Congratulations! You dropped out of college or high school, or you got fired off your job because of downsizing or whatever reason so that your employer will continue to make more money out of letting go of people. You can’t have your normal lifestyle (read normal social activities like going to the bar or restaurant) because you don’t have a regular flow of disposable income. Besides you need disposable income to have a normal social life right? But since you can’t your only option is to watch television to get away from the shock and pain of what’s happening to you. Sadly, the state of television will give you a reason to get back into life again or job-hunting, because it mostly sucks.
Broadcasting networks: Local television is already a goddamn joke as it is. Only about 10% of the entire programing in local TV station in any station is local, and when it is the news it’s mostly not local. You have crime, fire, disasters, scandal, and marketing fluff bullshit mostly all day every day. The serious news usually doesn’t get prominence unless it’s really serious. Otherwise it’s mostly because of a latest scandal or the usual budget cut, election or political horse running crap that get repeated over and over every year. As a matter of fact, the only thing that is definably local about the news is sport and weather.
Now, let’s look at daytime TV There are talk shows about boring celebrities and maternity tests you have little relation to. Court shows about civil disputes that don’t represent the actual reality of what a courtroom trial is. Game shows of featuring products that are out of reach for you until you get a job. The advertisements you will see give you more of a reason to get a job because you’ll be begged to go back to school by private education facilities who will take your money and end up with a useless degree, no win no fee injury crap, and finally car insurance ads.
Think prime time TV is better? Think again. It’s mostly the same variation of sitcoms, crime/law/legal/murder/medical drama, and dozens of reality programs that does not actually reflect reality. Any good show eventually gets canceled due to a lack of ratings or budget constraints. And sci-fi shows on broadcast TV, you’re lucky if it lasts more than one season to before it gets canceled and replaced by a generic reality game show. Oh and please do not get me started on Weekend television programing. It will give you more of a reason to go out, even if you are unemployed. And especially PBS, because unless you like British television shows broadcast in the 1970s or shows for toddlers you will be bored to death by the almost weekly infomercial begging ritual known as “pledge breaks”
The usual kneejerk response to this bitching is “get cable/satellite”, but if you subscribe to that I have one thing to say to you: I hope you like movies and sport. Because that’s the only thing that’s worth it for cable.
Unless you pay for everything under a super duper package worth $100 a year here’s what you get. Channels dedicated to fraudulent infomercials that you can buy the same thing months after broadcast on television. Repurposing rerun vaults dedicated to reruns of shows on broadcast television over that already currently running on broadcast television and also featured movies that are cut and crammed with ads that are essentially begging you to buy the real thing for 10 or 20 bucks more on DVD.
Also channels that are educational on the outside while on the inside it’s packed full of programming loosely related to their remit and is mostly reruns and reality show shit.
The worst thing is why television is mostly sucking and still sucking because it’s profitable. Television executives know that it’s more effort and less profitable when they create quality programing, so they realize that reruns, cheap programs, and reality shit is more profitable. As long as most of the profit goes straight into the TV execs wallet the happier they will be.
Now the reason why you I said in this title that TV mostly sucks, is that with all this junk on television there are good shows out there if you’re willing put up with this excuse called American television. I’m not going to tell you which shows I’m talking about but you should use your google-fu. But really you have two options: Mostly abandon Old Media and embrace new media (read: internet tv/YouTube) wherever possible. Or go back to college and/or continue the farce that is the job hunting game.
Ndee “Jkid” Okeh (YSJkid@gmail.com)