Saturday, November 28, 2009

TV Commentary

Breaking News: It has dawned on me that we are about to suffer the end of the (TV) world as we know it. Not that that’s all bad. I’m not referring to bad shows that were doomed to fail from the get-go. Successful shows have a natural lifetime either in our individual minds or in the minds of the folks that schedule the networks. This has applied to all but news, sports, “Meet the Press” and perhaps, “Law and Order”.

If Oprah isn’t going to end, at least she will be changing her format it a few years. Personally, I (and I suspect most men) had had it fifteen minutes into the first showing. Too mushy. But she certainly has been an enormous success.

Another program that is quitting at what may be its peak is “Monk”. There certainly is a limit to how long you can make obsessive compulsive behavior seem funny.

The writers of “House” have struggled to maintain interest in a drug addict. However, as they have taken away the chief character’s dependence, his excuse for mean and nasty behavior has disappeared. He has become just plain nasty, mean and unlikeable. I’ve quit watching already.

“NCIS” worries me. They act like the original may disappear, replaced by “NCIS - LA”. The latter belongs in the category of “didn’t survive the first year”. I have been sort of hoping I would go off the air before the original.

News broadcasts have already shown new faces. The old time network news attempted to appear non-partisan. Now this approach is giving way to Fox News (O’Reilly), MSNBC (Olberman), and Comedy Central (Stewart and Colbert). Blatant partisanship has shown more opportunity for entertainment and higher rantings than “just the facts, M’am”.

The Wall Street Journal the other day had a wonderful column about the end of sportsmanship and how that is causing a slow death of TV sports. I regret that the newspaper went out in the trash with the kitty litter so I cannot cite the author, but he clearly made his point. Players have turned over all responsibility for fair play to officials. What we used to call dirty play or cheating is now OK if the perpetrator doesn’t get caught. Incidentally, I hope you saw the punter the other night. He executed a graceful somersault immediately after kicking the ball. I don’t think he was really trying to feign he’d been fouled, bur rather he was probably spoofing all the punters who routinely fake a knock down on every kick. The Ref ignored his act.

I doubt that “Meet the Press” will survive the grouch that replaced Tim Russert. He has lost me already.

I do expect that “Law and Order” will be commissioned to turn off the cameras when TV itself is finished.

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