Green Room

Just a reminder: TV is as creatively bankrupt as the film industry, if not more so

posted at 12:36 pm on February 20, 2013 by

What’s worse: A hundred variations on the same superhero movie or a hundred variations on shows about shut-ins who can’t be convinced to throw away garbage they’ve been piling up since 1965?

Once, at a family gathering, I was informed by two relatives that I should check out “the show about people bidding on storage lockers.” So I did. Later I found out the three of us had been watching three different shows.

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I like the hoarder shows. They motivate my wife to throw stuff out.

kh6zv9 on February 20, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Wow. I haven’t really watched TV since 1997, except for Seinfeld on a local channel, and nothing at all in the last 4 years so I hadn’t realized it was this bad now.

Dusty on February 20, 2013 at 12:51 PM

That Guns of Guns show looks good.

rbj on February 20, 2013 at 12:53 PM

I have to admit i actually like Pawn Stars.

clearbluesky on February 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

These shows, and “reality” in general, have ruined TV. There are a few gems (Modern Family, Breaking Bad), but otherwise it’s garbage. I have no interest in watching people try to sing, dance, or dive, nor do I care about what people hoard, or how ‘little people’ do in their everyday lives.

changer1701 on February 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Broadway’s just as bad. Everything is either a stage version of a movie, or a spin off of a movie.

CurtZHP on February 20, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Once, at a family gathering, I was informed by two relatives that I should check out “the show about people bidding on storage lockers

Heh. I happen to really enjoy the original Storage Wars based in California (Barry Weiss is one funny dude). It’s entertaining watching them dig out all sorts of goodies from their lockers, if any, and having the experts they take items to give up a little history on the ‘treasure’ and what a collector might pay. Now A&E network has Storage Wars: Texas and Storage Wars: New York piggybacking off the original’s mega success. No, thank you.

RepubChica on February 20, 2013 at 12:58 PM

I like Storage Wars. It is alot better than “Funny or Die” which has never been funny but still lives on for some reason.

echosyst on February 20, 2013 at 12:59 PM

I’ll admit, I miss the Stargate series’s. Futurama and Walking Dead are good. Yeah, I’m a nerd.

LaughterJones on February 20, 2013 at 1:02 PM

I like the hoarder shows. They motivate my wife to throw stuff out.

kh6zv9 on February 20, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Haha, I watched a couple to make myself throw stuff out too.

El_Terrible on February 20, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Pawn Stars and Shipping Wars are okay to watch (mostly because my dad gets to be king of the remote when he’s here and he watches that crap)

Of course I’d rather watch Game of Thrones, Castle, The Mentalist, The FOllowing…basically something that is actually creative.

NerwenAldarion on February 20, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Just a reminder: TV is as creatively bankrupt as the film industry, if not more so

I would not put this down to creativity but economics. These things are either much cheaper to make or are guaranteed a return if they choose to go big. This is like saying there is no creativity in food preparation because most places make hamburgers. If the entertainment market was as free as the restaurant business you would have more creativity. It isn’t. You want creativity? Reform the copyright laws. It’s hard to innovate when everything that is part of our culture for the last 90 years is protected by law.

Rocks on February 20, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Think about it. How can truly unique plots and sophisticated writing be expected to fill what, six hours a night on three major networks? Throw in a myriad of cable channels and the task is impossible.

Net result, we are buried in a blizzard of low life trash.

Can I have an ‘amen’?

FOWG1 on February 20, 2013 at 1:14 PM

The worse I ever saw was one episode of a brit show called Embarrassingly Fat Bodies. Oh, man! it wasn’t that the people were fat, it was the doctors doing these exams and the camera right up in there. I’m talking gyno shots and p*n*s shots of 500 lb people. Then they had photographs of the poop of fat people and analysed it. It was just so gross that what ever points they were trying to make were lost.

Blake on February 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Hillbilly hand fishing!!!!

How can you NOT watch that!?! Complete with subtitles.

This stuff is cheap and they’re never going to be held hostage by a writer’s strike again.

jdpaz on February 20, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Hollywood writers really shot themselves in the foot when they went on strike a few years back. Still, high quality scripted shows are better than movies.

Blake on February 20, 2013 at 1:20 PM

I like to see skilled people in their jobs, like the aquarium builders, Face Off, and stuff like that.

I LOVE Finding Bigfoot so there’s that.

CrimsonFisted on February 20, 2013 at 2:04 PM

What? Heresy! Two and a half men is the smartest, most sharply-written show since… uummmm….. shut up!

/watches Castle and Bones, the wife watches Glee and everything else we watch on Netflix or Hulu. Having torn through BSG and Doctor Who, we’ve moved on to The Shield. Anyone see the common thread? Great actors, engaging serial story arcs… and NOT on broadcast TV even when they were originally aired.

The Schaef on February 20, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Anyone see the common thread? Great actors, engaging serial story arcs… and NOT on broadcast TV even when they were originally aired.
The Schaef on February 20, 2013 at 2:08 PM

I would add to that the HBO series “Deadwood” and “Rome” and “The Wire”. All were awesome and I was crushed when they were cancelled although “The Wire” had, admittedly, run its course.

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 2:32 PM

The Following has been pretty good so far, it is original. But the plot makes me wonder if there is planned obsolescence baked in, because it can only go so far before it will become totally over the top.

Big Bang Theory does make me chuckle, even though I am certainly not in the target demographic.

tru2tx on February 20, 2013 at 2:51 PM

I like Castle, and was enjoying Longmire. (I have no idea if it picked up a second season, since I watch these things on Hulu (free) and such.) I have several sets of books that I would LOVE to see turned into mini-series or series – but noone seems interested in that sort of stuff unless it’s on HBO or Showtime, anymore. And they aren’t interested unless it involves gore or sex or drugs.

(Oh, and ScyFy hasn’t produced any actual science fiction – much less any good science fiction – in a looong time.)

GWB on February 20, 2013 at 2:54 PM

And then on the other side of the scale there’s Justified.

rokemronnie on February 20, 2013 at 3:06 PM

I still find some B’cast TV enjoyable. The crime stuff on CBS is easy to watch. I like the NCIS franchise because it’s from Bellisario and so is patriotic and very good at character growth and development. As a NYer I enjoy Blue Bloods for the locale and the fact that as unrealistic as some of the plots are, the NYPD routines and lingo are spot on. We’ve also discovered Encore Western. The old Gunsmokes, Rawhides, et.al. were wonderfully written and far more sophisticated in plot and theme than most shows today. We do watch Pawn Stars because it’s ALWAYS on but if I watch only one reality it will be Deadliest Catch. One horrid new show is this Fox thing, The Following. It’s plot and character’s actions are preposterous and it seems only to be a vehicle for showing horribly vile murders.

xkaydet65 on February 20, 2013 at 3:16 PM

I have to admit i actually like Pawn Stars.

clearbluesky on February 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Chumbama for president!

NoFanofLibs on February 20, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Big bang Theory is the only network show I watch anymore. I’d probably watch a few things on cable, but Dad’s got a deathgrip on the remote for hours of Fox News Channel every freaking night.

I mostly just play around on the computer putting up auctions and online sales. When it gets warm I’ll spend more evenings working in the shop.

TV is basically dead to me.

trigon on February 20, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Imitation is the sincerest form of television.
Fred Allen (1894-1956)

bandarlog on February 20, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Anybody else watch that hour long primetime drama with the detective and cops? It’s great, though I always find it a bit weird how they have the female lead discover the secrets more than him despite all of his experience. They’re a quirky team, even if their romance may or may not have worked.

Also like that hour long primetime drama about doctors that take risks and the sitcom about a bunch of friends that work together/hang out/pair up and screw in varying combinations.

Gingotts on February 20, 2013 at 3:31 PM

There’s an abundance of garbage because there are so many channels to fill—sort of like there is an upper limit to the number of quality pitchers in Major League Baseball. But there are more than enough terrific TV programs to fill every normal waking hour available to you if you’re employed. Tom Selleck’s Blue Bloods, the cop drama, is a solid procedural and portrays a family brought up as church-going Catholics in a very positive light (Selleck’s character, like some of the others, is still strong in the faith and interacts with the Church and priests etc on a regular, comfortable basis). Castle is a fun and witty drama whose lead male character Nathan Fillion (Mal, the Firefly captain) is shown to be a loving Dad and son. Glee is very lefty even by Hollywood standards, and I stopped watching out of sheer boredom after it became a nonstop gayfest, but it had some outstanding moments and portrays one character in a wheelchair and another with Down’s Syndrome in a non-token, non-condescending way (the Down’s kid is for reals). Revolution is an interesting idea that pulls it off sometimes. Fringe was close to Lost territory, but made sense in the end, unlike… Lost. Psych, on a cable channel, is usually upbeat positive fun. Modern Family on ABC will rub some people the wrong way with its unapologetic positive portrayal of gay family life, but it’s a riot, well-written and with a top-notch cast. There’s more. Week to week, your chances of seeing quality video entertainment is much better on TV than the movies these days. You just have to make good choices.

Chriscom on February 20, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Big Bang Theory is the only network show I watch anymore.

BBT is a show that I dislike but somehow watch more than I like to admit. The constant repetition of “coitus” is sickening. But there’s no doubt Jim Parsons created a unique character in Sheldon. It was interesting to watch the pilot the other night and to see a more normal and less way-out Sheldon.

I’ve been marveling at Downton Abbey and its popularity (no spoilers please — I’m on Season Three, Episode 4). It most certainly is a soap opera, and it’s in no way the achievement that Brideshead Revisited was. Still, it’s certainly compelling, and I find myself thinking about the characters (I know — get a life).

The only other shows to recommend, besides the classics of Mary Tyler Moore, etc., are the first few years of Scrubs and Anthony Bourdain.

bobs1196 on February 20, 2013 at 3:55 PM

It’s all part of the plan to continue to “dumb-down” the population and shift attention from important stuff. It’s working. I expect that Chumlee will be on TV in the 2014 election cycle telling people who to vote for.

teejk on February 20, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Two words:

Canadian television.

“Lost Girl” is my all time favorite television series. (The Showcase version, I suspect Scifi edits out some of the more risque stuff.)

Sexy, funny, smart. Great actors, great characters, great music, great fashion, great stories.

“Kenzi with a chain saw.”

“Kenzi beats the pig people with a magic stick.”

Hillarious.

MichaelGabriel on February 20, 2013 at 4:09 PM

I enjoyed Fringe, but now it’s gone. That’s actually a good thing in a way–the only way to stay away from the shark is to tie a bow on things before you peak, or soon after.

TexasDan on February 20, 2013 at 4:26 PM

I usually enjoy NCIS (and the Los Angeles one as well), CSI:NY (Gary Senise is great and a real stand-up guy with what he does for the troops), The Mentalist, Supernatural (I can’t help it, the humor is great, even though I have severe theological complaints against the show.), and most of the HGTV shows.

I miss 24 and Jericho. Oh, and a good Star Trek series (like Next Generation).

Othniel on February 20, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Anddd… Hollywood remakes TV Shows! (And these are Remakes of American TV shows, I’m not including remakes of British TV shows)

1) The Munsters
2) Hawaii Five-O
3) Partners
4) Bionic Woman
5) Charlie’s Angels
6) Battlestar Galactica
7) Dallas
8) Nikita
9) V
10) 90210
11) Melrose Place
12) Dragnet
13) Knight Rider

And that doesn’t include the Movie Launches of old TV Shows.

Nethicus on February 20, 2013 at 4:44 PM

tru2tx on February 20, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Yes to both. The Following is, unwittingly, Hollywood’s best argument for the death penalty.

NebCon on February 20, 2013 at 5:20 PM

I actually think TV has improved considerably over the last few years. Our DVR is always full of shows to watch. Here are a few that usually get taped.

Drama:
Homeland
The Following
Breaking Bad
Banshee
Dexter

Reality
Face-Off
Survivor
Deadliest Catch
Storm Chasers

Comedy:
Impractical Jokers
Tosh.0
Joe Shmoe Show

Any Chicago sports (Bulls, Hawks, Cubs, Bears)

Ditkaca on February 20, 2013 at 5:23 PM

I would add to that the HBO series “Deadwood” and “Rome” and “The Wire”. All were awesome and I was crushed when they were cancelled although “The Wire” had, admittedly, run its course.

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 2:32 PM

And the Walking Dead. Its recent resurgence no doubt due in some small part from Shield producer Glen Mazarra taking over.

I actually think TV has improved considerably over the last few years…

Ditkaca on February 20, 2013 at 5:23 PM

You’re actually making my point for me here. Nearly every single show on your list is shown on cable TV, the exceptions being Survivor which launched reality shows, and Homeland and The Following are on Fox. Fox is often the exception that proves the rule: while other stations are running endless police procedural drama shows and their panoply of spin-offs, or shows that compete for controversy, Fox showed all of Joss Whedon’s programs at one time or another, plus House, Bones, Glee, 24, Fringe, the Terminator series, The Tick, Tru Calling, Family Guy, Futurama, The Good Guys, Arrested Development… the only thing worse than all the bad shows on all the other channels is that Fox gets all these good shows and then cans most of them before they get off the ground. Case in point: all of the aforementioned shows are gone except Bones and Glee; House, 24 and Fringe ran their course, and Family Guy was brought back, but all the other ones just died a quick death.

The Schaef on February 20, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Just a reminder: TV is as creatively bankrupt as the film industry, if not more so

Yet, incredibly, nearly everyone reading this comment will stare at the TV for at least 10 hours this week.

Get a life, dudes!

itsnotaboutme on February 20, 2013 at 6:10 PM

The Schaef on February 20, 2013 at 5:40 PM

I will never forgive them for cancelling Arrested Development. I know the premise could not have lasted forever, but it had a few more seasons left. Thank god for Netflix bringing it back for another season. They also recently cancelled Ben and Kate, which was way underrated and very very funny if given a chance.

gator70 on February 20, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Bring back ‘Firefly’.

Browncoats Unite!

trigon on February 20, 2013 at 6:31 PM

I quit watching TV in 2003. I don’t miss it.
I’ll occasionally watch a movie at the theater. I’ve never seen a superhero movie, or a remake of an old movie or TV show.

single stack on February 20, 2013 at 9:20 PM

It’s hard to innovate when everything that is part of our culture for the last 90 years is protected by law.

Rocks

Everything coming out today being completely unoriginal and based on something that’s already out there contradicts that argument. Original ideas don’t have to worry much about copyright.

xblade on February 20, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Wtorage Wars, my friend got me into that. It’s slightly addicting.

Storage Wars Texas…that’s very different, takes a little extra effort to watch.

I don’t know about a 3rd one…oh wait is it like New York or something? I can’t keep up with em all. The gold digging shows, loggers, it’s insane. I do enjoy Gordon Ramsey on Fox and BBC.

Here’s one you might like, Bar Rescue…on Spike I think.

John Kettlewell on February 20, 2013 at 9:58 PM

I like the original Storage Wars. Pawn Stars is also a favorite of mine; you actually learn some things when you’re watching. Lots of fun for history buffs.

I don’t currently have a lot on the DVR that’s scripted. I do enjoy Scandal, Glee, Mad Men, The Following. Several people have recommended Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story. I’ll probably give these a try once life settles down again. In spite of all the outrageous reality shows on cable right now, it seems like scripted TV is enjoying a renaissance, which is nice. Of course, as a conservative, you have to look past the blatantly liberal bias in 95% of the programming out there, but I’m able to do that. If I didn’t I’d be watching nothing but the Food Network and HGTV. I feel like good storytelling can exist independently of Hollywood’s left wing agenda.

NoLeftTurn on February 20, 2013 at 11:32 PM

Shows I like to watch
Warehouse 13 SyFy
Continuum Syfy
Lost Girl Syfy
Arrow- WGN
NCIS-CBS
Royal Pains USA
Suits- USA
Burn Notice-USA
Ultimate Warfare- Mili
Dr Who-BBC Am
Young Justice Cartoon
Green Lantern- Cartoon
Copper- BBC Am
Once upon a Time- ABC
Longmire A&E

Show too soon to judge
Monday Mornings TNT

New Shows I can’ wait to see
Defiance – SyFy
Orphan Black- BBC AM
Glory Hounds- Mili

Able to tolerate
Wild Tuna
Bones- Fox
Supernatural- WGN
Chicago Fire

Guilty pleasure
Bunheads
Food network

TV shows I could not stomach
Glee- The TV series Fame was much better with much better talent
Grey’s Anatomy- The medical drama that competes with ER on how many cast members will it kill in it’s run.
All reality shows on the big three alphabet network and most reality shows on cable.
Most of the remakes like Hawaii-Five O
All Talk shows
Law & Order

DinobotPrime on February 21, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Ever since I started streaming NetFlix, I don’t have the patience to sit through the commercials on regular television. If the show were good enough, I could probably manage it – but there aren’t any shows that good.

DRayRaven on February 21, 2013 at 11:34 AM