I find that I am watching less regular tv these days and more tv on dvd, simply because it's much more enjoyable. (I have the basic digital cable setup.)
I have become disappointed and aggrevated by what TV has become over the last few years. I'd like to discuss the biggest issues responsible for its poorness, and also maybe discuss some possible solutions or alternatives if anyone is up for it.
Some of my biggest peeves include:
the barrage of endless "reality" programs that show people at their worst (granted, there are one or two that are heartwarming);
a disturbingly large increase in commercials and commercial breaks over the last several years;
those distracting station promo pop-ups on the screen during programs;
and the changing audio volumes of commercials (which should all be the same volume- there oughtta be a law if there isn't one).
I also would like to mention that certain channels have gone from decent to horrible. TV Land is getting worse every single year (reality shows? 1980's movies? endless afternoons of westerns?). Sci Fi channel plays the worst direct-to-dvd movies you could want. BBC America does not play good Britcoms or dramas at all... it's basically reality shows and fluff.
Like a lot of people, I do remember TV being a thing of wonder and fun sometimes. I'm 40, and grew up on the original Star Trek reruns, Masterpiece Theater, The Merv Griffin Show and Dick Cavett (when a host could actually chat with a celebrity for more than ten minutes), Bugs Bunny, Little House on the Prairie, Roots, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and so on. I saw TV at its quirkiest (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman; Twin Peaks) and at its most original and fascinating (Northern Exposure).
TV is not all bad. It's often exhilarating and engrossing, fun and innovative. But lately it just seems that it's not very good. It was probably the same thing with radio before television became a household thing.
Any others want to join the discussion?
Edit: While there's been quite a lot wrong with TV in the last few years, it is crucial to emphasize that we can't deny that there's plenty of really good programs available to enjoy, everything from broadcast sitcoms to cable dramas to premium miniseries. So I don't want to focus too much on the problems without mentioning that there is still quality storytelling and innovation to be found on TV if one looks around.
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