Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Decline of Quality TV....

It was another dreary day today. It rained a little but mostly it just threatened to pour without actually doing more than spitting at times.

It wasn't as bad in the office though. My coworker was out which means there was a little less interruption than normal. While I don't mind a chat, we tend to use Instant Messaging in our office to communicate without disrupting others. My coworker gets rather bored and likes to IM me to tell me she's bored. Yesterday, she spent 30 minutes discussing a haircut. She has short hair. It's not a very interesting subject, particualarly when you're trying to work on a project that requires toggling between two windows and when an IM window pops up, it ruins the toggling.

Still, today wasn't bad which is always a good thing at work. Tuesdays are nice merely because they're not Mondays. Besides, they're good TV nights. Well, for now, at least. My very favourite show, Lost is coming to a final end this coming Sunday. Even though I admit that my relationship with the show hit a rocky patch in Season 3, once I gave it another chance, I became completely addicted. Just don't ever try to watch the show without watching every single episode because it will never, ever make sense. Well, actually, to be honest, even if you watch every episode, it doesn't really make sense but I'm hoping it will. If not, well, it's been fun anyway.

Lost isn't the only show ending for good. Jack Bauer and 24 are ending next Monday for good. It's high time in Jack's case. Last night, he did a very good Iron Man impersonation which would was quite funny except he wasn't supposed to be funny. It was quite entertaining though. Our Jack has gone rogue (yet again) and he's out for blood. He's also reached the stage where he is now officially a superhero, moving at the speed of light, delivering death like an out-of-breath avenging stubbled-beaten and worn angel Also, he's never, ever stopped to go to the toilet and, well, if that doesn't make you a superhero, I don't know what does.

Both of those shows are due for their end. However, there are others that aren't returning next season which I'm sad about. I am one of the people who anticipated FlashForward because I was hoping it was the next Lost. Well, it isn't but, for the most part, it's been interesting and entertaining. I was hoping it would get renewed so it would find its footing completely. If they'd just have lost that whole government-conspiracy-that-caused-an-ordinary-ex-alcoholic-to-sneak-into-Afghanistan-and-rescue-his-kidnapped-soldier-daughter, it would have been WAY better. Still, I'm sad it's over. Also, I've been increasingly fascinated to watch it and see how many more European actors they can add. Seriously, many of the actors on there are English and every week, there's a new one. It's quite fascinating. The male lead, Joseph Fiennes, is a Brit. His wife on the show, a former Lost actress is also British. Her lover on the show, played by Jack Davenport...also British. His science partner is played by Dominic Monaghan who is Scottish. The ex-alcoholic rescuer man...Irish. The new villain...British. You get the idea. It's quite entertaining, actually.

I was sad that they cancelled that show and renewed V instead. I tried to want to watch V but, well, after the pilot, I accumulated a ton of episodes on my DVR and never wanted to watch it so I just realized that there was no point in keeping them. It just couldn't keep my interest.

It seems like networks are giving new shows far less chance to succeed. My parents are fans of both Mercy and Miami Medical, both medical dramas that were new this TV season. I've watched both and they're both entertaining but, apparently, they didn't have enough of an audience to keep them going and they're both cancelled.

It's sad. There's more and more reality TV popping up and less and less quality 'fictional' series. I know it's to do with budget. It's far cheaper to follow an annoying quasi-celebrity around and watch him/her make an idiot out of his/herself than it is to get good writers, good actors and a good crew together to make a real TV show. It seems as though the guilty pleasure shows have become the norm and real TV is fading away. I still watch Glee but I worry about that show a little. It was fun and original when it started but now it's a powerhouse hit and it's spinning off more CD's than American Idol. I used to like American Idol but it's become a formulaic little show these days. There are stereotypes that are filled every season: The rocker, the country-singer, the folksy-earthy one, the girl who can sing rock songs but still surprise with a ballad, the nerdy little boy with a big voice....it's just boring these days and without the insanity of the questionably-drunk Paula Abdul, it's lost its sense of humour. I've flipped it on before another show starts and it's just nothing but filler or the kids talking about how the song they're singing is important to them because, you know, it's, like, well, they can just feel the song inside them.

I'm rambling. My point is...what's going to happen to TV? Sure, the good stuff is still on cable. There's still True Blood and Dexter to look forward to this summer. But the regular old quality TV, the type you don't need a satellite dish to access is fading slowly away from the networks and being replaced by dancing, singing, boss-trying-to-be-one-of-the-people, wife-swapping, bachelor(ette)-seeking-love type of shows.

I know in the grand scheme of things, TV isn't exactly a necessary thing in life. Yet, for me, it does enhance my life by providing a little escapism. After a bad day at work, there's nothing more therapeutic than watching Jack Bauer eviscerate a Russian terrorist. There's nothing more fun than trying to figure out what exactly Lost is really about. In short, it's just a fun way to relax and if I didn't have it, I'd miss it.

Still, for tonight, at least, I shall kick back and enjoy the last regularly scheduled episode of Lost...ever. The thought makes me sad but there's nothing I can do about it.

Maybe something will come along next season that will get me just as hooked. There's always hope.

As always, thanks for reading. Happy Wednesday!


Sarah said...

I agree with you 100% - I think of other quality shows that have gotten canceled ("Veronica Mars", "Firefly") and marvel with disgust at the crap that replaces them. Too bad about "Flash Forward," though...I enjoy that show, too!

Fe said...

I, too, agree that the quality of TV is at a decline with Lost and 24 going away.

There are still some decent shows out there tho. I enjoy Chuck and Castle... I hope those don't get canceled. Oh, and The Marriage Ref is pretty hilarious. :) I hear Modern Family is really good too, just haven't seen it yet.