Wednesday, March 14, 2007

TV Rant

Ever since first getting a computer in 1998, my TV watching has declined dramatically. There are many shows made since that time I've never seen. Because I've never had cable, there are many shows that aren't available for me to watch at home in the first place. And with the recent trend to the so-called "reality" shows, I'm guessing I'm not missing very much.

Sometimes, though, when I happen to be at home using the computer in the evening, or when I come home from work late at night, I'll turn the TV on in the background. Many times, I'll turn it on initially to listen to the news when I'm surfing the net, and just leave it on after the news has ended. I've been exposed to several shows in this manner.

Most of what I've seen doesn't impress me much. I'll confine my remarks here to three shows, so that this entry doesn't turn into a novel.

Two shows that are on late at night here in reruns are According to Jim and Scrubs. I'd never heard of either of these until they started showing up in the late night slot.

According to Jim is simply unfunny. Weak jokes, lame plots; a total boregasm. This show stars Jim Belushi, and I'd have expected better from the brother of John Belushi.

Scrubs is equally tiresome in its own way. This show is basically an "insult-a-thon", where the characters spend the entire show's running time exchanging vicious put downs; again, with little or no plot. This show doesn't even belong in the genre of medical comedy with shows such as the timeless M*A*S*H.

A prime time show I sometimes catch in passing, or more often, hear endless reports of on the news, is American Idol. I'm sorry, but I just don't understand the American Idol mania and hype. As far as I'm concerned, it's a high-budget retread of The Gong Show, which at least had the sense to not take itself too seriously.

In the early part of the season, it seems as if some contestants are there only for comic relief -- some of these people can't sing any better than Alfalfa did on Little Rascals. If this is such a serious talent search show, then why are they allowing some of these people to humiliate themselves on stage for? You would think that every contestant that is televised would be able to at least sing in tune.

And then there's Simon, who thinks he's very witty as he engages in his ubiquitous insulting of contestants. I place his brand of humor in the same category as the insult-a-thons on Scrubs. And, again, if this is meant to be a serious talent search show, then why can't he engage in constructive, professional criticism like the other two judges do? I get the feeling that his boorish behavior is all an act for the sole purpose of driving up the ratings.

And what's even worse about this show is how my local news devotes at least ten minutes to this show nearly every night, sometimes as the lead-off story, when a brief mention would be more than adequate. Whatever happened to real news?

I'm slowly building up a collection of season sets of older shows, and I imagine I'll be spending more of my TV watching time watching these and movies.


No comments: