500 Channels…and not a thing to watch.

I’m sitting here, ’round midnite, and there’s not a thing interesting on television to watch. Part of that has to do with the doldrums between Christmas and New Years – all the good specials have been aired, and broadcasters are loathe to waste good programming, when a majority of the public is on vacation. Unfortunately for me, we’re stuck here. With nothing to watch.

It occurs to me that it’s pretty amazing – the odds on that. While I like to think I’m a fairly discriminating viewer, I’m not THAT hard to please…I like SciFi, thrillers, whodunits, Westerns, spy flicks, comedies – you name it. Still I don’t see a lot that interests me, other than a couple of flicks I’ve seen umpteen times, and don’t care to see again.

So the question is – Why? Why can’t we have better quality programming, now that we live in a world with so many choices?

When I was a kid, we had three channels – ABC, NBC, and CBS. There was a communal aspect to television…without VCRs or DVRs, you were forced to watch it when it aired. All my peer group watched the same shows, and if you didn’t, you were (at least the next day) a social misfit. Then came Betas and VHS, followed by recordable DVDs and DVRs.

Still, that fails to answer the question, why is so much of what’s on so bad. I’d love to say that it’s really the bell-shaped curve – that there’s the same proportion of great-to-dreck as with anything else. I’m not buying it. I’d describe about 80% of what’s on as “crapalicious” at best, an insult to my intelligence at worst.

My theory? It’s easier to condition people to accept junk, than to work harder to make things better.

If that sounds cynical, then so be it. Most of television is just so much effluvia. We deserve better. Especially after midnight.

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