57 channels and nothing on

Posted: April 28, 2012 in This is the Voice of Lefty Reason

57 channels and nothing on

The Magic Lantern, the Goggle Box, the Friend in the Corner; Television.  Perhaps mans greatest “toy” of the twentieth century?  The TV sits in almost every living room or hangs on every wall in the UK.  A beacon of entertainment for those too tired to talk, play or socialise.  It is capable of soothing us, amusing us and even enraging us; a constant companion.  There used to be three channels, then four, then daytime, now we have HD, 3D, interactive, cable and satellite.  The machines are thinly functional, almost like pieces of art before you turn them on.  Problem is, the thinness of the TV seems to have been matched by the paucity of output.  Flick through all six zillion channels and the same stuff appears again and again; cop shows, reality shows, reality-cop shows, property porn, porn porn, cookery, sport, comedy and re-run soaps.  The ubiquitous, every ten minute adverts for sofas and low cost loans. Appeal to the masses; lowest common denominator telly for the brain weary.  TV was once an event, genuine “water cooler” moments that would be discussed, acted out and remembered.  The rise of “choice” and “variety” has resulted in the dumbing down of TV.  Am I being a tad harsh? Possibly, but it is interesting that the programmes that earn the greatest plaudits now come from overseas; the American and Nordic “serious” dramas like the The Killing, The Wire et al perhaps offer a new vision.  Maybe, just maybe, viewers still crave well-made, serious telly rather than a quick fix?

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