Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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JUNE 1, 2004

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What the fuck is wrong with just showing good shows on TV?

This question has plagued me since the start of Big Brother and its other arsehole cousin reality shows. This year in the first three months of the year we've seen way too many reality shows hit television including Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Paradise Hotel, The Hot House, The Resort, Average Joe, My Restaurant Rules, Celebrities Uncensored, Survivor All Stars, Popstars Live, American Idol, just to name a few.

Reality shows used to be home handy man style shows like Burke's Backyard but now the entire line up for an evening will have at least one reality show in it. WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO ENTERTAINMENT PEOPLE? I watch TV to relax to escape reality not watch other people fight, if I wanted to watch people fight I would watch my parents. But this alone doesn't annoy me anymore, oh no, reality TV is slowly becoming unfashionable, the mid season cancellation of The Resort and The Hot House has proved that to me, what really is pissing me off the fact that programmers at the major networks are fucking around with the few actually entertaining shows that we have on.

My anger started a few weeks ago when Angel a spin off of the highly successful Buffy series was moved from it already late 10:30pm Wednesday slot on Channel 7 to the 11:30pm slot on Thursday. Now I wouldn't have minded this as they replaced it with The L Word a show about lesbians and all the fun sex they have. From what I hear about this show and the few minutes I watched of its premiere episode, the show is all about getting all the female actresses naked at some point throughout the series except for Jennifer Beals. No what pisses me off about this move is that at 10:30pm on Channel 7 has put Celebrities Uncensored, a show entirely about using old paparazzi footage of celebrities leaving night clubs drunk or shopping somewhere. The worse bit about this show is the annoying voice of the voiceover guy. WHY PUT SOMETHING WORTH WATCHING AFTER THIS CRAP!!!!? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH PUTTING ACTUAL ENTERTAINMENT ON TV!!!? WHY DO I HAVE TO STAY UP TIL 11:30PM TO WATCH SOMETHING GOOD?

As you can see I'm very angry about this but as I started to think about it lots of things are pissing me off about the programming of TV shows lately. Another example is That 70s Show. This show started in 1998 in the US so naturally it was a summer program here in 1999. Now we saw one season of this very funny and still running show and then Channel 7 took it off air, why, only they know. But what really pisses me off is that now that Ashton Kutcher is famous now so they've brought back the show now. What's he famous for? Not acting obviously! No, he's famous for fucking Demi Moore!!! What the fuck!!

My next Example - Boomtown and MDs have finally returned to Australian screens. These two very good and innovative shows are quite enjoyable viewing. For those who don't know, Boomtown is a cop show that tells the story from every character perspective so you see all the different characters and how they fit into the story. MDs (which only had one episode aired) is a comedy about a group of doctors in a hospital. In it they battle with the evil HMO people and annoying directors of the hospital. Unfortunately, for most of us these shows will only be seen if you have insomnia as they start at 11:30pm after Talking Footy.

Speaking of late night viewing I will just briefly mention the injustice of having Futurama an excellent animated series being shown at 1am. If the Simpsons can be shown 50,000 times a week on Channel 10 why can't Futurama be shown at a decent time of night? Yes I know I could tape it by should I have to tape a show that deserves to be one at decent time? WHY GOD DAMN IT?!!! (Here I would like to point out that this is done to Star Trek as well but who cares it's not that has a large following of viewers)

My other annoyance with Television programming is the need to edit shows down to make the classification you want. My prime example here is Smallville. Smallville is Rated M if you look at the DVD but if you watch it on TV Channel 9 it has been edited down to a PG rating. This would be ok if a swear word was cut here and there but to get Smallville down to a PG rating, Channel 9 has to cut down the "violence" of the show. This either means that when you watch it on TV you miss what the bad guys powers are or the eventual fight between Clark Kent and the bad guy. This editing isn't even subtle as you can instantly tell by the music changing awkwardly. This editing is not new as Channel 9 also did this awkward editing to X-men: Evolution to get it from a PG rating to G rating for when they would play it on Saturday mornings. Channel 10 often does this to The Simpsons as well and it wasn't til I got cable that I even noticed that this was happening.

Why can't TV channels just allow TV shows be shown the way they were meant to be and at a decent time, after all with the every decrease in the cost of DVDs and the introduction of digital cable TV we could all just not watch their crappy reality show ridden channels.


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