In a comment on my previous post, DianeB made a good point about the media’s negative focus: No surprise media focus is negative, but this negativity is unfair to good people in general – and it offers no encouragement or role models to young people in particular.
Modern TV is, let’s face it, mostly crap. It reminds me a little of modern democracy; we get neither the government nor the entertainment we deserve.
Reality TV is cheap to produce. I did watch about an hour of Big Brother once, and it was just about the most tedious and unrewarding hour of my life.
Even pay TV is constantly interrupted by ads. In exchange for our money and time we get to choose from a whole basked of goodies including rubbish about celebrity interventions; shock horror docos about child pageants or extreme plastic surgery [or both]; extremely stupid and dysfunctional people going to “court”; and that modern version of the morality play –the “talk” shows which feature people with fetishes for things like collecting bits of toe-jam.
The government was desperate to get TV up and running here in time for the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, but were terrified this would come at a very high cost: We would become a nation of zombies whose brains were filled with misinformation or filth.
A fixed portion of all viewing on commercial channels had to be “Australian Content”. Sunday morning programs had to be religious or educational.
Well, now that the Australian Content requirements have been lifted, have Prime Minister Ming’s worst fears been realised?
Perhaps it’s karma - payback for all the years I’ve spent relentlessly taking the piss out of early Aussie TV - but now we really are offered Hobson’s Choice.
On offer is a bunch of lowest common denominator shows, all competing with each other to see who can sink lower.
In the past I have failed to give credit where it is due, but I’m now ready to rectify that error. There was a time when people watched and enjoyed shows that celebrated kindness, saw the hero in ordinary people, rewarded heroes, and helped battlers.
It Could Be You, according to one internet article [who cares if it’s right?] was the highest rating show ever on Australian TV. Beginning in 1960, it featured an American living in Oz whose name was Tommy Hanlon Jr.