TV of 2008

So much of what we watch on television these days is now internationally accessible, so I’d like to hear your views on the TV of today today (and of yesterday, er, tomorrow; retro TV is tomorrow’s topic, which should be amusing).

Last year’s television highlights?

I thought the BBC excelled themselves with Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain, (Dr Iain Stewart’s) Earth: The Power of the Planet, the second series of Elephant Diaries and the five-part thriller written by Peter Moffat, Criminal Justice.

Such programmes make paying the licence fee bearable, don’t they? Maybe. Just.

I’ve enjoyed witnessing George Galloway’s displays of sharp wit and moral strength on The Real Deal and Comment (Press TV), Sky’s continued high standards in their sports coverage (if not, like the BBC, their news coverage), and it’s always nice to laugh at the atrocious auditions and tears of the deluded on X Factor (ITV).

What do you remember as the hits and misses from last year’s TV schedules?

Also, are you tired of ‘celebrities’ (I realise it’s a dubious tag in some cases) being locked in a house, banished to the jungle or sent to the kitchen where we are encouraged to watch them – usually over several long, agonising weeks – as they learn how to sing/dance/ice skate/cook/train dogs to navigate obstacle courses and complete other tasks that, frankly, I’m gratefully ignorant of? I know I am.

The chatroom is open, and will be for another hour, so drop in and we’ll talk TV.

Happy Birthday to Calibwam and Liam.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour's official blog, The Blog ('Features' previously being its rather naff title), affectionately - or lazily - shortened to 'FEd'.

83 thoughts on “TV of 2008”

  1. Well, coming from someone such as myself, who rarely if ever watches TV (save for VH1, or the odd Weather Channel moment), I have no real favorites on TV. I’m usually too busy doing other stuff to watch the boob tube.

    I’ll probably have more useful input when we talk about TV of yesteryear.

    As for “reality” shows, what’s so reality based about them? You have a fixed situation, factors ushered in from producers and directors, and a camera watching/filming your every move. Yeah, totally real, right? NOT! Having said that, the Surreal World was a hoot (especially the lineup that had Tammy Faye Baker, Eric Estrada, Vanilla Ice, Ron Jeremy, etc.).

    Last year I was able to meet Eric Estrada and asked him to share his experiences and thoughts of this show; he had two words for me… “barely survived!” Hahaha!

    Nuff said!
    Darren

  2. TV is currently a nightmare. It’s increasingly (subtly) all the same stuff from the same point of view. Look at the bizarre coverage of the global financial meltdown. There are few shows that are pointing fingers or calling for justice. Everything “just happened.” Hundreds of millions are suffering and yet no one is in handcuffs going to jail for treason–for destroying the well being of entire countries. It’s like there’s some gigantic global corporate censorship thing that is going on.

    I think the internet is much more interesting. I’ve pretty much given up on most TV except for the science documentaries and occasional concert.

    I’m increasingly suspicious we don’t have a truly “free” press/free TV anymore.

    Ahh, I’m probably just having a paranoid morning.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. Some of the news coverage – or, more to the point, the lack of it – has been truly shocking. I’d expect it of Fox, but never of the BBC.

      A convoy of vehicles carrying £1 million in humanitarian aid – not from the British government, by the way, but from communities nationwide (which is quite likely to have been more had the BBC televised details of the appeal) – was delivered to Gaza this week. The vehicles were left there for the locals to make use of (there were more than 100). There’s hardly been a single word said about it.

      Seeing that Britain caused the problems in this region in the first place, you’d think the British media would be pouncing on any little thing that shows Britain in a good light, wouldn’t you? Some good (free) PR for the government in these gloomy times and all that.

      How sad for a once-great institution to now be such a willing tool of government spin.

    2. There IS a global gigantic corporate plan. It is there to see. And politicians which should defend us are giving OUR money to their friends. AND we lose jobs, money, rights… everything.

      It is the controller (politics) which keeps the bag of the thief ( banks + multinationals). They got OUR money TWO times: before the crack and after the crack. And what have we got? EXCUSES? No. JAIL? No. FIRING of MANAGERS? No. Property of something WE helped to survive? NO.

      FUCK THIS IS A PLAN!!!!!! Next step? Control the NET. Governments hate that we share ideas not pre-digested by magazines, newspapers or TV.

      TV is funny. In Italy the news talks of dead dogs, weather, funny episodes in foreign countries, and death… the aim? Not to make people think.

    3. And I forgot that TV talks about that circus dwarf, that immense lifted shit, that fascist-inside, ridiculous (if it wouldn’t be head of a country) BERLUSCONI.

      It is sad to say, as I am Italian, but we got what we deserve. 😡

    4. What’s really “shocking” is the fact that the average person could care less… We are a society of narcissistic sociopaths…

    5. TV is funny. In Italy the news talks of dead dogs, weather, funny episodes in foreign countries, and death… the aim? Not to make people think.

      I completely agree with you, Piergiorgio.

      About death in the news: I think many people are watching all that news about murders and tragedies for the same reason for which they are interested in some kind of reality shows: curiosity and taste for sickness.

      These are the feelings our TV is encouraging everyday along with the fear, just as Michael Moore said in “Fahrenheit 9/11”. They want us to think we are living in a dangerous country, full of strangers who comes to steal our works (which works?), killers, sick people and biting dogs.

      Not-Italian people have to know that Italian TV journalists have recently discovered that dogs are not toys and sometimes they also bite, so (I don’t know why, maybe because they have nothing more glamorous to say) from time to time they start bother us with this thing everyday for a week or more.

      Maybe they have decided we should hate the dogs, or maybe they just want to waste our peace of mind some way.

    6. Everyone repying to this one needs to listen to Frank Zappas “I Am the Slime” from the “Overnite Sensation” CD… YOU’LL LOVE IT!

  3. Reality shows have ruined TV in my opinion and the TV experience. I also find most sitcom comedies to be degrading to most people’s intelligence. Outside of F1 and Football (NFL), there is not much left to stomach on the tube. I yearn to watch older shows like ‘Cheers’ and ‘Night Court’ where the shows had characters that developed throughout the seasons and in the end felt like friends that you knew and kept up with. Shows that made you shed a tear when the final episode aired or if one of the characters tragically passed away.

    I’ve watched some shows I thought were good, only to have them pulled after 4 or 5 episodes while other horrible shows stay on for years. Ice Road Truckers has got to be the worst reality show ever, yet it is still on!

    So I have given up on TV for the most part in lieu of watching a good movie, even if I have seen it a few times… or just leave the blasted thing off and going sailing with some Pink Floyd coming from the stereo, ah, now there’s how life is supposed to be! 😀

  4. Totally agree with these comments. I´m from Buenos Aires, say “the other corner on earth”, and here the TV shows are just as mediocre as you´re talking about. And good point to compare this in time, as in the old days (say 20 years ago) at least TV had certain amounts of ethics. Nowadays practically all we see orbit around sex, unfaithfulness and the model of human being is distorted to the one that survive in an invented world where it doesn´t matter what you do, but only who you are. That´s why the “winners” of reality shows are those who attract the audience by any means, even if they run over the rights of the others.

    Of course there are better programs, away from “reality” shows, ads and news that are good, usually educational as Discovery channel, People and Arts, etc. Unfortunately they are the less.

    Cheers,
    Marcos

  5. I keep specific TV show viewing to a minimum but there are, alas, a couple of shows that catch my fancy. I don’t know if my European friends or friends elsewhere receive these shows but if you do, take a look:

    Burn Notice
    South Park (everyone probably know that one)
    The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
    The Colbert Report

    What can I say? Juvenile humor still makes me laugh, it’s a part of the innocence of childhood I refuse to give up. Those latter three shows can be, when they wish, very intelligent however, and they are worth a look if you are unaware.

    Thank you very much indeed, good night to you.

    1. Good choices, Josh. Love South Park.

      It’s amazing how many of Cartman’s lines get stuck in your head, isn’t it? I often find myself mumbling, “Come on, come on” at traffic lights in that Cartman-waiting-for-the-store-to-open-so-that-he-can-buy-a-Wii way.

      Do you like Family Guy?

    2. Different avatar? Hmmm. I must have buggered up my email in the original post.

      Anyways, yes Fed, I do enjoy Family Guy although I’m not as hardcore about it. It is on quite frequently here in the states, so it is on my tube a lot as background.

      I went through a Cartman phase, back in the day I dropped a lot of, SCREW YOU GUYS!!! I’M GOIN’ HOME!!!

      And my favorite episode of all time was the “Dog Whisperer”. Oh man, rolling for hours I was. I’m eagerly anticipating the new “season” starting tonight.

      And to add to my list, “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” when he takes over will be one of my favorite shows as well.

      Thank you very much indeed, good night to you.

    3. South Park, Family Guy, American Dad, The Simpsons and Futurama are the best things on TV… How sad is that??? :))

    4. The World of Warcraft one was good, and the one with the strange, Michael Jackson-esque Mr Jefferson (surely a complete coincidence). But when he was ripping off well-known songs and passing them off as original recordings by Christian rock band, Faith+1, you had to laugh at just how wrong that was.

      “You’re once, twice, three times my saviour…”

    5. I love South Park!

      Best ever episode was when Cartman thought he had psychic powers. :))

  6. ABC’s “Lost” was really good last year. Actually, I’ve really liked every season since it started. I’m not really a big TV show person either, but there is something about that show. It makes you use your brain, which is always a good thing. I think the 09 season is shaping up to be the best season yet.

    For any newcomers though, I suggest seeing the previous seasons, or you’ll be LOST. 😀

    1. I was LOST before the first series ended. :))

      I was glad that nobody got so desperate that they ate the dog, though.

    2. Yes FEd, I was LOST a bit myself at the end of season 1. Now, the show is in a completely different direction, that has me dying for the next episode each time. Silly ha?

      By the way, I love Family Guy. That has got to be the funniest show I’ve ever seen. There is something in there for everyone’s type of humor.

    3. It’s nice when a show makes you feel that way.

      I’m looking forward to the new series of Prison Break. Each episode seems to end just when you’re hoping that it won’t.

  7. It all boils down, I’m afraid to two less than flattering aspects of the human species. Most folks love to see others fail hence these ridiculous reality shows and the other is just plain uninspired creativity in Hollywood. Very few are writing new projects, concepts and themes. Therefore we get remakes of old television shows for movies and they rarely work.

    As far as T.V. goes, I watch NOVA, The History Channel and football… dat’s about dat.

  8. I don’t like TV now and am not connected to it. (But I love movies, so the TV stays in the house.)

    When I visit family and the TV is going, the only choices seem to be reality shows or crime/forensics. I don’t want to see either.

    I miss Seinfeld and SOAP.

  9. The final series of The Wire was quite magnificent.

    Wallander on the Beeb was good too.

  10. Because there is so much crap on TV I tend to watch re-runs of seafood chef Rick Stein. Nice music, photography & food!!!!!

    Oh, and he likes a drink as well! :v

    1. Ciarán,

      Did you see Rick on Who Do You Think You Are? It was so sad.

      I love all his programmes.

    2. Me too, Ciaran.

      Wonder if we could get him to work in ‘The Blue’, Seared Scallops and a nice bottle of Montrachet into his next series?

  11. TV? Well during the day when the kids are up we have graduated from The Wiggles to Hannah Montana. But there is not much more to comment on there.

    As for what I really enjoy watching on TV. I’m not one that really watches much TV except to watch hockey. Go Devils!!! Its got everything you need in a good show, drama, excitement, joy, happiness, defeat, etc. What more do you need?? And its real. Or are you not counting that as watching TV?

    Reality shows are just so unreal. Take a look at the latest Bachelor debacle. OK so the drama at the end was interesting (that Jason certainly is a bastard). But what do these people expect? Romance will continue once the cameras leave and they depart the exotic locales and exotic dates stop? Problem is that when the show is over, reality sets in and they don’t want to deal with it. So in the end all it really is a show that provides us an insight in how stupid people really are. That’s the reality.

    And then there are shows like Deal or No Deal which is the ultimate in displaying greed at its finest.

    But I will comment on one show that I think is a gem, Two and A Half Guys. Now that show is funny and witty in the rare instance that I catch it.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  12. I thought Italian TV was rubbish, but now that I’ve seen the comments above I know we are not alone.

    Maybe who creates TV shows thinks we are all without a brain, or maybe that’s exactly what a great part of the audience has become watching their shows.
    Reality shows are something I can’t understand. How could I be interested in watching on TV what someone else is doing in his daily life? Isn’t our daily life enough boring?

    No, this kind of TV is not for me. Documentaries, news, some movies and The Simpsons are all I need.

    I prefer to spend my time watching a DVD, listening to the music or surfing the web.

  13. We’re currently savoring ever bit of ITVs ‘Doc Martin’ season 3. I’m glad to see they’ll also be a season 4, it’s a really great show. We had to buy a new region-free DVD player to watch, and we have to wait til the episodes come to DVD, but it’s we’ll worth it.

    We wore out our previous region-free DVD player with the likes of ‘James Herriott,’ ‘Clatterford,’ and ‘Jeeves and Wooster.’ For some reason the TV grass is greener in Britain for us. The only US show we watch is ‘Medium.’

    I just renewed my public television pledge this weekend – we watch that and movies mainly – reality shows suck.

  14. I don’t watch normal people’s TV.

    I watch docs, mainly. For sport I watch baseball or specifically Red Sox baseball. Once a New Englander, always a New Englander.

    I don’t much like reality competition shows. They’re heavily edited, they are in some cases at least partially scripted and they just encourage people to behave as badly as possible, like they need the encouragement.

    I didn’t realize how little network TV I watch until last year’s Olympics. One of the big three here in the States had the exclusive rights and so they peppered the events with an endless number of adverts for their new hit shows. How can a show that hasn’t aired be a hit?

    Actually, I don’t think any of them were. All those adverts did was remind me why I don’t watch network TV.

  15. I’m pretty satisfied with the condition of British TV. It’s still streets ahead of anything I’ve encountered on my travels and the BBC, with its “unique form of funding”, is something I think we can continue to be proud of.

    The days of TV dominated by a few channels, feeding a balance of information, education and entertainment to large proportions of the population are largely gone. There’s good and bad in that.

    I believe the BBC still retains substantial independence, still takes a generally questioning stance over the establishment and still has the respect and affection of a substantial proportion of the public. It can’t rival Sky Sports and neither should it. It’s role should be as far as possible to provide broadcasting that the market cannot support.

    I think there’s more than enough decent TV to provide for all the viewing one needs… because there’s plenty of other stuff more worth our time, after all.

    But don’t forget to give Red Nose Day a watch on Friday and shake the cobwebs off the old wallet while you’re at it.

    1. The rich and famous telling the masses, yet again, via telethon, that they ought to donate to a good cause…

      Now there’s another bone of contention, surely.

    2. So let me get this right… the rich and famous should tell the masses to give to bad causes? Or NOT to give to good causes? Or just sit on their fat arses and do nothing?

      Well there you go, World problems solved at a stroke.

      Don’t tell me, the rich and famous should spend all their money instead and go live in a box under the embankment.

      The way I see it, good causes are better off than they otherwise would be… I can’t see the catch personally.

      Oh and I don’t seem to remember the gripes about when David joined Brian Ferry at Live Aid.

    3. I think you’re being deliberately prickly. Again.

      1. It clearly is a bone of contention to some. See above. Some people find telethons – the topic is TV, not benefit concerts, but I’m sure that some dislike those just as much – sickeningly patronising and self-indulgent, knowing that not all big names give up their time for free and do rather well off the back of their appearance. That said, nobody denies that they raise funds and awareness.

      2. Personally, I’ll donate to whatever causes I choose, regardless of anyone’s suggestions – be they rich and famous or poor and unknown. What does it matter? I’m sure most people do the same. (And I don’t need to spend a whole evening watching the often embarrassing pantomime that is a modern telethon to compel me to donate, either. That’s also patronising.)

      3. Who gives what is irrelevant. If you’ve got a few million in the bank and donate £10,000, is that more worthy of thanks than someone giving their last £10 until pay day? No.

      In any sense, throwing money at a problem doesn’t resolve anything; it just makes some people richer and others, sitting at home on their fat arses staring at a screen, chuckling at the hilarity of it all and getting up to put the kettle on during the serious bits, feel good for a moment. If it did, we wouldn’t have so many telethons on our screens every year.

    4. If being deliberately prickly means having a contrary opinion and being prepared to voice it then I’ll take that every time.

      I’m not persuaded by any of your points but sometimes we just have to agree to disagree.

    5. An explanation.

      When I wrote that I hated the hypocritical shows such as telethons, I meant exactly what I said: I hate that kind of SHOW.

      That’s because, as I said some time ago, when we were speaking about Bono Vox’s charity, I really don’t like the egotist behaviour of some rich and famous people.

      Obviously, it’s better that they give positive messages to the people, instead of encouraging them to do bad things, but I also think that the way you do something have an influence on the message you are giving.

      I’m sorry, but I can’t believe in the sincerity of those kind of rich and famous who like so much to tell us from a screen what’s to be done.

      Just my opinion.

  16. Forget all about TV… People are where it’s at… So many people think they are “experts” because they have seen a documentary on this or that… But you are really only an expert on watching TV… The only thing you will learn from TV is propaganda and how to consume…

    Get out in the real world and experience life!!! Do it!!! Don’t be a slave to the “boob tube”…

    1. What you just said IS propaganda. Do you really think that people who watch TV is all that they do and believe everything that comes out of it? It does have some purposeful uses.

      Feel free to state your opinion but please do not tell me how to bide MY time.

    2. In my opinion both of you are right.

      The problem is that there are many different ways to stay in front of the TV, as there are lots of ways to do everything else.

      If you watch the TV being aware of what you’re actually doing and choosing the shows you like without believing that it’s all true, it’s OK, but we can’t deny there are a lot of people who, for many reasons, sit in front of the TV screen without any critical ability, completely addicted.

      I mean that, even if we all have a clear idea of what the TV is, we should always remember that there are also people who are not so independent, for example the children or the oldest (and frequently lonely) people. Old people often consider the TV as a friend and they have a blind trust in what comes out from it.

    3. I know what you’re saying, Alessandra. I just wish it wasn’t so. The people in the “suits” minds and bodies aren’t connected and they ruin everything they touch… TV, Music… It’s endless… Money, money, money… :!

  17. I don’t watch a lot of TV. I prefer popping in a DVD once in a while, but I do enjoy a few shows:

    Iron Chef America- Based on the original Iron Chef from Japan. Its great and there are some really talented people competing and creating wonderful dishes.

    How It’s Made- A half hour “documentary” type show that explains how the most mundane things are built, like toilet bowls or firehoses. Fascinating TV, and it gives you a profound appreciation for the builders and creators of things we take for granted.

    No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain- Travel show that takes you to both familiar and unfamiliar territory, and has the host exploring the area in a non-tourist way.

    Basically, I will watch any food or travel show or anything on the Discovery or History channels. I like TV with substance.

  18. I agree with a lot of what’s already been said here about the state of television, programming and the lack of dimensional points of view, so I won’t belabo(u)r those points.

    I don’t watch much television at all – no cable and the reception here is terrible for broadcast. I do rent DVDs on Netflix.

    Best discovery of the year: Flight of the Conchords. Far and away the most exciting show to cross my path in a long while. I love the send ups of musical conventions and the homages to specific bands. It’s a funny, stupid, clever, happy show.

    Dollhouse by Joss Whedon looks promising, but it’s too early to tell yet. I do tend to love everything Joss Whedon. “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog” is a great example of his unconventional, original style, and it came out in 2008.

  19. I don’t watch TV very often but, when I do, the programs that interest and capture my imagination are:

    Family Guy, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show and CSPAN (the House and the Senate).

  20. Please David, come to Argentina or South America!!!

    Mucha gente de la new Generation… te quiere ver… solo estas tocando en el norte…

    te esperamos…

    Pd : El mundo tambien es el hemisferio sur.

  21. Hell’s Kitchen with Chef Ramsey, History Channel and all my beloved sports of the world keep me busy enough.

    Wife enjoys reality shows and A&E.

    1. I’ll watch Hell’s Kitchen occasionally, but don’t you find that it’s so repetitive (Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares even more so)? The voice-overs add nothing for me. It’s always “Gordon’s toughest challenge ever” and he’s always doubting that he can “turn it around” in time (although he always does). We can see that Gordon’s about to explode or that some ditsy waitress is quaking with fear, etc.

      Of course, if your vision is limited and you can only listen to TV, you obviously need more than visual clues. If anything, I’d imagine that many voice-overs are all the more annoying to someone who cannot see what’s going on.

      Maybe TV should follow cinema and replace patronising voice-overs with suitable music, keeping narration to a minimum? Nature programmes do it well.

  22. Gavin and Stacy, Top Gear and Grand Designs are about the only shows I make a point of watching religiously. I enjoy most sport and as commented Sky coverage is awesome.

    1. Oh, Wot’s Occurring is one of the ringtones on my cell phone. It reminds me of Wales. 🙂

      Congratulations to the Welsh Rugby team on winning the IRB Sevens World Cup! 8)

  23. England – Italy 3-0.

    Sorry for my Juventus but you were better.

    Are you happy Fed?

  24. No one has mentioned Myth Busters. That show could be entertaining at times.

    On one episode they were trying to find the quickest way to chill a six-pack of beer. Lots of interesting techniques were tried from burying the beer in sand and starting a fire on top of it, to dry ice. But the fastest was putting it in a cooler with water, ice and salt.

    See, here’s another useful item to put in your memory bank.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

    1. But aren’t they two of the most incredibly annoying men on TV?

      Maybe I just can’t look beyond the beret and handlebar moustache.

  25. Hello mates,

    well, globalization is all over the world and TV programs!

    There’s a lot of rubbish, first of all “the things” we – in Italy – call “reality shows” but for my job (about 4 TVs in my room) I often watch BBC, CNN and ABC that air some interesting reports.

    Afghanistan, Iran, China and economic recession are my tracks (not beloved) day by day and when I get back home in the evening I consider just musical DVD, especially PF, David, Rolling Stones, Who and Led Zeppelin… this is a huge joy… and TV is a piece of furniture!

    Thank you FEd for the blog… it’s not an easy matter… 4 years!

    A smile from Italy
    diana

  26. The high point was the final series of The Wire. One of the best pieces of drama ever. Battlestar Galactica and Lost were also very good last year.

    I used to like some of those reality things, but they are just exactly the same every year, so I gave up. Still like Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice though.

    Martin.

    1. My husband and I don’t have cable but have been renting ‘The Wire’ from Netflicks and are just getting near the end of season one.

      Very good series. Well developed characters.

  27. Reading the posts, I can see that there is a ‘global’ trend on certain aspects of TV. I’m from Argentina too, and there are a lot of shows that focus on celebrities lives (what they do, who they date, what they ate for breakfast), and, mainly, sex.

    News reports have replaced real news for superficial things long ago… and I feel that they don’t really inform anymore, nor they try to think about reality. They just… say things, and try to amuse people more than inform them.

    However, there are a lot of things I still enjoy about TV, mainly series from the States and sports (I don’t think British TV is much available here, but I DO watch a lot of Premier League matches. Liverpool supporter, by the way). 😀

    I find Family Guy hilarious, I’m a true fan of The Simpsons (but I’m talking about the older seasons, the recent ones seem to have fallen to this trend)… and has anyone seen House MD? I think it’s brilliant, and find it, personally, the best TV series in a long time.

    TV is still a reflection of society, not the other way around, and society is huge. So, as there are a lot of shows that seem decadent, we’ve got some others that aren’t… and it’s always our choice what to watch.

    Cheers,
    Agustín.

    (Sorry if my English isn’t perfect.)

  28. Like some, I prefer watching shows on DVDs so I don’t getting the annoying commercial breaks which are much more prevalent in the US and Canada than the UK. Each episode of 24 is only 42 minutes long because 18 minutes is commercials so maybe it should be called 16.8. 8|

    I’m watching Californication on DVD at the moment… Duchovny is excellent.

    1. Oh yes, what a great show Californication is. I’ve only seen the first season but I loved it. David Duchovny is excellent in it.

  29. Hello. I’m from America, and 16 at that, so here’s my 2 cents if anyone wants to take it seriously.

    I’ve been feeling rather discontent with the choices of television lately. It seems that there is far too much focus on money, power, and fame that we’ve lost touch in what is the individual. Propping yourself up against something or someone is not healthy, and in my opinion people should not give any credence to the people living in the spotlight. It is us who gives them fame.

    I think it would be a fabulous world if there were no crap on TV, but as long as there’s money, I guess we’ll just have to bear with it.

  30. I’m a big fan of Damages (with Glenn Close) on FX. Season 1 was just wicked. I even felt a little dirty after watching the first two episodes. So far, Season 2 seems a little less gut-wrenching but I figure they’re just reeling us in for a big shock.

    Also like Lie to Me and I’m still a big fan of 30 Rock.

  31. My TV is probably on more than it should be, and I’m usually finding myself settling for the least crappy show at any given moment. I do enjoy The Daily Show, Colbert Report, Real Time With Bill Maher, Family Guy, Simpsons, American Dad, South Park (sometimes), and Mythbusters.

    Also, there is the Classic Albums series, which are documentaries about the making of, well… Classic Albums! Dark Side of the Moon is my favorite (of course), as well as Deep Purple’s Machine Head, Stevie Woner’s Songs in the Key of Life, Motorhead’s Ace of Spades, John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band, Who’s Next, Queen’s A Night at the Opera, Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland, and Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, to name a few. Worthwhile for those who want to get a behind-the-scenes look at their favorite recordings.

    Cheers;
    Bill C

  32. I won’t comment about reality shows, all has been said.

    But, what I think is more important is that TV is an insidious, therefore dangerous tool used by politicians, advertisers or whoever else to brainwash, manipulate people.

    Watching TV is a very passive activity for your brain and it prevents you from thinking and being critical.

    Adults should know that, but what is even worse is the (bad) influence of all this crap/violence on kids/teenagers. They are very fragile, it’s not good. But it’s their parents’ responsibility.

    I am always frightened when my 14 year old pupils tell me what they watched on TV the night before and how long they stayed in front of their TV screen. Well, not sure it’s better if they stay all night in front of their computer screen…

    Michèle

    1. TV is also blamed, of course, for worldwide increases in crime, violence, depression, obesity, bulimia…

    2. I guess in short you can simply say that TV is blamed for a lot of stupidity. What was the quote from Forrest Gump? “Stupid is as stupid does.”

      Or take this one from Clint Eastwood, “A good man always knows his limitations.”

      Thanks.

      Andrew

  33. Yes it’s true, the more you pay for TV the worse it gets. Come to think of it, what’s with all these shows that have with new ways that we can all treat each other like shit, and then become winners?

    The only shows I watch on a regular basis are Heroes and Antiques Roadshow.

  34. I couldn’t agree more, Michèle, FEd!!! But what are we gonna do… The cats with the money make all the rules… I vote with my eyes… :/

  35. Great mix of opinions and thoughts. TV can be mind a mindnumbing bore, but I think some of the problem falls on the viewers. If the big number support junk then that is what you get… and lots of it. The ratings are what counts. Just like movies. Some of the worst movies are the ones that earn the big bucks. If more people supported better shows I think that would send a message to the producers.

    I try to watch public TV for shows like Nova, National Geographic, Animal Kingdom, etc.

    I miss wonderful productions like Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren, or Inspector Morse, Adam Dalgliesh etc. Great stories, very capable acting just quality production.

    Also, enjoy some travel shows. Don’t have cable.

  36. I love ‘First 48’ on A&E. That show is really interesting to me b/c they document real murder mysteries and you see how the investigations are really carried out. I never can understand why the guilty come in to talk. They always leave in ‘cuffs although you know that they think they are going to outsmart these seasoned-professional detectives. Do not mess with Sgt Mason in Memphis either… she doesn’t play around and she’s so stylish! Check it out if you haven’t already!

    Have a great weekend.

    Blake in Nashville

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