Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The problem with cable TV

Okay, I think I'm going to go into full Andy Rooney mode here, I can feel it. But, for those of you with cable or satellite TV, do you think we've reached to point where there are just too many channels to fill up with programming? Don't get me wrong, a lot of the cable channels are putting out some great programing. Hell, some are putting out shows better than the traditional networks, but I'm not talking about those channels. Though, I wonder how AMC can put on a show like Mad Men and follow it up with a movie like Mannequin. (I don't know if they really ever did it, but their idea of classics is starting to slip into the bowels of bad 80's movies).

Let's put some example out there. We can start with the History Channel. Again, they put out some quality shows on, well, history. But, have you ever watched their shows UFO Hunters or Ancient Aliens? Yes, they are real shows. Now, I'm not going to say that the History Channel can only shows about some historical events, but UFOs? Now, I would cut them slack if they were following up on investigations from Project Bluebook or something like that, but that's not the show. these guys out to investigate sightings, which some are historic I guess, and try to see if it was really a UFO or something else. Here's the problem, if they can't find evidence that something is not a UFO they assume that only explanation is a UFO. Sure, the talk to experts sometimes, but they never take their suggestions, especially when they don't have a definitive answer. It's a really frustrating show.

The other show, Ancient Aliens, at least follows their whole History Channel name, but that's all it follows. Once again, all the "experts" (I'm using the quotes on purpose) are a basically believers that aliens came here thousands of years ago and either taught us everything or had some kind of breeding program that created us in a sense. It's ridiculous show. Every ancient text they find that mentions something in the sky is automatically an alien coming to visit. Don't ask me why I watch these shows, but it make me want to throw things at the TV.

Remember when you could turn on TLC and learn something? Well, something useful? Now a majority of the programming is about people who have had a tremendous amount of kids (or wives), those who don't know they are pregnant or those buried under garbage that is probably due to their kids. Though I will say the hoarders show can be interesting, but that was a take off on the other hoarders show on another channel.

Which leads me to another problem, they all copy each other's shows. How many shows are there about building some rad motorcycle? (Yes, I sad rad, what of it? It's 1:00am and I can't stop typing. Help.) Then you have Pawn Stars on History Channel (which I kind of like) which begat Hard Core Pawn on TruTV. Do we need more than one show on pawn shops? I know there is some cool stuff out there that people find in their basements, but shouldn't they be going to an auction anyway?

Which leads me to the show that starting me thinking about this. I was flipping through the channels the other day and stopped on TruTV. I don't know if I've ever watched this channel before, but do you know that Jesse Ventura has a show on TruTV? It's about conspiracy theories. Now, you would think, he's been a governor of a whole state before, this show must be him debunking conspiracy theories. Well, you would be wrong. Either this guy is a little nutty and totally into these things, or he's a much better actor than we all thought after watching Predator?

I watched most of the episode about the theory the the government pulled off 9/11. What did I learn, besides the obvious about Mr. Ventura? Well, according to him, this was pulled off by the government so they could pass the Patriot Act and go to war. Yes, they demolished 4 planes, several buildings and killed thousands of people to approve wire tapping and to go after a terrorist that they could have just gone after anyway? UGH! If you know anything about me, which you may not, I have very strong feelings about 9/11 and when some idiot throws crap out there like this, it drives me insane. Especially when this guy used to be a governor! I know being from Illinois I can't speak much about bad governors, but what they Hell were you people thinking in Minnesota?

Okay, I've rambled on enough. Like I said, there is a lot of good stuff to watch out there, but there is too much bad. If you have any good examples, let me know. I'm sure there are some bad shows out there I haven't seen.

As I said earlier, I'm on the midnight shift, so if something doesn't make sense I have a good excuse.


Cookie said...

Thank you!

I want to say that TruTV used to be CourtTV, I think.

I think the problem with television in general is that everything is dumbed down to the point that your average cocker spaniel can follow along. The TV powers that be don't seem to understand that some of us are smarter than that and want something better. Then again that Palin woman has her own show and getting huge numbers. So what do I know? :?

Carrie#K said...

AMC used to air classics, which in my opinion predates 1970 (which may have to do with my age). Not anymore.

Don't start me on the History Channel. It used to be all WWI &II all the time but those seem like halcyon days compared to Pawn Stars, Ice Road Truckers, Whacked out Ancient Aliens, etc, etc. etc.

And don't be silly. The government didn't crash four planes, trash several iconic buildings & kill thousands so that someday they could illegally wiretap people. (They probably do it anyway.) It's the Nudists plotting. Distorted naked pictures taken when we walk through airport security is only the beginning.....

(Yes, I'm kidding.)

Mike said...

Cookie: I think you are right about TruTV. And, yes, everything has been dumbed down. I guess stupid gets ratings.

Carrie: I can see why History Channel had to expand their programming since they would eventually run out of stories. Also, if they wanted to do a show about UFO studies that would be fine, just don't have it all from the crackpot angle. You know?

I like your idea on 9/11... :)