Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What's wrong with TV these days?

We're barely into the fall TV season and already cancellation fever is in the air. Seems that TV series are already being cancelled, which doesn't bode well for viewers who have formed an early attachment to a favorite program. Alreadyon the chopping block are "Lone Star" (never watched it so don't know what I'm missing, if anything) and "My Generation" (same thing). Even more interesting and telling is that the series were cancelled after only two programs. As is and most likely always will be, ratings is the indicator of a series viability and if the numbers aren't there, bye-bye program!

This season i.e. fall 2010 and for whatever reason, writers and the powers-that-be at TV networks have decided what viewers need - not necessarily want - are more cop programs. While I'm a fan of "Law and Order: SVU", I can't see the need for "Law and Order: LA." Then again, that's just my opinion. I do, however, like "Detroit 1-8-7" because it is a throwback and mix of "Homicide: Life on the Streets" and "NYPD Blue." Although it really doesn't offer anything new in cop dramas, I think there's potential growth for the characters if the networks give it a chance to grow and therein lies the problem. Unfortunately, cancellations come quickly and networks don't give viewers a chance to develop an attachment to the characters and story lines. No sooner are we introduced to a program, than it's cancelled.

Part of the problem - IMHO - is that the writers don't or perhaps can't come up with new ideas. It's variations of old themes, updated. Attention network execs: viewers aren't stupid! We recognize familiar themes! As an early viewer of "Lost" there was an immediate attraction at least for me, because the writers/creators knew how to tell a story. Isn't that what it's about in the end? The story? Can't remember the last time I tuned into a new comedy series. First of all there is nothing worse (for me, anyway) than canned laughter. It interrupts the dialogue and is a constant irritant. It's as if the writers are petrified viewers won't know where the funny parts are and have to tell us! Really - we can discern humor from dumb-ness! Just give us something to laugh at!

And so once again, viewers await the rest of the cancellation list and their replacements. We tune out because in the end, there really isn't any reason to tune in. Give viewers new ideas and solid writing plus plots and we'll be back.

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