Sunday, September 27, 2015

Lazy Sunday # 395: Sick of Television

There used to be this silver lining to getting a cold. Not only did you get to snuggle under covers for a day with a nice cup of tea or bowl of chicken soup. But you could turn on the tube and bask in the glow of whatever was on.

I can’t remember the last time I actually sat down to watch a block of network programming let alone what was broadcast in the morning or afternoon.

TV for me has become streamed movies, live sports and content without commercials. And I’m not alone.

The 2015-2016 Primetime season is barely a week old and already in trouble with some shows down as much as 17% from last season, while few new ones have made an impact.

But I decided to struggle through the day and see if there was anything I was missing.

And I wasn’t.

Same old beleaguered doctors, detectives with special powers, comic book heroes and comically mismatched roommates.

Reality shows that are clones of other reality shows with few if any redeeming values. Talent competitions mostly populated by people who aren’t.

It didn’t take me long to realize that the good moments of almost everything had already been clipped and uploaded to Youtube, where I could get the same content with a far smaller investment of time and no intrusion by  commercials repeated ad nauseum (which is I assume where that phrase comes from).

By the time I got to the CBC trying to pass off a listless Montreal-Toronto pre-season tilt as “another chapter in the league’s most storied rivalry”, I realized there was a reason the network is selling off most of its real estate…

Television might not be over, but we’ve definitely reached the twilight of the brick and mortar version.

When any idiot can deliver a cooking, travel, real estate or talent show without ever entering a studio or edit suite, just what are those buildings really for?

And when the quality of a web series shot in somebody’s garage generates as much cultural impact as most of the broadcast schedule, who needs to house an army of gate-keepers and development execs?

Moreover, I realized that the formats of networks have become a parody of themselves. When you can’t tell the difference between a clip from the Onion and one from a flagship morning show, it really is time for the industry to move on.

Enjoy Your Sunday.

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