Friday, April 20, 2012

tv or not tv

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.


  1. I reckon reality t.v. is for gullable twits who haven't got a real life. I'll settle for a good book or a nice piece of music anyday :-).

  2. Yeah. I agree. TV has mostly crap. But I do feel there are some great programs out there.

    I think the scripted shows with professional actors are usually better than the reality TV stuff.

    1. Yes, even Neighbours would be better than most of the crap talk shows.

  3. don't you just love the hats??? my mums generation was glad of the coming of "casual clothing" but then disjointed when casual became the norm for us their daughters.

    agree wholeheartedly about TV.these day's It's whatever is cheapest to buy or produce pluss advertising = profit. I will never pay for cable ..paying for more crap shows and advertising seems....well stupid lol.

    wish someone would bring back this show :)

    1. Oh the hats! The gloves! [no wonder I hated school.]

      Yes, it would be nice to see something positive like this. A couple of make-over shows have done some good turns for people but there seems to be so much hype.. and maybe the best acts of kindness are the simple ones.

  4. Apart from news and current affairs, which sadly seem to be going the way of the cheap entertainment we deplore, there's nothing in regular programming I 'MUST' watch! Weirdly, that's kind of freeing, in a way!!

    1. Current affairs shows seem to feature a mixture of heavy duty advertising masquerading as a story, and smug self-righteousness.
      Well, not the ABC I suppose. I can handle the news, but not things like Q & A which doesn't seem to have much objectivity going for it either.

      I think a TV is for watching DVDs on, myself.