Things I Don’t Like About Television: Wrapping Up

Well, here we are. After 36 posts of my ranting, it has come to this.

To quickly review, here are the posts in this series with short descriptions of what they were about:

Episode 1: Network Decay: Networks will change and change is inevitable. That said, there’s no excuse for most networks moving away from their niche.

Episode 2: Reality Television: I absolutely abhor reality television. That won’t change any time seem. It replaces written shows with heavily edited, fake drama.

Episode 3: Clip Shows, Et Al.: Clip shows have their purpose and they work best with good comedians.

Episode 4: Premature Cancellation: Over the years, I have watched some good and promising shows get cancelled. It happens every year. They are often replaced by awful programs that may or may not stay on too long…

Episode 5: Diminishing Returns: …And there are times when some shows that were once good are kept on long past their expiration dates. Otherwise, they lose their appeal after a crucial cast member leaves.

Episode 6: Life and Death: To kill off a character or not? Character deaths should be handled with the proper respect and death should be final in most cases. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Episode 7: Hanging Threads: What’s going to happen to this character? Will he tell her the truth? Don’t’ leave me hanging, man. But writers often do forget or abandon some storylines, even those that are promising.

Episode 8: Awful Writers: Bad Writers are often responsible for many of the above problems and more.

Episode 9: Product Placement: When done right, product placement is a necessary part of a program. It can be funny in some instances, too. Otherwise it feels tacky and can lead to some pretty unnatural dialogue. Hold that thought while I go take my Yaris to do some shopping at my local grocery store.

Episode 10: Commercials: Most commercials are honestly crap. There will be some that catch my attention in the positive sense, though. Regardless, there has been commercial inflation that has affected programs.

Episode 11: Drug Commercials: I never liked them, tbqh. I never really mentioned regular drug commercials (like those for Tylenol, Advil, etc.) but I pointed out pharmaceuticals as the worst offenders. Anti-drug commercials earned a place here, too.

Episode 12: Infomercials: Just about all infomercials are crap, too. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Episode 13: Network News: Despite how difficult it is to cram a day’s news into a 30-60 minute time slot, there will still be network news programs. It can be funny (and creepy) to see how these programs are similar and repetitive from station to station.

Episode 14: Cable News: Cable News, whether it covers current events or sporting events, will always come with a spin. Producers want to promote instantly dramatic storylines and/or add [more] drama to others.

Episode 15: ESPN, Often: ESPN suffers from the same problem and it’s also beholden to major sports. It has to play the game to get access, unfortunately.

Episode 16: The NFL Network: Built off ESPN’s model, The NFL Network has some of the former’s issues and its own programming issues.

Episode 17: NFL Game Scheduling: If you don’t live in a certain market, you’re lucky to see at least one game with your favorite team. And CBS and FOX alternate between who shows 2 games every NFL Sunday.

Episode 18: NFL Narratives: Apparently, I’m unpatriotic. You’re damn right, I am.

Episode 19: Sports Reporting: I don’t care to be told what to think when it comes to athletes. I can respect someone’s talent without liking the person. Thank you.

Episode 20: Bob Costas, Et Al.: I need two cents to make a dollar. Surely you have them, Bob Costas. Btw, as I write this, Skip Bayless is leaving ESPN. It was so fun to hate him.

Episode 21: Taking Sides (i.e., Opinionated Actors and Network Agendas): You know what? I’m pretty much at that point where I agree with the notion that many actors should keep their political opinions to themselves. There’s a time and a place, but I give them more slack than networks.

Episode 22: Author Avatars (and the Like): Don’t you just hate it when writers use one character to spout their own political agendas? And we might have liked that character before, too.

Episode 23: Iconoclasts (i.e., Character Assassination): I’m not religious by any means, but I’m pretty annoyed by writers, characters, commentators hammering their views against religions and the religious just to belittle people.

Episode 24: Seth MacFarlane: His comedies tend to grate the longer they’re on. I’ve heard things about him, but I don’t know him personally.

Episode 25: Cartoon Network: This is a topic I need to revisit. For the most part, it did recover a bit from “CN Real” fiasco, but the current network does carry crummy programs. The same is true of Adult Swim.

Episode 26: Nickelodeon: As I type this, the network is struggling to survive. It’s no wonder considering SpongeBob is nearing its end and the slate of programs on the network is pretty poor.

Episode 27: The Disney Channel: Most of my complaints are due to nostalgia — and poor writing/acting/singing.

Episode 28: Recycled Plots & Copycats: Chances are we take things from others, but there are instances when this is blatant on TV shows. Either a show will rework one of its own plots in another episode or another show will take it and use it again.

Episode 29: Your Age Is Showing: Why does that 12-year-old have peace fuzz…and wrinkles?

Episode 30: Learning on the Job: It can be pretty painful to watch when an actor or commentator is wet behind the ears.

Episode 31: Competition Shows: I don’t care for most of them. The best don’t always win and the judges sometimes make it more about themselves.

Episode 32: Self-Image Issues: Image is everything, and producers will promote it at the expense of those on camera, the gullible, and the misinformed.

Episode 33: Sleazy Talk Shows: They have their purpose, but I still wish they would be taken off the air.

Episode 34: Censorship: I bet you thought I put a string of curse words here, right? Get you mind out of the gutter!

Episode 35: Ratings Madness: When it all comes down to it, the most important things to a network executive are money and his own ego. Ratings are deeply connected to the former, and all three may play a part in keeping some of the worst shows on the air.

Episode 36: Cable and Dish Providers: Do you know what an oligopoly is? Look at your cable and/or Internet service provider for an example.

With that point about sleazy talk shows, I realize that despite my rants, many of these awful shows will stay on the air for years to come. Many of them are profitable, or they are according to polls. It irks me, especially since great shows have been completely ignored, outright killed, and/or replaced by the garbage programs I hate most. It still feels good to rant.

Now, while I tried to discuss just about everything I could think of in regards to television viewer, this was ultimately limited. I can only speak from my experiences watching American television and even then there may be things I missed. Of course, I would like to read your thoughts on anything bothering you about TV programs, particularly in other countries, to see some similarities and differences.

In the future, I will definitely have posts on specific gripes about shows, personalities, and current trends on television, as well as point out specific companies dampening the viewing experience. I’m also open to taking some suggestions.

Before I go, I would like to leave you with a video.

And to anyone who got this far, thanks for reading. 🙂

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