Wednesday, July 8, 2009

TV Wasteland of the 21st Century

I don’t envy my younger cousins at all. In addition to sky-rocketing unemployment and the increasing difficulties to obtain adequate college loans, the quality of entertainment has really gone down the tubes. Television is one of those mediums that has suffered creatively, especially when it comes to programming for people of all ages. It is so bad that I actually pity my cousins’ lack of exposure to better television.

MTV is a sobering example of how bad television has become, especially during the first decade of the 21st century. As a kid, I remember seeing music videos and other music-related programming on the channel, and MTV V-Jays (video jockeys) who interviewed musicians about upcoming albums, tours, the industry, inspirations for their music, etc. It might have been corny at times, but there was always something interesting to watch because it was almost always about music. Now I think MTV should change its name to Reality TV, because the channel consists of one reality show after another.

The TV audience is inundated with reality television programming on a daily basis on several channels, not just MTV. I don’t watch “American Idol,” “Dancing with the Stars,” or “The Bachelorette,” but I know what goes on in these shows because I hear updates on almost all of the radio stations I listen to in the car. I am out of touch when it comes to these shows, and I am unapologetic about it.

As a whole, I also believe that scripted televisions shows are also less than stellar. The original “Beverly Hills 90210” was never a great show, so when I heard that a new version was coming out last year, I was less than excited. There are obvious exceptions on cable networks, and I sometimes go on YouTube to watch clips of great shows from the past. In some ways, I am glad that TV isn’t as good as it once was; it gives me numerous excuses to pay attention to better entertainment choices.

What are your thoughts on TV today?

1 comment:


I agree that a lot of television is mind numbing and panders to people's lowest tastes. In many reality tv shows, people's personal lives are exploited for mere entertainment and shock value. It can be debasing and embarrassing. However, there are some good programs that show impressive ingenuity, like Arrested Development, Lost, West Wing, and Stephen Colbert and John Stewart, of course. Perhaps these shows are just few and far between.

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