Tag Archives: TV

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.

Dr. StrangeGun.

…Or How I Wish I Could Stop Analyzing and Enjoy the Movies.

When I was a kid, there were three things I loved – listening to live music, watching live theatre, and going to the movies. In short, entertainment needed to be live or larger than life to jazz me. As I grew up and became a professional musician, my love of live music was tempered by my knowledge. In other words, since I was no longer blissfully ignorant, a slightly out-of-tune french horn or drummer that rushed a little really bugged me – to the point where I could pay attention to nothing other than what to me were glaring errors. Kind of a bummer, really. Can’t tell you how many otherwise fine events have been spoiled for me that way. Continue reading Dr. StrangeGun.

The (Un)fairness Doctrine.

While I still believe McCain is gonna win this thing, if the Democrats should prove victorious, one of the first things I expect to see them do, come January, will be to attempt to mute the voice of conservatives on talk radio and television by way of a return to the “Fairness Doctrine.” I suspect they will try to expand it’s reach to include the online world – blogs in particular, likely by allowing lawsuits against bloggers for saying anything that cannot be legally verified in court.

Now before you get your knickers in a twist, consider this. While I believe the Fairness Doctrine to have been ironically named, completely UNfair, and a stupid waste of the government’s time, the truth is, the Return of the Fairness Doctrine (coming soon to a House of Representatives near YOU!) could completely blow up in their faces. Here’s why: Liberals OWN the mainstream media. Even the mainstream press has acknowledged that MSNBC is in the tank for Obama. We have enough judges on the Supreme Court to make some very interesting rulings. What would happen if the Fairness Doctrine came before the highest court in the land? I could see a ruling whereby they say, “Fine. You want the fairness doctrine? You have to make it REALLY fair this time around. That means, we include all the media – Hollywood, TV, the nightly news, et cetera. No hiding behind the ridiculous claim of news versus opinion…everything gets counted.”

What a bombshell THAT would be. Continue reading The (Un)fairness Doctrine.

EUReKa!…I think they’re on to something.

I love creative things. In particular, I’ve always loved science fiction (which gives writers a way to violate reality to serve their story ideas) and humor (which requires both creativity and intelligence to do really well). So when the SciFi channel launched EUReKA, a show that combines sicence fiction with humor, I quickly became a fan. Then they did something that, at the time at least, was creative in a marketing sense. They created a website that was a “we’re going to pretend as if all this is real” kind of thing, that somehow made the show that much beter. It was cool. The show was cool. And they were doing some pioneering work in how to use the web to market a show.

Season Two just started, and they have pulled off yet again another innovative idea in marketing – they’ve blurred the lines between product placement and conventional advertising, and in the process have forged something new, different, and in many ways, pretty scary. Continue reading EUReKa!…I think they’re on to something.