Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:04 pm Post subject: Why I've Given Up on Television
or why TV Execs can bite me.
(possibly not safe for work language to follow)
i mean for FUCK'S SAKE! drive was canceled after two episodes. two. the black donnelies after four. four. how in the world are you supposed to get an audience that quickly?
why don't i watch new shows? because they don't last. i won't get sucked in like firefly again. i didn't watch lost until season two was almost over.
frankly, i've pretty much given up on network television at this point. why? because they have given up on me. i don't care about who is dancing with who, or how some high schooler can karaoke, or who gets voted off the island, or any of these stupid reality tv shows. i live in the real world (copyright, MTV networks) i don't need to watch it on TV.
next. they won't give me the common curtosy to ensure a show will be on for at least one season. if the show is good enough to make, show me the damn episodes. if the show is good enough advertise, show me the damn episodes. if the show is good enough to move another show, take a slot, if the show is good enough, THEN SHOW ME THE DAMN EPISODES!
if it isn't, then don't advertise it, don't change the line up, don't put it on, don't make it, don't film or even write. basically, don't waste my fucking time or your fucking time.
and don't put a new show against one that is on its fifth season and wonder why no one is watching it. you my friend, are an idiot.
this is one place where the anime guys have got it right. a good number of anime 'shows' are simply 13 or 16 episode movies. one story, told over episodes. they are designed to be one season. and are better for it.
crappy american ideas about tv, meet much better japanese ideas about tv.
and yes, part of this is about being bitter of battlestar not coming back until 2008, but we all know, deep, deep in our hearts, that it will be the last season.
so what is there to replace it?
lots of pilots, just no vipers, (ha! ha! pun, get it?? me either)
let's face facts. if the x-files had premiered this season, it would have been canceled. one of the best shows in television history WOULD HAVE NEVER HAPPENED. do i think 'drive' was the next x-files? no. but i think it deserved a bit more of a chance than two episodes.
and er is still on the air. i'm not sure i want to get on that subject.
Joined: Nov 21, 2005 Posts: 1285 Location: Witless Protection Program
Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:27 pm Post subject:
Pfft I had just heard of drive last night and hadn't even read anything about it but heard nathan fillion was in it and dug his acting in firefly. Drat!!
I just watched my first DRIVE last night. Hmmmm
Combo of "Smokey and the Bandit", "Survivor", Mystery Big Money backing, and ....
The driving does kinda remind me of the freeways in Southern California.
I think I passed one of those Drivers last week!
- "Firefly" Sigh My heart ... weeps!
- "Dark Angel" Loved it, but they took the money from it for Firefly, then canceled Firefly. Arrrrrrrrrrgh!
- WHAT the Heck are they doing with "Battlestar Galactica"
- and the two about Sea Creatures, one set in Florida and the other had a cute little water dragon.
Philip ( How do the networks know which ones I like, so they can cancel them! )
Posted: Sat May 02, 2009 8:31 am Post subject: TV - Doomed!
I wonder if the folks who bring us hundreds of TV channels of appalling crap see the irony of the situation? The technology of TV has improved immeasurably over the years providing us with topnotch video and (potentially) first class audio. At the same time the quality of programming has deteriorated to a point where it has become an insult to the viewing public – or what's left of them.
It has reached a level where TV is no longer of any relevance to a rapidly growing sector of the public which can now turn to the internet for its entertainment, news, etc.
Is there any answer? Probably not, as long as the current TV business model is followed unchallenged. Perhaps commercial TV is ultimately doomed. Perhaps that's not a bad thing.
Joined: May 25, 2003 Posts: 4752 Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:08 am Post subject:
Wow, yeah it's odd how amazingly relevant this rant is still two years later
I never really was a big network TV watcher, pretty much just isolated to Battlestar and Lost. While it seems there are some interesting shows that have started up in the last few years (Chuck, Dollhouse...) it's seemed like the "seasons" are just getting shorter even as they try to draw them out over a longer period of time. It should not take nearly an entire hockey season to show 13 episodes! That said, now it seems like all the talk is "will show XYZ get renewed".
What makes Lost so good is that it's one continuous story arc and it was picked up for multiple seasons. It doesn't have to worry about fighting to get picked up again year after year, so it doesn't have to be terribly "self-contained". That's what makes it so interesting. Same thing with B5 and all the other really great TV series.
Unfortunately it's cheaper to produce reality shows or "assisted reality" shows where writers and "actors" aren't members of unions or guilds. They don't need to have any continuity, and people can pick up watching them at any time without having to worry about getting familiar with the story. All of those seem to make it attractive to "traditionalists" in the TV industry suffering from lower ad revenue income and competing for viewing time in what seems to be an increasingly "ADD" society.
The amazing thing with new technology (Hulu, Boxee, iTunes, etc.) is that it really actually makes a stronger case for stations to develop the standard TV series and story arc. They allow people to "start from the beginning" of an entire series and see how it all evolves. It allows viewers to start watching a series from the beginning at any point in time, even if it's already started, so writers don't need to worry about making each episode summarize the entire plot. It caters to both types of viewers of the standard serial format: those who want to go week to week and those who want to wait and watch the entire thing at once. If it were to catch on and become much more of a standard, different companies would begin to compete on how interesting their content is and I think we'd have less of this overall drive to cheap, unimaginative TV programming.
I doubt that mentality shift will happen, however, and we'll continue to see TV migrate more down the route of reality shows and cheap content designed to fit with a short attention span. It's hard to adapt old, established business models and mentalities to fit newer ideas and changes in their basic assumptions.
It doesn't have to worry about fighting to get picked up again year after year, so it doesn't have to be terribly "self-contained". That's what makes it so interesting. Same thing with B5 and all the other really great TV series.
Actually the creator of B5 "JMS" got jerked around with B5 as well.
B5 actually aired on the "Prime Time Entertainment Network" and then was sold off to TNT. At one point JMS was told that the show was cancelled and he struggled to tie up the 5 year arc in the second half of the 4th season. Right before the last episodes were to air, TNT decided they would fund a 5th season, so JMS pulled the last episode of the 4th season to save for the 5th season, wrote and filmed a replacement season ending.
TNT then committed to a 5 year run of the spin off "Crusade." But they got cold feet after the first few episodes aired and pulled the plug in mid production and didn't even finish filming the remaining episodes or air the episodes completed.
Then the SciFi channel dangled a carrot in front of JMS to create a new 5yr arc series starting with a pilot movie... SciFi delayed showing the movie and when they finally aired, the ratings were low and SciFi pulled the plug. (I guess their other movies like ManSquito must have killer ratings)
Joined: Jan 04, 2005 Posts: 36 Location: Planet Earth
Posted: Sun May 03, 2009 2:25 pm Post subject:
I hadn't realized how truly abysmal network TV had gotten until aAbout a month ago, when I had to give up cable for financial reasons and shell out for a digital converter box and rabbit ears. Talk about 'back to the future'...
Lost truly is one of network TV's few saving graces right now. I hadn't gotten into it on my own, but my girlfriend introduced me to it last summer when she brought over the season 1 DVDs. That kicked off a two-month 'Lost-a-thon' as I then checked out the rest of the DVDs from the library and watched season 4 online. Sadly, my girlfriend didn't live to see season 5. She died in a house fire in September.
I also liked what they did with Life on Mars, especially the twist ending of the final episode. Still, I thought the original BBC version was better. To ABC's credit, they stuck with the limited run format of the original--and showed the whole thing.
The only thing worse than the programming on TV these days is the all-or-nothing reception with a digital converter box. The constant stuttering drop-outs are especially annoying. Watching the news is absolutely surreal. Sometimes it seems like Tom Brokaw has been replaced by Max Headroom (remember him?)! Frankly, it's caused me to keep my TV turned off more and more of the time. The good part of that is I find myself reading more instead, although I do avail myself of the nearby public library's extensive--and free--DVD collection on a regular basis. I just checked out season 2 of Mission: Impossible the other day. They just don't make TV like that anymore.
...I'm from Portugal and here the strangest thing happens on TV. Series are publicized like the next big thing and shown on prime time, but all of the sudden if you're into it you're screwed 'cos it will go from 7.00 pm on sundays to 2.00 am on weekdays. Episodes are rerun a lot (i'm sick of Grey and her anatomy) and you have to be a bat or an owl or work late nights to watch all the series you began watching on a non-vampire time. I Got to see "The Shield" 'cos i was on vacations. I watch "Lost" and "BSG" 'cos... i download them, as well as "Heroes". (i don't want to get started here on the legitimacy of downloads...) "Nip/Tuck"? No way i can watch it at 01.00 am.
And most of the time TV is filled with garbage that turns your brain into a warm chicken stock. Nowadays i use the TV to play Xbox. "Dead Space" at night for the chills, some "Bioshock" and some others.
well... it's not "my" Mac, if you know what i mean...
And no, i don't watch shows in real broadcast time anymore. Except when i'm on holidays and i sleep in a bit more. If you don't know when the show is on, what good is a tuner/recorder?!?
Joined: May 25, 2003 Posts: 4752 Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 10:43 am Post subject:
The only thing worse than the programming on TV these days is the all-or-nothing reception with a digital converter box. The constant stuttering drop-outs are especially annoying.
This is utterly true. Back when I was a kid and my folks didn't have cable, at least I could deal with "snow". It's really not that bad. The human eye is actually really amazing at how tolerant it is of noisy signals (remember VCRs?)...hearing something with lots of static in it or even an occasional glitch (e.g. scratched record) is much more pronounced.
I have satellite myself (mostly for sports...) and it was my first experience with a digital signal. And when it degrades, boy, does it degrade. It looks like a fun motion blur photoshop effect for a bit and then the box just drops it altogether.
But hey, look at how much money the govt. got by auctioning off the old spectrum. And plus don't get me started on how the FCC and lawmakers keep trying to dump in that broadcast flag garbage to prevent people from recording shows. If they ever do get that passed, I think that will finally begin making the case for moving exclusively to streaming or pirated media.
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