Feb 1, 2009

That Was Some Game

Too bad the No Fun League won't let me tell you about it without their expressed written permission.

First of all, to my remaining readers, thank you for your patience. Ever since early September, I have been without a computer. It's moments like this that you know who your true friends are and aren't. My aunt bought me a brand new machine for Christmas, and I'm truly grateful. I've had one more significant loss during that time (my grandfather passed away in November), but life goes on, as it always does. It's a new year, and hopefully, we can have fun like the old days.

Shame I'm going to have to dedicate my first article of 2009 at Thoughtnami talking smack about television.

Television is not a privilege. It's a right. Every household should have at least one television set, especially if they don't have readily access to broadband internet, which is a vast amount of people despite what cable executives tell you. The rush to digital television next month should be an excuse to make over-the-air better, not worse. But as any reader of Thoughtnami and The X Bridge know, television executives aren't known for intelligence these days.

To paraphrase Bob Kane, or was it really Bill Finger, television execs are a vicious, cowardly lot. They're cowardly because they're afraid to try anything new, different, and original. That's why so many shows are the same. The moment something different comes up, it scares them. The more, um, "out there" and unfamiliar something is, the more likely it scares the average television executive. That's why Dark Angel and Pushing Daisies had two seasons, John Doe, Firefly, and Space: Above and Beyond lasted only one season. Yes, Heroes and Lost are exceptions to the rule, but considering Heroes is like an Americanized version of The Tomorrow People and Lost came to ABC just as that network was having a renaissance season not unlike how The X Files succeeded in its inaugural season on FOX, those shows don't really scare the executives.

There's a reason there are many cop shows, hospital shows, and forensic shows. There's also a reason there are "adult" cartoons with idiotic/arrogant males in the paternal roles and smart-mouthed brats too grown for their own good. There's a reason why there are so many relationship programs, "unscripted" fare featuring vapid, pretentious, rich people that feel they're above the rest of us, and competitive "reality" shows that bring out and celebrate the worst in humanity. There's a reason executives are more apt to copy a popular formula or even remake a show than create something truly original.

They're cowards. There hasn't been a truly original series on broadcast television in a long, long time. Sure, there are a few new titles that are of quality, but they're either spinoffs of other shows, retreads of older shows, or created in the spirit of an older, familiar series with just enough quirks to make it quasi-original. Seriously, why in the blue hell is The CW remaking Melrose Place and ABC remaking V? Also, why is NBC making a second version of Parenthood? The first television version failed, so what makes them think a second one will do better? Hasn't Knight Rider taught them anything?

I could go on, but I'm still sipping on ginger ale. Damn stomach bug. Be back later.

1 comment:

E.A. said...

Nope, Jeff. NBC has learned diddly (or maybe less than diddly) from Knight Rider.

Yep, and we'll probably be seeing a remake of SeaQuest sometime down the line, as well.