Nothing gets me more depressed than watching an excessive amount of television. There is something undeniably soporific about the process but it can easily lead to you watching things that you’ve seen before or things you have absolutely no interest in just for the sake of slumping in front of it for a little longer.
I very rarely come away from a television show, no matter how good it is, with a fired up sense of enthusiasm. Even a short five minute webisode can instead just leave me wanting to watch more moving images, but no matter how much I get dragged down by television that is actually of a high quality, it’s nothing compared with the way I get dragged down by something that’s trashier and as I often think, if this is happening to me, it must be happening to other people as well.
I can’t help but feel we are being fed poor ideals by the box of flashing lights that sits in our living room. Cheap to make easy to digest competition shows, such as the box opening non-game No Deal or No Deal, the Weakest Link or Who Wants To Be a Millionaire have all set the tone for what should be desired and sought after and that is money. I remember watching game shows when I was little where the prizes were somewhat a bonus as opposed to the goal, with any monetary incentives being incredibly small and the prizes taking the form of washing machines and fridges presented on slowly rotating platforms. It was the actual taking part, being on television and playing a game that was what was important. I suppose when Countdown starts offering money to its winners, then we know we’re doomed.
The other form of cheaply made easily digested yet simultaneously nauseating show is the reality contest. Thankfully survival shows like Big Brother seem to be on their way out and really in later years I got the sense that Big Brother was abusing the mentally ill rather than providing solid entertainment, but they have been replaced with the trend for talent shows. There’s the excruciatingly drawn out X Factor, or Britain’s Got Talent (And Must Be Stopped) or the inexplicably popular Strictly Come Dancing, the show with a title which has never quite made much sense to me.
Read the rest of this entry »