Mildly diverting 20th Century
form of cheap entertainment, more successfully developed as an advertising
medium than a way of presenting anything of any real value. Television's greatest power is that of its near-total pervasiveness
, which has occasionally (but very rarely) been exploited for good reasons.
Unhealthy, antisocial and counterproductive, broadcast television is now largely an irrelevance offering poor value, scant and highly subjective information, and eliciting conditioned responses instead of trying to strive for wit, intelligence or emotional depth. As a result, it trails distantly behind Cinema, Video Games, Radio and the Internet, depending on what criteria you are judging.
Television works best when its content providers can evade the influence of the networks, advertisers and the moral majority. Brass Eye, The Simpsons and Star Trek: The Next Generation are all good examples of TV shows that do their own thing - the latter two simply because they got so big and lucrative they could get a fair amount of creative freedom, and Chris Morris's show because Morris simply does not give a fuck. (As opposed to Tom Green, who is a manufactured attempt at the same goal, carefully prevented from actually doing or saying anything vaguely offensive by a legion of MTV executives.)
But these (ultra-rare) exceptions aside, TV is worthless and pointless. It's shit for all the following reasons, and more:
Regional news programmes - amazingly, some children saw a badger today and farmers are complaining about something. Holy shit! Thank God that someone told me!
Big Brother - or whatever self-perpetuating 'phenomenon' is big this week.
The License Fee.
Jim Davidson, Noel Edmonds, Chris Evans, Freddy Starr, Jamie Oliver, Ainsley Harriot, Les Dennis, Neil and Christine Hamilton, Anne Robinson, Patrick Kielty, Terry Wogan - the fact that these cretins draw breath is offensive enough, but the fact that they are regularly thrust (knitting needle style) into the public eye is beyond a joke.
BBC1 and ITV stopping films halfway through to show the news, the pissing regional news and the weather. What a fantastic idea. For that matter-
Any film shown on BBC1 or ITV: BBC1 screens naught but utterly craptacular TV movies. ITV occasionally shows something half decent, but 'especially ruined for television'. (See Robocop.)
Channel Four - compared to what it was like in 1997 or there abouts. Ali G? The 11 O'Clock Show? Big Brother? Hollyoaks? Fucking hell. The only decent show on the channel is Spaced, and that is surely finished for good or destined to become crap.
Nostalgic Wankfests: Wow, you mean that Paul Ross, Jono Fatfuck and his dimwitted blonde assistant can remember what they were doing last week?! Or even in 1993? Television so bad they should just kill the signal for half an hour and put up a 'go to the pub' test card.
I could go on, but won't.