Why Does TV Suck?

I have been bitching for a long time about the poor quality of the standard TV shows….most are mind numbing poppycock…..but is there a good reason for this sad showing for standard TV?

Television networks will draw hordes of advertisers to New York City this week for their annual bonanza of presentations and parties, a decades-old tradition known as the upfronts that is meant to dazzle marketers and loosen their purse strings.

New shows and top talent will be pitched from the stages of Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, followed by lavish evening affairs where marketers can eat lobster rolls and snag selfies with network stars. The fanfare will kick off weeks of negotiations, with networks aiming to get advertisers to commit to billions of dollars in spending for the year ahead.

Old age…it sucks…both for TV and for the general well being of us elderly….

Now that the royals are finally wed maybe we can return to some form of normalcy…..


22 thoughts on “Why Does TV Suck?

  1. I still find plenty of good drama, documentaries, and period series over here, chuq.
    People complain about TV here too, but I am happy enough with what is available.
    I can’t speak for the US output though, although we have ‘The Handmaids Tale’, ‘Homeland’, ‘The Good Fight’, and many other watchable shows from America.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Ironically, I think only The Good Fight emanates from an American mind and it’s a spin-off. Homeland is an Israeli export. (The only one I’m “buying”) It’s a re-make of the production team’s Israeli TV show. The Handmaids Tale comes from the twisted mind of Canuck novelist Margaret Atwood and is shot here. It’s also a re-make of a 1990 movie/miniseries.

      So 2/3 of the shows you mentioned are “not exactly” American in origin and all 3 are “derived from earlier works”. And unless I’m mistaken…NONE of them are actually broadcast on US TV. (Streaming & Premium cable) In Canuckistan, all three are on basic cable channels. I suspect the same is true in other nations. But your average America TV viewer is deprived of them.

      It’s easier for foreigners to get some of “America’s best” than Americans. Go figure.

      1. Indeed, The Good Fight is a spin off from The Good Wife, and I actually prefer it. I did know that Homeland was originally based on an Israeli series, and The Handmaids Tale seems to have more relevance than ever, in modern day America. If those shows are made for foreign consumption, and shown on free to view channels here, then I’m not complaining. 🙂
        (I always enjoyed ‘Dexter’ too, but that went to pay per view in the UK.)
        Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I fear it’s going to be a looong drawn out summer as far as TV goes. (and the Fall debuts too) Remakes and copy-cat shows are as far as the network imagination can go.

  3. Endless coverage of all things royal. Does anyone remember why America revolted against the British King, state corporations, state religion and global empire?

    Royal Wedding, Prince Charming, Slaying Dragons, Innocent Princesses Who Must Be Rescued From Castles; All Nice Fantasies And Myths, But They Have Nothing To Do With Reality Or Psychopathic, Narcissistic Mentally Ill 1%

  4. Despite the unbelievable size & scope of modern Hollywood…the supposed ground zero of the world’s creativity…despite the 500 Channel Universe giving endless broadcast opportunity for “less mainstream” show ideas…It’s absolutely astounding how few original (or even semi-original) ideas wind up on American TV. I come across maybe only 2-3 decent, original, ideas a year. (Even movies today aren’t much better.) This is the best “the best” can do?

    Satisfaction wise, you really did get more out of 70’s TV (watching in the 70’s, at least). Yeah, 70’s TV was definitely the Minor Leagues of entertainment compared to film. It was simplistic, lacking in production value and was often (in it’s favour) very cheesy. To be fair, scripts were seriously confined by network censors. (See: Archie Bunker’s toilet) Also, most people making it were drunk/high, as were most adults viewers. And back then, there were only 3 networks and budgets were comparatively tiny. (Seinfeld’s cast alone probably earned more per episode than the annual budgets of the average 70’s show) So expectations weren’t nearly as high. Yet, they achieved comparable “viewer satisfaction” with FAR less, time, money & effort than today’s giant pack of uninspiring “also-rans”.

    And when something is original today, it’s often taken from somewhere else. In the last 10 years, the number of TV shows I’ve regularly watched that are American remakes of TV shows from other nations (or “co-productions” where the main American involvement is cash and airing it) is staggering. Ironically, they were some of the better shows on. In addition, American TV has also stolen some of the stupidest trash the world has to offer. Ironically, it’s some of their highest rated shit. (Survivor, Big Brother, American Idol, etc.) So why make something good when shit sells better?

    But if you’re willing to flip through all 500 channels, you’ll probably find 2-3 watchable hours a night. However, there are so many fucking re-makes, rip-offs, “franchise” shows…and just plain retreaded TV cliches…You can’t help but think that America is “clapped out”. Devoid of any decent ideas, both politically AND culturally.

  5. It’s an ever diminishing circle, the game has changed, the revenue sources are tighter, the audience is less enchanted, and so it goes. The scripts are crap, the acting minimal, the intelligence quotient is non-existent, sigh, pulp TV

  6. There’s so much wrong with the TV landscape one story doesn’t do the topic justice. It’s a full time job, really.

    A lot of problems stem from oversupply. There are just too many channels to fill. It’s really watered down the content, the talent pool and hurt profitability at the same time. There are just too many pimps trying to rent out their sh-ho’s to roughly the same number of Advertising Johns. It’s like how GM had 50 divisions and almost everything they cranked out had 5 almost identical versions of the same “platform”. All that bureaucratic expense to what end? To compete with yourself for the same driver?

    I used to think more channels was a good thing. More choice. And it was for certain genres…SciFi, comedy, cartoons, classic movies, etc. Unfortunately, thanks to media concentration, many genres have been polluted. Every channel is just a “division” that needs to measure up profit-wise, or else it gets “The Nashville Network-ed”. And that leads to ratings pandering. So, “The Learning Channel” stops showing documentaries on Inca civilization and starts showing Little Mormons Ink about a little dude with 5 wives, 39 children and a tattoo parlour. The History Channel now runs monster truck races. All to attract more viewers than their genre naturally merits.

    And because these giant media companies own so many rights, they cross-pollinate shows and popular movies onto most of the channels they own. (See: Gameshow Network showing Batman movies) In Canuckistan this a super-prevalent trend. Of the 500 channel universe, 494 are owned by just 3 companies. They shamelessly put anything with any popularity on almost every channel they can.

  7. The only streaming I give a fuck about is the “streaming” my doctor asks me about during my annual checkup.

    I know it’s different in the US. But if a show is any good, it will make it to Canadian TV soon enough. Especially if it’s made here. (Handmaids Tale, Star Trek Discovery & others went straight to basic cable) House of Cards even aired uncensored on an over-the-air, local, independent, TV channel…Well, until a 30 year old news story broke.

    In Canuckistan, a lot of these streaming services are owned/partially owned by the same media fuckers who use their oligopoly to rip me off now. Some services that aren’t have more limited Canadian rights than their US lineup. More importantly, my Internet connection (also supplied by said media fuckers) is about as reliable as a Trump cabinet member. One second it’s here, the next it’s gonzo. I don’t care because The Interwebs don’t mean shit to me. But that kind of unreliability just does NOT cut it for my TV use. A 2 second digital hitch results in my TV being covered in Party Liquor (and then licked clean). I’d probably also have to pay $250 more a month on my Webpipes bill to get enough bandwidth to watch my regular shows. Just not worth it.

    Also, I trust all these digital things about as much as I trust Loserbook. Give me a dumb box that just receives signals any day. Actually, if I could take just 5 cable channels of my choice, I’d honestly go back to bunny ears and my (still working) VCR. Free, more reliable and nobody watching me. I prefer to watch my “viewscreen” rather than have it watch me. I got enough Orwell present in my life already.

    1. I prefer not to have these services but if I do not watch news then there is very little that is on air…..also reruns are limited because they want me to buy a service to watch them in entirety…….chuq

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