Tv programming is a vicious cycle of delusions.

When I was growing up there was a total of three tv channels to choose from. We had a little black and white tv and that’s the one I saw the first man take the first step on the moon with.

Now that was a cool tv moment that stuck with me. My memory today is of my dad waking me up in the middle of the night and in a very excited voice, telling me again and again that I was going to see something I would never forget. I worked, I’ve never forgotten it.

A couple of decades later my favorite band wrote about “thirteen channels of shit on the tv to choose from” a phophecy that has lead to today where there are literally thousands of unbelievably crappy channels of tv available. And now with the power of the Internet that amount of total unadulterated useless crap being broadcast is growing at an exponential rate, thanks to the likes of YouTube, Hulu and their ilk.

The problem is, that it’s really expensive to make excellent broadcast quality material. And every channel needs to fill the spaces between the adverts with something to stop viewers channel hopping. So they do it in the cost cost efficient way they can.

So we end up with reality tv, game shows, opinion shows, chat shows and anything else where the cost of production can be limited to as few cameras and back end staff as possible with the maximum broadcast time, and the minimum number of retakes.

Even channels that used to broadcast the news,and now filled with opinion shows, where so called pundits interview a couple of so called experts on a topic of so called current interest.

And even these shows really just look at what’s on their competitors shows to see what to discuss. It’s got to the point now when opinion shows just discuss the opinions of other opinion shows. It’s to the point where bill o’reilly spends all his time critiquing Rachelle Maddows and she spends all her time critiquing him. It’s nuts, but cheap.

All they really care about is filling the spaces between paid ads. But of course now In the world of digital video recorders (DVR’s) many of us have the technology to entirely skip the ads. And the tv channels use an outmoded technology to measure viewer numbers that is both inaccurate (my guess is always much higher than reality) and ignores viewer ad skips.

So we’re in a world of bullshit, with media companies are desparate to fill their millions of channels with any kind of cheap programming to get viewers, just so that can convince advertisers to fill the minutes in between with paid for ads that we all skip. It’s a vicious cycle of delusions.

And as the quality of shows continues to decline, the need to delude gets even greater. Who would have thought that the word housewife could have be transposed with train wreck. But if you watch any of the housewives of new York or new jersey or atlanta etc, you would be left instantly with the idea that every housewife in the US is both incredibly rich and totally mad.

Add to that reality shows about everything from the po-lice in every tiny town, to people who run pawn shops to toothless swamp people. Then add in hugely long shows with thousands of people who have no idea how to sing (interspersed with the odd bit of talent) and time fillers about people who are totally bonkers and fill their houses with every piece of garbage and packaging that they ever consumed, and you are actually left with a situation where the ads are actually better viewing than the bits in between.

I’m thinking of designing a DVR that only records ads. What with the likes of GEICO and some of the excellent medical disclaimers, I think we have reached the place where the production quality and scripts of tv advertising is evidently better than the programming.

who can forget the drug that cures restless leg syndrome, but leaves you with a severe case of gambling and sex addiction…., awesome. (116)


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