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American TV, what happened to you?

American TV, what happened to you?

I’ve now been in the USA for two weeks. People may go on about the greatness of American television, but based on my limited sampling experiences so far, it’s not exactly a fabulous thing to watch. For instance:

– they think nothing of putting heavy-taxing dramas like House or CSI: SVU on at 9am. And really, my brain does not want to be processing the implications of a 16-year-old pregnant girl trapped with a ranting religious nutcase at 9am on a Tuesday morning.
– they showed Casino Royale (the testicle-crushing version) at 10am
– Fox News’s morning show is called Fox And Friends. And features two staidly white men in suits and a blonde woman sitting in the middle, wearing a short skirt and a top that looks like she stumbled out of a New York nightclub three hours ago. And it makes no pretensions about its’ core viewership – it endlessly goes on about the potential Republican frontrunners for a Presidential election that’s 18 months away
– the Disney Channel has an endlessly perky computer-animated Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that has all the subtlety of a brick hitting a television
– Reality TV has truly gone mad here, with a speciality in watching privileged women act like they’re still in school, and accuse each other of ‘dissing’ each other, before burying the hatchet and being best buddies again. Usually in 45 minutes.
– MTV and VH1 seem to have just become entertainment channels – VH1 has reality shows instead of music
– Comedy Central dearly needs to break out of stand-up comedy specials from 5 years ago, and repeats of The Daily Show and the Colbert Report
– the one time I was in a house that had BBC America, it was showing …. Blade Runner. Very British.

And the commercials. Oy vey, the commercials. It’s an endless cycle of relentless plugging of fast food and buffets, which will probably deteriorate your body to the point when it needs a wonder drug. Luckily, the next ad is for said wonder drug that may cause side effects “including heart attacks which may lead to death”. Then up next is an ad for a hospital that promises the very best in health care. (And a part of me wonders how can a hospital that has to spend money in advertising be really promising the very best in health care?)

Of course, I could just be missing Dave and their endless re-runs of comedy panel shows and Top Gear… but darn it, it suited me down to the ground!

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