Mar 9, 2007

Rated T/S for Television Sucks

Yeah, I'm posting articles around here at Thoughtnami, a break of sorts from what I'm doing at The X Bridge. Toonami turns 10 next Saturday, but I needed to take a breather on that. Plus, I hate Cartoon Network, which kind of puts a crimp in my love for the block. Talk about moral dilemma. Anyway, I looked around here and decided to finish up an article I made but never published. New articles coming here and the flipside of The X Bridge, BXT, in the weeks to come, so, enjoy this little nugget for now:

I watched a rerun of Beakman's World the other morning. I was surprised that Sony brought it back to television, but it was a pleasant surprise. Beakman is one of those cool educational shows from back in the day that didn't insult the viewer's intelligence, up there with Mr. Wizard, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and The Electric Company. But I digress. Aside from the fact that the show is apparently, yet foolishly rated TV-PG (oh, in case you never read TXB, TV-PG is nothing more than TV-Y7 for non-kids programming . . . it just SEEMS edgier compared to others), I couldn't help but notice the glaring E/I banner in the upper right corner throughout the episode.

During the entire episode, the stupid E/I banner, which stands for Educational/Information programming, remained, all static, all humungous. It's bad enough that they have to explain what the E/I banner is for EVERY TIME before the show begins, but to have it throughout the episode is just pointless clutter for the screen. In an era when every angle is bombarded with images that have nothing to do with the television show, it seems that the E/I banner is just one more distraction.

Then I wondered something. Why stop there? Programming for kids are always the first to try out new ratings. Heck, the first show in this country to be "rated" was Goosebumps, which had their own GB-7 rating before every episode. Meanwhile, shows aimed towards older audiences are left alone.

But let's imagine if the television industry treated adult fare in a similar fashion, putting pointless ratings in the corner. What would they be?

Let's take a look:

R/N: Reality/Non-scripted programming. Usually shows that are cheap to produce and drawing in easily-manipulated viewers with catchphrases, cruel folks, public humiliation, and pretty people to vote for. See American Idol, Survivor, Deal or No Deal, or any non-music program on a Viacom-owned music network (which is 9/10 of the shows).

C/M: Crime/Medicine programming. If a show has a focus on police coroners and has "Crime," "Scene," "Investigation," or any combination of the initials, this label will be placed here. In short, a CBS-exclusive rating.

M/S: Mindscrew programming. Those ensemble shows with multiple flashbacks, multiple twists and turns, and events that could potentially make your head explode if you watch too much of it. Like Lost, Jericho, Heroes, or similar programming.

S/S: Suburban/Situation programming. Shows that place in a suburban, homogenized environment with very little contact with a diverse world like ours. Again, a CBS-exclusive, only on Monday nights.

U/S: Urban/Situation programming. The reverse of the S/S rating. A CW-exclusive rating only on Monday nights.

O/A: Overrated Athletics. Any sports programming that isn't Pardon The Interruption. Damn, I love that show.

Needless to say, television's stupid. Adults are just as stupid as kids in this country when it comes to television. However, kids do realize that there's always something else on television and not easily fooled.