Enhanced TV

Via Boing Boing comes an article about the American Film Institute’s eTV workshop . I really liked this quote (from a guy who does one of the few reality show I will watch):

“Audiences are lazy and TV still caters to the lowest common denominator,” quipped Fifth Wheel and Blind Date Co-Executive Producer Harley Tat. “We’re operating from a heady place where we’re thinking about the future, but plenty of viewers don’t have PCs and haven’t upgraded their cell phones in years. If the information isn’t right in front of them while they’re microwaving mac and cheese, it’s not going to happen. ETV has to be so simple that they can do it half-baked and horizontal on the couch.”

The rise of reality TV pretty much marks the decline of my interest in most TV. I no longer watch Survivor (I watched 1.5 seasons and that was too much), Real World, or other ones I used to watch. I hate all the wedding game show bullshit ones (Alaskan Mail Order Brides, Bachelor/ette, Joe Millionaire, Mr. Personality, Meet My Parents, Cupid, ad nauseum). Where the fuck are the family values squad over all this? I find marriage far too important and real to be cheapened by becoming the prizes in silly game shows. The most heinous of all these are the ones ala Joe Millionaire where the basic absurdity is compounded by extra fun deception. It’s grotesque. I can think of nothing more boring that watching The Restaurant. I’m too busy watching my own business go down in flames to care about this boner.

I have seen interesting and challenging TV lately. Most of it has been on pay channels (The Sopranos, Queer as Folk, Oz) or buried in the high numbers on the cable system (such as the original documentary on the Game Show Network about the guy who beat the system on “Press Your Luck”.) By and large, though, if the networks are happy to cut their production costs by airing this reality show drek, let them. I’m perfectly prepared to cut my costs by not watching any of it.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.

One thought on “Enhanced TV”

  1. Are the people like Bill Frist, who are so opposed to same-sex civil unions as “cheapening the institutions of marriage” on record against these game shows where the first price is to get married? If not, they sure as hell ought to be. I see the latter as cheapening marriage greately, whereas gay people committing their lives to one another seems to only strengthen it from my perspective.

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