Hari's Articles

My general articles repository and workshop

TV Shows that ought to die

Society | Last modified on: 09 Jul 2015 @ 17:45:27 | printer friendly


In this article, I will discuss some kinds of TV programming that ought to die. Of course, they won't, naturally. I doubt very much whether my views represent that of the Lowest Common Denominator and it is well established that TV caters to the masses, not the discerning.

While I am reasonably tolerant of most TV programming (which I avoid anyway) -- even the bad sitcoms -- there are some kinds of television shows where I draw the line and refuse to be kind. I would go so far as to say that such shows would make a good case for imposing mandatory quality control on all television. Too bad about the free speech activists!

Reality shows and competitions

I think somebody working in some major TV company suddenly decided that making quality programming was hard work. Hard, hard work, involving brain power, talent and considerable creativity; all of which cost money. I think some committee sat down and discussed this issue and came up with reality shows and competitions as the answer. I cannot think of anything that demands less creativity than making a bloody reality show and I can see why TV producers decided it was a good idea: because the brainless masses who lap it all up deserve nothing better.

I talk especially of those competitive-type shows where a bunch of mediocrities gather together and flaunt their "talents" before a dumb audience and a bunch of second-raters sitting on as "Judges". Whether about singing, dancing, or any other "talent" these shows plumb the depths. And indeed, I am not talking specifically about the talents or lack thereof of the actual participants. The whole set-up feels cheap and crass. The judges (comprising of mostly failures in their particular chosen profession, over-the-hill talents or jobless TV anchors) tend to be either sadistic critics, revelling in pulling down hapless competitors to pieces, or mindlessly flattering everybody involved in order not to hurt feelings. Add to all this the premeditated drama, egos, tears, laughs and theatrics whenever competitors are promoted to the next round or rejected, it makes anybody with some intelligence and sensitivity sick to the stomach. These unsubtle attempts to create "emotional bonding" with the viewers make it the cheapest and lowest form of sentimental drama that TV can produce -- I truly care not if those tears are real or faked.

It must be so easy to follow a set show format and produce thousands of hours of mind-numbing reality shows and competitions. Proof lies in the fact that even the most cheap-ass TV network has reality competition programming, if nothing else.

Soap Operas or Mega Serials

Wikipedia describes soap operas as follows:

A soap opera, sometimes called "soap" for short, is an ongoing, episodic work of dramatic fiction presented in serial format on radio or as television programming

This definition is very scholarly. Soap operas otherwise known as mega-serials in some parts of the world, are anything but. What they do is to plumb the depths of humanity in order to create something out of nothing.

When people talk about soap operas having a story or plot, one feels compelled to laugh at their faces. Nobody with the slightest bit of intelligence would ever describe a soap opera or mega serial as having anything even remotely resembling a plot or storyline. Forget that. Forget also the cheap sets and poor acting. Forget even the frequent advertisement breaks. Soap operas are the lowest form of television entertainment because they are made by people who know that it takes very little effort to entertain the masses of mindless TV addicts.

Soap operas are a direct insult to the lowest form of intelligence that can be found on this planet. The constant negativity and moral degeneration of characters whose main aim in life seems to be to weave intrigue around other people, hurting and harming them in the process, the refusal to portray anything remotely resembling real life in proper perspective, the mindless and sadistic violence (both of emotional and physical nature), the scheming, conniving women characters who have not a single trace of goodness in them; the pathetic husbands who cheat their wives or have two wives, the pathetic wives of those husbands who don't have a clue in spite of the facts being as obvious as an elephant stuffed in the refrigerator, the cruelty, the repetition of bland, cliched and mind-numbing dialogues, the vulgar and sometimes obscene language are all calculated to reduce the human intelligence by about 75 per cent, if not more. What's worse, these soap operas run on for years and years, becoming staler and even more indigestible, but nevertheless finding favour among a peculiar class of TV viewers.

Why soap operas/mega serials exist can be answered only by the sordid reality that there are people who watch and consume them on a daily basis, a majority of them being people of considerable intelligence. The only excuse that they have is that soap dramas are a form of harmless entertainment. I take objection to both those terms. These dramas are neither harmless nor entertainment. The combined negativity of soap operas or mega serials can be seriously depressing at the very least. At the worst, impressionable minds could be seriously corrupted by the constant stream of moral depravity depicted in these dramas. Watching an ultra-violent, gory action movie might actually be more wholesome. Entertainment? Well, I have nothing to say to anybody who could classify soap operas as entertainment.

24x7 news crap

Why does 24x7 news exist? Who thought it was a great idea to invent this abomination? That person deserves something more wholesome than bastinado.

24x7 news today is characterized by cheap self-promotions, rubbish "revelations", "breaking news" about non-events, exclusives that the whole world knew about weeks ago, gross exaggerations, reporters with verbal diarrhoea, debates that degenerate into shouting matches, egoistic, arrogant anchors who don't let their guests speak one whole sentence (let alone express their views coherently), an overdose of politics and entertainment to the exclusion of all other news, an almost pathological obssession with negativity and a focus only on commercial gain, not society.