There’s Nothing on TV Anymore

modern family

Last night, I had a moment. I realized, I’m not writing anymore. Why am I not writing anymore? I want to — I have some general posts that I want to write about, and heck, I’m long past my window to write about the latest episode of Mad Men. But then again, I feel like I have little time, and it keeps slipping off my radar.

But in talking with JC (who really has been carrying this site over the last couple weeks — thank you!), perhaps there’s another problem looming: There’s nothing on TV anymore. I mean, there is, but the shows are few and far between, and when that happens, I’m left sitting bored on the couch, unable to bring myself to write on something that just doesn’t grab me. Even with Mad Men on Sunday, there was the question of whether it was brilliant or boring, and ultimately, I’m choosing the latter. Sure, it was artsy and had a lot of Don Draper self-reflection, but haven’t we seen that already? Give me something else.

Which is why I found it so funny to stumble upon Alan Sepinwall’s post, “How much good TV is too much?” Now I highly respect Sepinwall, and I agree with many of this issues. It’s hard to find time to watch all the TV you want, especially if you’re me and only get to write on a part-time basis due to real-world priorities. At least he’s had the benefit of owning a DVR for some years (we just got our first TiVo this month), so I’ve had to play the game of priorities for quite a while. And if some new series doesn’t make the cut in the first two episodes — let’s take RevolutionArrow, or as Sepinwall points out, Elementary — I just stop watching. I have to move on to bigger and better things.

But one thing did stop me in my tracks in Sepinwall’s article: good TV? What good TV? I’m finding myself bored and desperate, watching reruns of House Hunters and Income Property during a valued Wednesday or Thursday night because nothing else is on. I don’t watch reality TV and procedurals make me yawn. So what good TV is he talking about?

Ok, sure, there are some. Sunday night are chock full of great material: Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Revenge… In fact, with those three shows alone, I had to cute Revenge from my repertoire just because I couldn’t keep up. The same happened with shows like Dallas, Southland, and other TNT favorites (and let’s just say we’re lucky that Being Human was On Demand for so long or else that would have been an undead casualty). So yes, there are some exceptions, but ultimately, what networks are providing me during the week is lacking. And I’m pretty sure that’s why I end up watching Splash on a Tuesday night — live.

You could argue with me. Of course, there are some shows out there that people love: Big Bang Theory, Castle, Community, Modern Family, American Horror StoryWell, Castle just never grabbed me. American Horror Story had a huge fall from grace for me this season and just wasn’t worth my time. And Big Bang and Modern Family have become dumbed down iterations of themselves (or, in the case of Big Bang, sexed-up versions of themselves, which, sorry, is not real “substance” to me; it’s the same trap Ally McBeal fell into during season three). Even Community, which was one of my favorite series, let me down last night with a stunt puppet episode that had no value (you couldn’t even understand what they were singing), and I was just repeatedly counting down the moments until Parks and Rec started. At least that guaranteed to be entertaining.

And don’t get me started on the shows that I think are completely worthless drivel, with cliched jokes and terrible double entendres: Mike & Molly, Two Broke Girls, or The Neighbors.

And I’m not even saying that every show I watch is great. The Vampire Diaries has major problems — as does How I Met Your Mother — but they have enough standout episodes in a given season that it’s worth coming back to. Oh, and at least in the case of TVD, it actually has entertainment value. Somehow, many shows are missing that.

So yes, it’s hard to keep up, and if you have to keep up with all of them, I can only imagine how tough that is. But as someone spoiled with shows like Buffy, Gilmore Girls, The West Wing, and even the short-lived Studio 60, I just miss quality. I can’t sit here and argue that the airwaves are full of good TV anymore. Something’s just missing.

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8 thoughts on “There’s Nothing on TV Anymore

  1. New Girl. Not sure if you watch it already, but it’s a great show. It’s the first one we watch on our DVR if we don’t get to it during the week.

  2. Yes! I do watch New Girl. But to me, it’s hit and miss (though more hits than misses, I will confess). The show lies in the guys around her, and occasionally, when they have a Jess-centric episode, it just falls flat to me. That being said, it is a good one.

    If only the hour before New Girl had something on, as well as the hour and a half afterward. The Mindy Project is just awful. Now you see why I’m watching Splash.

  3. Pingback: Give Me My Comedies Back (And Forget the Stunts) | Raked

  4. LOVE The Mindy Project! It’s just silly; and I can’t get enough of Chris Messina.

  5. I also like the Gilmore-esque Hart of Dixie, which is just falling into the “so bad it’s good” category.

  6. I completely agree – I’ve just started my own blog writing about TV shows that i like, and i’m finding it difficult to find content because either, the shows are in their 5th, 6th season and are just getting boring, or, because there aren’t many good new shows!
    I’ve turned to the BBC – the Brits have given us a few great ones. Try out The Hour or Sherlock or Doctor Who, if you haven’t already.

  7. Network seriously began to lose its luster beginning in the mid ’80s. But the network’s fall into a state of oblivion was cast with the infectious growth of the worst thing ever to hit the airwaves: “reality” shows. The “reality” format has overwhelmingly pitted network television into an abyss of no return. It’s as bad as it gets. Where are the once great comedy’s that actually made the viewer laugh? They don’t exist anymore. Comedy/dramas, remember those? No, they don’t exist anymore either. Dramas themselves have become dark and apathetic. Network TV has become an overwound institution that can no longer play a sprightly tune anymore.

    Cable/satellite television has also descended into fathom depths of idiocy. Under the Discovery Networks umbrella the ownership of virtually all once independent cable networks are Discovery’s property. The novelty of subscription television services is fizzled out. Paying good money just to be assaulted with hoards of commercials and television shows that are limited to nonexistent intelligences.

    Since television viewership is declining rapidly, and more people are getting their entertainment via the internet, Netflix, etc., it certainly doesn’t look too good in the long term forecast for CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox. Ditto to the majority of the cable networks too.

    And hopefully all the circus clowns of the cable “news” outlets get in their kiddie cars and pedal
    off into the sunset as well.

  8. TV is best its ever been! Why do some peoples say there is nothing to watch. There are so many choices like never before. I dont no about you but I love reality shows. They mite be a little faked but they are very entertaineing. Noone wants old school TV shows stuff like black n white stuff is gay.

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