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Television, you bastard

We get hooked on these TV shows, then away they go. Good shows are usually fantastic for the intelligent viewers who appreciate good writing, original storylines, and great acting. Unfortunately, most of us intelligent ones are also smart enough to own Tivo or other DVRs which allow us to skip the commercials.

What is so bad about that? Well, all us smarties with Tivo boxes are, in general, the demographic of choice for advertisers, but we obviously don’t have the time or patience to sit through commercials. We have too many damn shows to watch before our hard drives overload. So we bust through a whole show and miss the messages from the people who are really paying for it.

And because most good shows aren’t cheap to produce, it winds up being a recipe for disaster. Thus, we see the disturbing trend of great shows that get killed off, well before their time.

As much as I am NOT a fan of American Idol and such, the show is a viable business success. It is 100% cheap to make and it serves every guilty pleasure that most people have. There is the thrill of the little guy making it big, the thrashing of judges, and the embarassment of bad singers butchering songs for the viewing pleasure of millions. It has everything, and it is almost pure profit. So it makes sense and it stays on TV. So be it. America fell for it. Deal or No Deal anyone?

But the fact is that good shows always get cancelled. FireFly, Wonderfalls, Studio 60 (well, most likely), Over There, Invasion, Arrested Development…to name just a few that I liked. I am sure there will be more. If they have to advertise products in the shows themselves, go for it. I am all for product placement. I don’t mind watching a main character sip a Pepsi, drive a Chevy, or use a Nokia phone (24 is rather famous for it, actually). Entourage also does it regularly.

Sometimes, I wish that the better shows would just come straight to DVD. It kills me to watch 24 during the season because I would much rather watch all of it over the course of a few days. I did that with Lost last year. . .started watching it one night while in bed, then, suddenly, it was 5:30 in the morning and I was glued.

It’s truly a crappy world we are in sometimes when you really think about it. Mass appeal and mass profits are so John Smith. In fact, I am sure that is why I object to American Idol and shows like it (what’s that Commandment about not worshipping false idols?)… Anyway, “everyone” else likes it, so that means I can’t. I am that way about music, too. When it is way too popular, I stay away. Consider it a defense mechanism that protects me from fad fallout.

Stupid Television.

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