February 13, 2013 by phicks2012
I don’t bore easily. I can usually find something interesting and entertaining to do with my time, but every so often I find myself sufficiently plagued by ennui that I go channel surfing in a desperate attempt to find something on TV that’s worth watching. This doesn’t usually happen during Prime Time when the creme de la creme of programming is, at least theoretically, available, but during the day — be thankful in more ways that one if you have a job, a DVR, or Netflix!
On Monday through Thursday evenings I actually have my DVR programed to record various regularly televised shows, and I can watch reruns on Netflix, but, other than during football season (YES, I am a football fan), or during the Olympics, I usually find precious little to watch from Friday through Sunday, even in the evenings on live TV.
And during the daylight hours the situation is far worse, because unless some of the channels happen to be rerunning good series (and thank GOD that some of them do) the fare tends to include little except infomercials and bad reality programs which — opposed to the “creme de la creme”, which rises to the top — tends to be the dregs de la dregs. Okay, that’s not French, so shall we come up with something else that sinks to the bottom?
I have about 900 channels, and the law of averages would seem to indicate that somewhere in the channel lineup — even during the day on a Saturday or Sunday — I ought to be able to find “something” to watch that doesn’t involve subjecting myself to pseudo-celebrities hawking questionable merchandise, or people with no class behaving badly. You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But I just did a quick test run, surfing through channels for shows I might even”conceivably” have watched. It averaged out to about 5% once I’d paged through the entire lineup, and that’s only because some of the same quality shows — none of them involving “Housewives”, “Car Repo Agents”, “Pawn Brokers”, “Bounty Hunters” or “Kardashians” — appeared on multiple channels. Had that not been so, the percentage would have been closer to 2% or 3%.
So how do “They” decide what shows to run on TV, and who are the geniuses responsible? Personally, I think they have a panel of five chimpanzees and a token Chihuahua in charge, a test audience with a collective intelligence quotient of 60, and a rule that says only 5 shows in 30 (other than sports) can appeal at all to anyone with an IQ of over 110. Of the rest, the rule says that 6 can be sports related, that 6 have to spend an hour selling something people either shouldn’t want or can’t afford, that 2 can be reality shows with any sort of class, and that the other 8 have to be reality shows with no class at all.
Other rules seem to include the requirement to have the channel name mislead the public. For example 1) If the show has any educational content, it cannot appear on The Learning Channel (unless you want to “learn” about social and mental train wrecks). 2) If the program has any actual quality science Fiction content it cannot appear on the Scify channel (Skarktopus is here submitted as an example for your anticipated disapproval) 3) If there is actual Music involved the show should not appear on MTV, and 4) The History Channel should include as little actual History as possible.
Otherwise 1) If the show has a female cast the ads must include pouts and hipshot poses, 2) The word SHOCKING must appear in an many ads as humanly possible, 3) Character and Intelligence must always take a back seat to a Stylish Appearance, and 4) If the show’s name includes the words “Pawn”, “Swamp”, “Celebrity”, “Rich”, “Redneck”, Housewives”, or “Kardashian” it MUST go on the schedule.
Those are my theories, for what they’re worth. Now I’ll go and kill some brain cells by watching “Swamp Pawn”, just to make a point.