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Topic #8
Boob! Tube! TV Sucks!



Ok, let me start this off by saying that I don't hate TV. My TV is an inanimate object. I don't hate inanimate objects… well, unless you count some of the people I work with, which are essentially dead weights, but I digress…

I am, however, extremely unhappy with the current programming on these days. So, for the next few minutes, you are going to get to read about my least favorite things about the shows on TV these days.

First off, let me warn you, this is NOT a "TV is the poison of the masses" rant… this is a "God, can you believe that she wore THAT when going into trial?" sort of rant.

This leads us into the most disappointing show of the season: Ally McBeal. There are so many reasons to hate this show: the mockery that they make of women's issues (like I really care&#41, the mockery that they make of the legal system (like I really care&#41, the short skirts that all of the women wear (ok, I do like that&#41… the list goes on and on. What I hate is the fact that when the first episode came out, it seemed like an original sort of concept. Now, it's just a bad comedy disguised as a drama with annoying special effects and that FUCKING ANNOYING DANCING BABY! Ally McBeal is like a car wreck… as bloody and gory as it is each week, I just have to watch.

Another show that I happen to hate is King of the Hill. This is a show that was passable on the first few episodes. It went from innovative, to becoming a stereotype of the characters that they created. On top of everything, they're getting a wee bit preachy, don't you think? Why not slap a freaking cross on Peggy and have Hank wear a "Jesus Saves" ball cap. How the hell this show got any Emmy nominations is beyond me.

Next on the hit parade is South Park. This is a hard one, I really loved South Park… that is until everyone else in the civilized world started watching South Park. It was funny… it's still funny. I just don't like fact that the rest of the world finds it funny.

What else do I hate? I don't hate talk shows.. I don't hate infomercials. I hate my cable company… for fifty dollars a month, I would like to get the Cartoon Channel or E!. Oh look, Ally is "kickboxing" again. I wish Lucia Rijker (the best women's boxer and kickboxer in the world&#41 would get in the ring with her and snap her pointy little head off.

Ooh, an advertisement for next week's Melrose Place. Ooh, Josie Bissett couldn't get any other jobs so she is crawling back to the show again. Pardon me while I go to the bathroom and vomit up the chicken that I made for dinner.

Give me the good old days! The days where comedies were funny and dramas were serious. Give me a Hill Street Blues and a side order of Family Ties. Give me TV that makes me laugh and cry… not TV that makes me retch.

This particular topic was born while watching the weirdness that is Fox Monday Night Television. Though they just installed our digital cable, it is already malfunctioning (Go TCI! Is that a record?&#41 and the remote won't change the channel. You have to go all the way over to the TV and manually change the channel like in the olden days, and who's gonna do that? I used to never miss Melrose Place. No one in my office ever missed Melrose Place. At one point, we were all so into it that we drew a Melrose Place relationship chart on the white board, for god's sake. Now, I have to literally stop myself from slipping into a coma when it's on. What happened, Mr. Spelling? Who knew there was a limit to all that debauchery?

After the sedative that is Melrose Place, we're then subjected to the latest 90-pound weakling disguised as female empowerment, Ally McBeal. If I see one more .sig file quoting something that this whimpering skeleton said on the show, I may spontaneously combust. I'm all for good ensemble shows, and this one has a great ensemble cast, especially the "Biscuit", that guy from Ghostbusters who wanted to steal the baby for the Guy in the Evil Painting.

Don't get me wrong, I love TV. Our cable once went out and I swear I had a panic attack. Sometimes just getting the fuzzy local channels is worse than having no channels at all. Reminds me of my childhood. Anyway, the TV is always on in this house. We'd even rather have Baywatch on then nothing, and at times we've actually get involved in the storyline (but what's with all of those music video-type montages?&#41 Since it's on so much, we see all kinds of cool and informative shows: cooking, nature, Japanese dramas, Japanese science shows, shows about cats, wombats, Thompson's Gazelles, documentaries, the Les Miz special where the Valjeans from all over the world sing together…much of what I know, dare I say, even MOST of what I know I probably learned from TV. Case in point: One night in the Melrose Place courtyard (back in the day&#41, Allison shouted something about not wanting any "ersatz sympathy." I immediately looked up "ersatz" and have remembered it (and even used it a few times in a sentence!&#41 ever since. That is why I will never understand the parents who forbid their children to watch television. What's a book going to do for you that TV can't? Kids who can't read are being passed through until graduation, for Christ's sake, they may as well get some cheap entertainment along the way. 

All in all, TV doesn't really suck, except maybe when you've only seen a show three times and every time it happens to be a repeat of the first one. I am a fan of TV. I miss Married…With Children and Roseanne, and that show with Jon Cryer that got cancelled, and Diff'rent Strokes (poor little mall security guard Arnold&#41 and the Facts of Life.

Homer Simpson once accused, "Are you hugging the TV?"


Posted in Topics of the Week (1990s).

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