Television Rules the Nation

My fellow blogette Thypolarlife recently posted about the various television trends that she’s observed over the years; more specifically, her rant was about the different phases that TV networks have gone through – like the one where they all aired pointless reality shows and almost everyone bought into them. You can check out her post here.

After reading her rant, I immediately piped in to voice my opinion relative to networks that insist on producing the same show multiple times. Like the one show wasn’t enough – now my options are limited to watching spin-offs of the same show on multiple networks. For some reason the networks think that we’re oblivious to the fact that all they do is append a different city name to their ‘new’ show titles. So much for creativity. Here are some examples:

CBS: CSI Las Vegas, New York, Miami

Las Vegas was the ‘original’ CSI and by far, the best of the three. I don’t care for New York because I think the actors are stiffs with no personality. As for Miami well, I loathe David Caruso with every fiber of my being. In my opinion, he is the worse actor to hit television since Keifer Sutherland. I sense that fans of 24 are going to crap on me for that one.

CBS: NCIS, Los Angeles

I don’t get it. Why the hell would I want to watch a show about Naval and Marine crimes? Are the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps rampant with crime in real  life? DO they actually have a unit dedicated to this type of crime? In my opinion NCIS is a cheap knock-off of the fabulous Criminal Minds. Crappy show, crappy actors. There is no need for one show, much less two.

NBC: Law & Order, SVU, Criminal Intent, Los Angeles

NBC ditched CI because nothing was happening besides Vincent D’Onofrio’s rapid bodily expansion. L&O was taken off the air recently to make room for LA – another show with lousy actors. Like that bald guy with the mustache. Are the producers of this show aware that we’re not in the 80s anymore?

All of this got me to thinking: have television networks become void of creativity? Have they lost their ability to create shows that can captivate an audience and make us use our brains? Or, have they simply grown lazy? Personally, I find no appeal in shows like ABC’s The Bachelor, The Bachelorette,The Bachelor Pad and Dating in the Dark. OK, I get it – everyone at ABC is single. What about shows like MTV’s The Real World and The Jersey Whores? Err, I mean The Jersey Shore…These shows have no substance or merit, and could not be further from reality. But, I suppose viewers enjoy staring at Mike ‘The Situation’s’ abs for an hour while drooling in their teacups because they don’t need to think about what they’re watching.

That said, could the issue be that we, as an audience, have become too lazy to think? Are we looking for mindless television that simply provides us with an escape from the humdrum of everyday life? And if this is the reason, then are the networks not catering to our need for crap television?

I don’t watch much television; the only show that I watched regularly was LOST.  I refused to make any plans that meant I would miss an episode and my friends were instructed never to call me when LOST was on 😀 I liked that this show made me think – for six years, I tried the solve the mystery of that damn island. I tried to make sense of various shifts in time involving flash forwards/backwards/sideways/up/ down/diagonal. Every time I thought I had it, the producers threw me for another loop. I had numerous conversations about LOST with various friends who were as hooked on the show as I was. They mainly liked the fact that it was a ‘thinking’ show. They enjoyed having their brains challenged and trying to figure out what the big mystery was. I’d like to see more of this type of show over shows like The Bachelor or Big Brother.

What do you think? What do you like to watch and why?

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10 thoughts on “Television Rules the Nation

  1. i agree!! I love the original CSI (and Miami, mostly), Law and Order SVU, CI was okay when it was in its hayday. I recently got into criminal minds and think it’s fantastic. I keep trying to watch L&O LA..the second episode kept me somewhat interested, but the first and third, I recorded and seriously turned them on 4 times before I realized the fact that I wasn’t paying attention probably meant it wasn’t worth watching. NCIS I’ve had no success with either. I love those types of shows. I love how SVU actually examines social issues a bit while inserting some form of mystery that you can mentally try to solve. It’s always well-done and the actors are great. I watch I a lot of things I wish I didn’t, just for the desire to have SOMETHING on..what does that say about where TV has gone?

    • My absolute favorite show of this genre, was, and still is Homicide: Life on the Streets. I was so pissed when they took it off the air because everything about it rocked. The acting (especially Andre Braugher) was fantastic, the way the episodes were shot, the movies, the emotion. I am still pissed at NBC for taking it off the air – and this was quite a while ago LOL!

  2. Okay I can tell you exactly what happened. I was an actress in the 80’s. We use to go on strikes which made the “tv show” people crazy lol. They decided to say “enough with you crazy actors!” And they started “Reality Shows”. No stars, low costs it was a solution to all their problems.

    In a way I can’t totally blame them scale for an actor even back then was pretty high. It got crazy too. One movie of the week I was in “Enola Gay” (which may have aired before you were born lol) had to re dub my voice because I was told I was on strike and couldn’t do it. The sound when we shot got messed up so I was suppose to go into a sound booth and lip sink myself. Couldn’t do it. In the movie I open my mouth but a deep voice that isn’t mine comes floating out. It alway makes me laugh.

    I agree with you that things have gotten diluted which is why I’m glad I quit and raised my son. Much more fun!

  3. I agree that the original CSI is the only one worth watching; I love Criminal Minds and the original NCIS. Sorry, but the characters are hilarious. I was into L&O for awhile but now I only watch it when I’m traveling for work because no matter where you are in the world, no matter what time it is, L&O in some iteration is always on the hotel cable!

  4. Love the post my friend! First I’d like to say that I recorded Criminal Minds and will watch it as soon as I have a free second and get back to you (I have a baseball filled weekend!). Ok, now onto the shows – I watch CSI Vegas and have since the very first episode. I do not watch the others because, well…. they are horrible. I don’t watch NCIS’s. I watch L&O but the new LA one is horrible and I won’t be watching that one again.

    You know how I feel about reality TV. I never got into LOST, just for lack of watching it. Not that its bad or anything, I just have never seen it. I watch the show “House” regularly. After working in the medical field I can relate to what goes on in the show and I love House’s attitude towards medicine and patients.

    With that said, the networks have lost all creativity and if we could just take over the world it would be a happier place! LMAO Great post!

    • I’m ready when you are 😀 Where LOST is concerned, I would recommend renting the first season and see what you think. Some people positively hate the show while others like me, were completely hooked. It may seem a bit long to get somewhere when you first start watching but… in my opinion it’s worth it!

  5. I have made a vow to watch less TV this season. Like you mentioned, since LOST, nothing has really picked my brain enough since then….nothing that would make me centre my Tuesday night plans around anyway. Sigh….I miss it.
    That being said, I will shamefully admit that I do get sucked into reality TV somehow. But am putting up a good fight!! I do indulge in the odd cheesy crap reality show. For some reason, watching a bunch a women fight over one man on the Bachelor makes my dating life seem better, and alot less pathetic.
    I do think some reality TV is good. My tried and true reality show is The Biggest Loser! This show actually inspired me to get off my couch and get my ass to the gym! I love watching it for some reason. You really get attached to the people and you feel pride for them as you watch their journey. And it is somewhat educational. I can only hope that it is working across America to help people overcome their weight and diet issues
    My new favourtie is “How I Met Your Mother”. How I have missed out on this one for so many years is beyond me. I guess I was too caught up in cheesy reality shows and hospital dramas 🙂

    • I agree about The Biggest Loser – I like it but hardly every watch it. I will admit, that I like to watch The Jersey Whores because quite frankly, they make me laugh! I’ve never seen a more exquisite portrayal of Jersey Guidos and Guidettes!

  6. Definitely lacking in imagination, these TV people are. Well, maybe with the exception of people who write for Family Guy and The Office, but that may just be more drugs and less creativity there.

    I agree, the spin offs are getting mundane. There are all of the ones you’ve mentioned, and what about all of the trends? Is it possible to get any more dramas based in a hospital setting? Come on people! Bring on the vampires to suck these medics’ blood!

    • LOL! Yes! That completely slipped my mind – way too many hospital dramas. I mean, is there no life outside a hospital setting!? And what about the vampire trend? Maybe we should suggest a combo – a hospital drama with vampires?

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