret Favre, and compare notes on knowing when to step away from the game.)


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