Television shows I refuse to watch
Television when I grew up consisted of ABC, NBC, CBS, and if you were really lucky, PBS. Although, in those days I wouldn't call the programming you could find on PBS as anything that one could be called lucky to watch. I mean, when they had the telethon's to raise money for Public Broadcasting, they were showing fourteen hours of the Lawrence Welk Show, interspersed with 10 minutes of sales pitch selling memberships out of every twenty minutes of show. At least today they have shows like Celtic Women and the like that are really enjoyable (well, at least to me).
As a child, my parents controlled the TV during the week; but Saturday mornings were mine! I'd willingly get up early, like 6:00 AM, to watch Bozo and Captain Kangaroo, then there were cartoons for the next 4 hours or so. Johnny Quest, The Jetson's, Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, The Flintstones, Roadrunner and The Pink Panther. Ah, the classics that built my childhood were and still are the best. And, because they were limited, I made sure I watched them every Saturday I was allowed to. Today's child has a thousand channels to choose from, and not a one of them seems to be worth watching. Oh, there are the "vintage" cartoons that are still on, but most kids won't watch them; I think these channels showing them are more for us adults to watch than the kids.
The adult shows in those days were so much simpler, kinder. For the most part. The Beverly Hillbillies, Daniel Boone, Walt Disney, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Walton's, Pettycoat Junction, Green Acres, and even Bowling for Dollars. The afternoons were filled with Dark Shadows, the only Soap Opera I would ever watch. Then came Gilligan's Island, F Troop, and Star Trek. Trivia Time!!! Did you know that the first inter-racial kiss on television was on Star Trek? And no, I'm not talking about the green alien woman Kirk kissed; it was Uhura and Kirk.
All of these shows were worth watching, and while some may have seemed racy by the standards of that day and age, they cannot hold a candle to today's shows. Beginning in the Seventies, television began exploring areas previously considered taboo. Dallas was huge in more than a couple of ways, as was its spin-off Dynasty (just take the dy off to see what it really was). Movies became riskier, as well. My first eye opening movie was Billy Jack. I was 12 when I rode my bicycle to the newly opened mall and paid my four bits to watch this movie. I did it without my parent's knowledge, which led to some pain afterwards.
Today's movies and television have taken things to a whole other level, though. Even Billy Jack is tame by today's standards. Network shows today are almost what cable in the Eighties was, and cable or dish are unfettered by either good taste or family values. I cannot stand to watch 99.9999999% of the shows on TV today, so without further ado here is a sampling of the shows I can't stand to watch.
Reality Shows are perhaps the top of my list. Who in their right mind enjoys the life portrayed on these shows? Far too many of them are nothing more than poorly mannered people in real life being glamorized for showing poor taste. Jersey Shore? Really? A bunch of partying idiots from what I can tell. Real Housewives of Wherever? How are you real in any way? And Honey Boo Boo? I'm sorry, but when you A) have a pet pig in the house (even the Arnold the pig on Green Acres was better than this one) and B) you have subtitles for every word spoken AND THEY ARE SPEAKING ENGLISH, something has gone terribly wrong. At least, I think it's English. Why in the world does the American Public desire to see this type of show?
The Bachelor. What are we on now, version 25 or so? All this is is a bunch of hormonally active people drinking wine, back stabbing and talking about each other, while trying to fool the person handing out roses. How many have actually gone on and married? And stayed married? Anyone? Anyone? I sound like that teacher from Ferris Buehler. Then comes the final four, where they have the "overnight" stay. All that is set up to be is an opportunity for the guy (or girl) to "try out" the others without having to be called a cheater. Come on!
Then we have these horrible shows that put America into an uneasy situation. Hoarders. Who thought that one up? I can imagine a boardroom filled with people trying to come up with the Next Big Thing in television, and they are drawing blanks. Finally, one guy stands up and cries "I know! Let's get the filthiest house we can find, offer to clean it up, and watch as the owner has a mental breakdown as we throw away their treasures!" Stimulating television, that.
Love it or List it. You have this British gal who is supposed to be this great designer or something who walks into a home; listens to the owners describe how they have outgrown their four bedroom 3,000 square foot home, with their two dogs and a baby, and need a fourth bathroom and another den or something. Then she promises them the moon for a price. They leave to wander around with this geeky real estate dude who listens to their wish list of what they want in a home, and then takes them to three houses that are either not what they want; not where they want; or so far out of their price range that they feel poor just going to look at it. Meanwhile, back at their home, the destruction (not construction) crew finds some problem that should have been obvious to anyone skilled in labor before beginning the destruction, and all of a sudden, their wish list for fixing up their home is cut short as the design gal has to spend half of their budget on the hidden problem. Nobody's happy; nothing's fixed like it was promised; and they normally have to "love" it because they are broke, their house isn't fixed up, and they have no money to go out and buy a house they really want!
The shows that seem to be the most popular are those takeoffs from overseas. American Idol, Wipeout, and the like originated somewhere over the sea and have been adapted for our viewing pleasure. Then come other knockoffs, like America's Got Talent and The Voice. Find something original that America loves, networks!
Then you have the History Channel. I used to love this channel, because I love history. But today? Swamp People, Ax Men, Outback Hunters, Life After People. My wife and kids have fun with this one. "One minute after the last human died, nothing has changed!" It's a lot of fun. Bamazon? A bunch of men destroying the Rain Forest to try and find gold. Oooohhhh, what a wonderful show we are viewing! Pawn Stars used to be fun, but now it's all about "Well, I'll probably have to hold it for years and I need to make a profit, so I'm going to offer you $400 for this item, even though my expert says it's worth $4,000." One can only stand to see these idiots and their goods separated for so long before you become angry at the greed on display, by the Pawn Stars and the people trying to sell Grandpa's World War II Medals.
About the only History Channel shows I have endeavored to watch in the past couple of years have been The Hatfield's and McCoy 's (that was seriously good!), and Full Metal Jousting. Hatfield's and McCoy's was stimulating for the actual history brought forward and shown for our pleasure. Who knew that pig was such a big part of the feud! Then, Full Metal Jousting was fresh, new, and totally different than anything that had ever been on TV before. To watch those huge horses, galloping along with those guys in armor trying to compete was great viewing for me. It gives you a glimpse into a world long gone, and you can see just how difficult this really was. That was History come to life!
There is so much negativity, greed, hate, filth, ignorance, stupidity, and poor life choices on display that I cannot stand to watch hardly anything on TV today. There is one show, and one show ONLY that I watch when I can. It is smart, well written, very well acted, and it generally has a positive thought to it. Can you guess what it is? I am not alone in watching it, I can tell you. It is generally the most watched show on the boob tube each week. Any guesses? Maybe I'll write a hub about it sometime. Heck, my Lab's even named after one of the characters, I love it so much!
The bottom line is that there is nothing worth paying for to watch on television anymore. More often than not, it is on as white noise while we work on our son's homework, or I write, or we sit around in our living room talking. My wife likes to watch The Middle and Modern Family, and we do our best to limit what the kids watch as much as we can. Positive in = positive out; crap in = crap out. Simple really.
Oh well, my rant has come to a close. I think I'll put in a movie to watch; maybe Man's Favorite Sport or The Cowboys or maybe even Darby O'Gill and the Little People. After all, St. Patrick's Day is coming up soon. I'll need to get me brogue goin' afor the little people come visitin'. TTFN! (Tiggerspeak for Ta Ta For Now!)