Thursday, March 25, 2010

TV Stinks

I used to watch so many great shows. I knew everything that there was about TV and I was happy with it. But I recently noticed something. Whenever I overhear a conversation about television, I don’t know what the hell the people are talking about. I’m absolutely clueless to what these people find interesting. So, I decided to do some research. I turned off ESPN and I “flipped” around the dial for bit. I am not happy with what I found. Television has really gone down over the past couple of years. This country is obsessed with the lives of actors and the lives of reality stars. The state of the sitcom is in shambles. And to top it off, our television news is a complete laughing stock.
I don’t understand why so many people are captivated by these reality shows that focus on the lives of terrible people. The show Jersey Shore is a perfect example. After watching an episode, I felt so terrible, I immediately had myself and television set tested for crabs. What made this program about trashy kids so popular? Is this country in such a poor state where it needs to watch idiots act like idiots? I’m glad that Italian rights people spoke out about how this show wrongfully portrayed Italians as rude, loud and annoying. The same goes for shows like Jon and Kate plus 8 and 19 and counting. These are two programs that follow around two families with an unnatural amount of children. People were fascinated with watching their lives fall apart. Why did America give so much attention to these women who gave birth as if they were possums? Programs like these add absolutely nothing to my life and in turn ruin others.

Child stars are also contributing to the ruin of television. First of all, the production quality of a show centered on kid actors is incredibly awful. These programs are all poorly produced and the dialogue is atrocious. I understand that the shows aren’t made for me. But I do remember a lot of programming from when I was a kid and the shows were actually smart and well written. Tiny Toons is a perfect example. This cartoon was satirical and actually funny for a kids show. It truly had a hand in prepping me for satirical shows (like The Simpsons and Family Guy) later in life. It may be a good reason why I don’t get offended at everything. I was prepped early in life to understand what a joke is.
The main reason why I blame child actors goes back to America’s obsession with the personal lives of actors. Child stars are the center of too much gossip. There are more shows and news segments dedicated to a child star and her DUI or public drunkenness than there should be. I would actually like someone to tally up and see exactly which network (Nickelodeon or Disney) is responsible for producing the most prescription pill addicts. The one were kids get “slimed” in the face at age 8 or the one that was founded by an alleged Nazi sympathizer.
When it comes to sitcoms we need shows that are actually genuine with their humor and not be completely worried about offending everyone. TV is in this current trend where the only “funny” or “safe” story angle is poking fun at how “men are pigs.” A show like Two and a Half Men is the perfect example of what I’m talking about. I could spray paint swear words on the door of a church and more people would see the comedic value in that terrible act than any one episode of Two and a Half Men. Another example is on Spike TV. Spike TV is currently the network for men. This channel is basically Maxim Magazine on television. Even though I’m a guy, who likes most typical guy stuff, the way this channel operates is terrible. First off, it’s currently holding Star Wars captive. I hate that this channel is playing the movie I obsessed over during my childhood. I can only imagine that every guy who watches that movie high fives when Chewbacca howls and then copies it for the rest of the movie. But that isn’t the problem here. They have a show called Blue Mountain State. This show is about a bunch of college guys who have sex and drink. I don’t want to sound like a guy who doesn’t believe that’s a great fantasy, it is. The problem I have is that it’s an overused story angle. They don’t do anything new with that idea. It’s the same formula every single time. The characters all look the same, they make lame jokes about sex and then do lame things when they get drunk. TV producers need to take more risks with there comedy shows. I’m not expecting a show that’s like the movie A Clockwork Orange with a laugh track, but anything different would be welcomed.
If you’re going to make a show and pass it off as “relatable” to the nerds and underdogs, do it right. Pick kids who actually look like underdogs and nerds. That’s why I hate the show Glee. They should have taken a page from the creators of Freaks and Geeks. All of the main geeky kids actually looked like nerds. They were all really nerdy in real life, too. They all looked like they were one “gym class hazing” away from being on the cover of Newsweek. The kids in Glee are way too pretty to be in any kind of outcast situation. Those kids (based on how they looked) would have run that high school in real life.
Why has the news become like a TV show? Every news anchor acts like he or she is part of the world’s shittiest improvisation group. Why do they feel like they constantly have to riff with each other in-between stories? They always do it to those really safe and non-controversial stories. I would like for a news anchor to show off his “comedy chops” in a quirky conversation about the last sex predator story that just ran. I would love for one of these guys to go way off the teleprompter about something a lot heavier in subject matter. The anchor turns to the sportscaster and asks him what town has the sexiest little league team or asks the weatherman about the contents of his hard drive. It’s no secret that the news has become just as much entertainment as it is actual news. Recently, while watching a local newscast, a promotion was advertised going to commercial. It was a commercial that encouraged the viewers to text what news stories they would like to see next. Here’s an idea, show all of them. It’s the news, don’t make us choose what’s important, we don’t know. I myself did not text because whenever I try to it ends up looking like Rosie O’Donnell’s dialogue from the movie Riding the Bus with My Sister. Here’s another idea for the TV news. Instead of picking the news like a twelve year old girl, try picking the news like I pick jokes for my articles. If it’s a movie reference that no one gets or something that makes everyone totally uncomfortable, go for it.

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