Friday, October 1, 2010

Bloggers Are Trying to Kill Network Television

I love the way I can use my blog to express myself, offer social commentary, and create a dialogue. The notion that I can think a thought, type it up, and...poof...release it into the world; is gratifying, and comes with responsibility. I'm not afraid to sharply criticize and share my strong opinions, but I reach a point where I have to ask: What is the purpose?

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Communications, and I loved studying television, film, pop culture, media, and the way all of those things influence our culture. If I could, I would have pursued graduate studies...but my professor always emphasized that you can't do anything but be a poor teacher with his education and qualifications. Money isn't that important to me, but I am not someone who could afford to have a $100,000 education that would only lead to a modest income. Maybe if I was a trust fund baby...

I am so over reality television. There are still a few shows I enjoy: The Biggest Loser and Dancing with the Stars are the two major ones. Oh, and anything featuring Real Housewives. How could I forget? Some of what falls into the "reality" category is compelling stuff. Most of it is garbage. I can't even watch Vh1 anymore. I love TV, so I realize that viewers have to support quality scripted programs in order for them to succeed, and for network honchos to make more shows like them.

That is why I get so frustrated when new shows debut and writers are so quick to slaughter them. It doesn't seem like reality programming faces the same level of scrutiny. Reality television is like the underachieving child from whom the parents expect little, so they're not disappointed that they have no redeeming value.

Scripted programs can't even be mediocre; they have to be stellar, groundbreaking, and flawless; otherwise they are criticized as being "disappointing" or "poorly executed". The critics (and that includes the amateur blogger) seem to take pleasure in dissecting television programs and overanalyzing them to the point where I almost feel dumb for admitting that I actually liked the show they're tearing apart. If writers and critics don't learn to temper their harsh criticisms with a little bit of restraint and allow these new shows the chance to develop and find an audience, networks will never take risks or try anything new, and that would be a shame. I'm thinking of a certain show in particular, and I'll get to that in a later post.

So to get back to my original question: What is the purpose? It's easy to sit back and observe, searching for flaws, but why do writers want to do this? They are killing television, and this couch potato would appreciate it if they stop. Pronto.

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