I’ve had it with network television. Season after season we’ve become involved in new series only to have them cancelled. Jericho, Invasion, Surface immediately come to mind. These shows are plot based, that is, they tell a story, and in each case the story was cut short, leaving viewers like me wondering how the story ended.
Thanks to our DVR, Mr Desert and I record a number of different programs. Most play in the background while I’m grading papers or writing assignments, but some really interest me. This season I particularly liked The Event, The Chicago Code, and V. Of course, each of these shows has been cancelled. I also liked Detroit 1-8-7 and Brothers & Sisters, and these have been cancelled as well. It seems that plot-driven, interesting, and slowly unfolding programs don’t have a chance in the dumb-downed, reality TV driven market. Shows like American Idol, Celebrity Apprentice, Dancing with the Stars, and the latest down and out celebrity rehab program continue to draw viewers, so network television stations continue to air them or their clones.
So Mr. Desert and I have made a pact; when the Fall 2011 television begins on network television, we won’t be tuning into anything new. Sorry ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX, but we’ve had it. You dangle interesting programs in front of us, get us hooked and then cancel the program, leaving us hanging and wanting more. Of course, we’re thankful Fringe was renewed, and we’ll continue to watch it and a few other programs we’ve watched for a while now: House, NCIS, Criminal Minds. But as far as new programs go, we’ll be tuning into USA, TNT, A&E, and AMC because they not only air interesting programs, but they also give those programs a chance to gain a following.
The problem with all of this, however, is that 6 major corporations–General Electric, Time Warner, The Walt Disney Company, CBS, Viacom, and News Corporation–control the American media, so no matter what we watch or what channel we turn to, a handful of large companies control what what we see, hear, and read every day. But that will have to be the focus of another post.