I was flipping though the channels the other day and I had that thought that everyone has at some point : how can I have so many channels and not be able to find anything to watch. I’m not looking for something life changing or anything just something interesting to pass the time. So I embarked on a three day experiment/study of TV programming options. Here is my not really that scientific, not totally through, kind of unproven but completely relatable analysis of why there is nothing on TV.
Any student of Natali would know that most forms of communication are completely absorbed with advertising. Magazines place ads before articles, movies advertise other movies, everything on the radio is brought to you by a sponsor and they make sure you hear about it, and Tv is no different. The vast majority of television programming is paid programming, infomercials, home shopping, and commercials. To me every commercial is hilarious if you think about how much has been spent on it when there is no way I will buy the crap their pushing. In my research I found that on out of the 147 channels I get on my TV at home 20 were playing straight infomercials and about half that were were on a commercial break when i flipped through them. I don’t know about you but I don’t tend to pay attention when people are trying to sell me something.
What else is on… Sports. I’m a girl and not a sporty one so the fact that 15 of my channels are devoted to sports isn’t really that helpful for me. I understand that there is something in a sporty guy that allows him to watch sports center 3 or more times in one day but for me putting a sport event on TV is the fastest way to put me to sleep. Take me out to the ball game, don’t make me watch it at home.
What else is on…The News.
If you’re into being up to date on today’s issues and late breaking stories of crime and tragedy than there are, on average, about 10 channels devoted to keeping you informed. If you want to be informed that is. Personally, I don’t really watch the news. I find it depressing, and when i’m watching TV(which is kinda of rare anyway) I want to be entertained not bummed out.
What else is on…celebrity butt licking fluff.
Honestly how many shows need to be devoted to telling the tales of celebrities antics. Apparently 5! I don’t care where Lindsey Lohan is or how much Puffy spent pimping out his multimillion dollar mansion. It’s bad enough that they are the ones on the infomercials trying to sell me crap, but now I have to watch them being “normal” too. If they’re so normal why don’t we just watch normal people.
OH CRAP! WE DO! What else is on…Reality TV.
I’ll admit I have seen the Real World, Road Rules, and even some Jersey Shore. I’ve been tricked into watching the fake reality of Flavor of Love and The Surreal Life. And I can say that I can see their allure. This shit is too crazy to make up. You can’t write this! But do you really need to have about 3 channels that are almost fully devoted to this stuff? Brain rot is possible. Hulu’s plan is real through this “reality” TV thing.
So what else is on- a couple of cooking shows, travel channel, animal planet, some game shows, and soap operas. I can deal with the cooking shows but these things don’t really float my boat. I like animals so if i’m in the right mood we could go there. Game shows are mostly cheesy with the exception of Cash Cab. But Soaps are for your mother or those who don’t get enough drama in their real lives–ie not me.
flip flip flip
Well, don’t they look entertained!
Oh…look old people programming, the kind of stuff that people with their original teeth and hair tend not to find very interesting. Some Masterpiece Theater, Turner Classic Movies, and WQED are great for the younger generation in small, very small, doses. Look Murder She Wrote is on- click.
Now we get to the meat of TV. Movies and Sitcoms. In a single flip though I found that 40 channels were playing movies. The only problem is that by the time a movie makes it to TV I’ve probably already seen it. Even so, if i’m watching Tv i’m probably watching a movie. I also found about 8 sitcoms of the comedy variety and 4 crime shows like Law and Order and NCIS. I actually like this type of TV because it makes you think a little.
What else is on…Educational stuff.
I love that some of the TV universe is devoted to trying to teach you something while your entertained with 9 channels like History, Discovery, hell even the weather channel. I love Myth Busters and Dirty Jobs and How it’s made. But it seems when i’m ready to watch such shows they aren’t on. And again if i wanted to learn something i’d read a book- TV is for entertainment.
Last but not least…Sexy time..
Face it…Sex sells and going back to number one- advertising makes up a lot of the TV universe. I wish I could say that I don’t fall into the bubble brained majority that is tricked by images of hot people getting busy but it’s built in. The only thing is … sometimes the images on the screen can become too much and breed some pretty awkward situations. Like watching the recent True Blood sex scene with your mother or worse your little brother or cousin in the room. AWKWARD! Sometimes the sexy time is to much so that it’s better to turn the TV off.
Actually, that’s probably some pretty good advice. Turn it off when there’s nothing on. Read a book, go for a walk, read the Daily Blowhole. So how can there be so many channels and nothings on? Mostly it’s the advertising’s fault.