Sunday, April 22, 2007

Reflections on several months of television

Well, we unplugged our television a couple of weeks ago, as per our watch-it-during-winter strategy of television management, and now that I am detoxed from it, here are some observations.

1) Two negatives do not equal a positive
. Why in the world is Dancing with the Starts popular? I, like most sensible people, have no desire to watch ballroom dancing; furthermore, I'm not really interested in the B- and C-list stars used on the shows. Why would putting the two together make a difference?
What other things that I don't like can be put together into sure-fire hits?
- Public television fund-raisers and soap operas?
- Television news-pundits and home decoration?

2) MTV?
Why does MTV prominently feature a car repair show? (Pimp my ride). Okay, it long ago gave up music videos, I know, but this isn't even close to things that are close to music. What's next? Cooking shows? Organic farming?

3) Common themes.
In flicking through the channels, I noticed several themes in what makes a good TV show today.
A) Fixing something, e.g., somebody's face or their house.
B) Helping someone, e.g., some show gave surprise cars to people.
C) Models, e.g., some game show with Howie Mandel has dozens of female models standing in stadium-style seating.
So, here's an ideal show... Victoria's Secret models supervise complete life makeovers for needy people--style, financial management, home remodeling, etc.... "Honey, Giselle is here to get us out of debt, so we can afford the medications that Johnny needs."

4) TV as a habit.
The first month or so I, and the family, only watched shows we had wanted to see. By the end, we would just plop down on the couch and start surfing, in hopes of finding something.

5) Peaceful
. The first day that we unplugged, several members of my family wondered around the house in a stupor. Now we don't even miss it, and the house feels much more peaceful--at least until December.


Jerry said...

I've had similar feelings when downgrading cable in the past--there's always a few days of adjustment. It's scary how close it is to detox. It reminds me of one of Richard Foster's guidelines for simplicity, to reject anything designed to produce an addiction. Does cable fit that?

We actually just added HBO to our basic cable package (network stations plus a few others), just to watch the last episodes of the Sopranos. Suddenly, I felt the reverse--I had to make time to watch it just to justify spending the money, even if I wanted to be doing something else more constructive.

Brad Wright said...

I don't know about addiction, but it sure chews up time.

Interesting about watching to justify. I think that I do the same with XM radio. We got it and now don't use it a lot, so I always try to listen to it, I think, to justify the $.

S.S.Stone said...

I lived in an environment where TV viewing was always controlled-When in 8th grade we were given a research project on our fav.TV show.I was in trouble since i didn't watch it-i was given an extension date so I could pick a program, watch several episodes -then do the project!
On "addiction"-smile, i think "blogging" can become one if one isn't disciplined.

Brad Wright said...

Yes, blogging could be an addiction (though sometimes it takes so much work... I want my addictions to come easier).

BTW, I love your website & the information on photography. Like many, I'm a hack hobbist with photography, so I have a lot to learn from your site.

kent said...

I like this idea of turning off the set. My children will howl, but that is not a problem. Yup, I like that idea.

Anonymous said...

actually, MTV is coming out with a new reality show about pool's called Pimp My Slide