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Television shows I refuse to watch

Updated on February 14, 2013

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!)

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't have a tv, so I'm not up on the latest reality shows, but I'm saddened to hear about The History Channel. I used to love that channel.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      I envy you not having a TV, Bill. It would not bother me in the least to go without one myself. Regarding the History Channel, I loved it too. When they actually had shows that informed us of the history of the world, it was great. They still do have some, but they are being displcaed by these psuedo-reality shows like Ax Men and Bamazon and Swamp People that show an underbelly of life I could do without seeing. Why are we as humans drawn to the worst things? Is it the Car Wreck Syndrome? We cannot bear to look away from the worst nightmare imaginable? Have we not progressed beyond this? To quote the Maitre' De in Ferris Buehler, "I weep for the future."

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 4 years ago

      Good Hub. Much of what you wrote about is very true. TV has gone off the deep end and that includes many of the commercials. Really taboo from life as we knew it years ago. Yet - in the 2000's - life has not stoodstill - everything has charged forward even though most has gone to hell in a hand basket. I have even noticed the Rating System for movies has changed. They used to have X Rated movies now they are R Rated, and PG-13 were considered R, NR (Not Rated) is a mix you don't really know what kind of content is involved. I dropped my FIOS TV as I was having constant technical problems every month without fail - luckily for me where I live - we are given about 35 free channels with Cable. I watch many family movies that I rent or borrow. History Channel along with the crappola there are some good programs - I guess that is true for much of what is offered. Voted Up, Useful and Interesting. Have an excellent Valentine's Day.

    • Mr Archer profile image
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      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Why, thank you Ms. Welch! Happy Valentine's Day to you, as well! We have a boatload of movies on DVD and VHS; probably far more than we should have. We watch a lot of these, and a select amount of TV; very select. Do you remember the Statler Brothers song, Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott? The line "you gotta take your analyst along to see if it's fit to see" tells it all. We need an analyst in our homes to tell us if the TV show or games will hurt us more than we've already been hurt! Take care, and have a great day!

    • DIYmommy profile image

      Julie 4 years ago

      This hub is spot on! Even before reaching it in your hub, I was hoping you would mention 'the Bachelor'. It really boggles my mind that some of these shows have amassed the following that they have. I'm not sure that it speaks too highly of society, and people in general, that they gravitate seamlessly towards such garbage and filth. Personally, my husband and I watch very little TV. With a 2 month old son now, my husband and I are vigorously trying to expose him to some quality entertainment. For music, my husband frequently plays for him bands like Journey--where lyrics actually had thought behind them, and weren't akin to the Nicki Minaj, Justin Beiber, and Britney Spears dumbed-up lyrics that now permeate society. Thanks again for the great hub!

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you, DIYmommy! When our youngest was a babe, we played big band music and classical, and he still likes it best! He's almost 9 years old now, and has thankfully stayed away from this "stuff" they call music today. We are lovers of the old music, from classical rock to classic country with a bit of true classical thrown in for good measure.

      The Bachelor is a complete befuddlement to me, as are so many "reality" shows. They showcase the worst in so-called civilized society, and are a fulcrum in the decline of our civilization. We need to turn them off and play with our children more. Only then will we make a difference in thier lives. Have a great day!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I'm with you, Mr. Archer. The Bachelor is dispicable. The whole premise of the program sets women back to the days of the caveman. The program protrays women as backbiting, shallow, clothes hangers that will go against their own better judgment in order to gain favor with a man they don't know. It's a throwback that is insulting to, both, today's men and women.

      I haven't been able to afford cable since my layoff and I miss it NOT one iota. The only program I did like was Mystery Diagnosis. Predominantly, I found cable programming insipid, with the likes of "Toddlers and Tiaras" and makeovers for the unacceptable looking segment of the population; another insulting putdown of a program that focused on externals rather than what's important. I see most television programming as a form of brainwashing; relegating people to non-thinking entities that swallow their medicine without knowing what it is they are being medicated for.

      Well written piece, Mr. Archer, that highlights the shallowness of society's self-importance and selfishness; "I, me, and mine".

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 4 years ago from Missouri

      Thank you, Amy. Television is exactly what you said: brainwashing. Like the movie The Truman Show, people are watching reality shows rather than living a reality of their own. Thanks for the comment, Amy. You be well up there in ol' St Lou.

    • tiffanyz profile image

      tiffanyz 4 years ago from New York City

      I can't agree more with all of you; I actually wrote a hub on the same topic 50 and television. I find so amazing that you are writing about the same topic, so it is very obvious that alot of people the same way. I am so disgusted with T.V. I basically watch Investigation ID. I am paying all this money and watching maybe one or two channels. Television programs has definitely gone straight to hell. I really miss the type of programs that were on years ago, at least you could watch them without cringing. I remember when you weren't allowed to use certain words on Television and now these same words are used on a regular basis. Lets not mention the love scenes on T.V. these days--I would rather use my imagination, thank you very much.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 21 months ago from Florida

      Your wife and I have something in common: "The Middle"! I love that show! I can watch reruns over and over. Maybe it's because I can identify with the family.

      I used to watch all the shows you mentioned "way back when", and I still enjoy the reruns.

      I'll never understand why people watch the stupid shows that remain popular.

      Voted UP, etc. and shared.

    • Mr Archer profile image
      Author

      Mr Archer 21 months ago from Missouri

      She says the same thing! Sue must have been patterned after our daughter, and Axel is for sure a combination of our two oldest sons. Now Brick.... he might be me! Thanks and have a wonderful day!

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