Friday, April 28, 2006

What Grinds my Gears Friday

You know what grinds my gears, the pathetic state that television is in these days.

What has happened to televison? I'll tell you what has happened; 'We' happened. We've gotten lazy. We see TV only as a source of cheap, lazy amusement. We don't like to be challenged by TV whether it be drama, comedy or current affairs.

Reality TV has had a big hand in it. It's devasted the attention span and standards of the public and so now every few weeks we're hijacked by pathetic wanna-bes or 'Never-were' 'Z-listers' who are given a public forum to make asses of themselves for our 'amusement'. Of course, given our sandwished location in Ireland we get crap from all sides as well as from home. Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother, X-Factor, American Idol, Celebrity Love Island, I'm a Celbrity..., Celebrity Jigs n Reels, Celebrity Farm, EuroStar, Celbrity Eurostar, Temptation Island, the Osbournes, Newly Weds, The Simple Life, The Apprentice, The Apprentice UK, Paradise Hotel etc. etc. There's also Punk'd, Jerry Springer, Ricky Lake etc. quasi-reality shows.

And what about soaps? Starting at 6.30pm every weekday my TV is taken hostage by Home and Away, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Eastenders and Fair City, pretty much one after the other.And even if you don't watch them, you can't escape, because they're all over the news and radio. People gossip about them! I've sat, bewildered, and listened to women at work, in their early 20s, gossip about relationships on Coronation Street as if they were real and impacted on their lives.

And as for our American friends, where shows like Will & Grace and Charmed can get 8 seasons each whilst shows like Arrested Development, Alias, Family Guy, Futurama etc. struggle to survive for a couple of seasons. People, admitting that Will & Grace is not funny does not make you a Homo-phobe, so it's ok to stop watching!

We need to rise up and reclaim television. We live in a world where shows like the ones above thrive. We don't have to take this crap, Christ! it makes us look bad. People, it's time to take some responsibility and think about the consequences everytime we sit down to watch something on TV.


Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like tv has been democratised, is playing to what audiences want to see and hear. Now, where have I heard that argument recently in relation to the arts...

I totally agree with you of course...but if you're to apply your thinking about the arts to the current state of tv maybe you'll see a correlation!

Simon said...

actually Tuathal not me wrote the above

Eamonn said...

The problem with democracy is that people, collectively, are idiots, who don't know what they want. I mean, god help me for using this as an example but, look what has happened to the Euro-vision ever since 'the people' were allowed to pick the winner.

I've always believed that a benevolent dictator is the way to go.

As for the arts argument, there may be some similarities, yes.

Anonymous said...

Its all part of the big plan to dumb down the world. I don’t believe it’s what people want its what people in power want us to be watching. Fill our days with crap and then nobody will bother asking questions about what’s going on in the World. National Geographic seems to be the only station showing good programs these days.

I have 120 stations at my disposal and if you think watching Big Brother is bad or Pop idol imagine watching BB Africa , Middle East idol its like the whole world has caught the stupid flu and is thriving on the same shit in different languages.

Anonymous said...

So people shouldn't watch what they want because it's "crap"? I have no interest in any of those programs but if they're being made people must be watching them. It sounds like the worst kind of pretentious elitism to me when people imply that the public needs to be told what programs to watch. By the way, there are a lot of programs watched by millions that are top-class: The Sopranos, Lost, 24, C.S.I., Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, South Park - even the aforementioned Family Guy is back.

Eamonn said...

Yes, but the aforementioned Family Guy was cancelled, twice, and only brought back from the dead because the public realised what they missed and went out and bought the DVD. That won't happen with Alias or Arrested Development etc.

At the moment the biggest show in America in terms of ratings is American Idol, and its ahead by a distance. The market is full of similar successful Reality TV shows, which means the millions of people watch them and TV executive are encouraged to make more of this cheaply produced drivel.

If its pretentious elitism to claim that this is a bad thing, then guilty as charged. Let TV become nothing but the 'idiot box' many have long claimed it to be.