Sunday, August 26, 2007

8-26-07: Good TV

Whatever happened to good TV? I just saw a video of Mr. Rogers from a Senate hearing in 1969. It was during the Vietnam War, and Nixon wasn't a fan of the proposal for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. So, visionaries like Rogers were speaking on the behalf of public broadcasters in front of a tough committee, to get $20 million in funding. In six minutes, Rogers gave arguably one of the best speeches I have ever seen or heard. He spoke about the importance of proper education of children as far as how the control their emotions. He also spoke about the crap on TV that kids were watching. I thought it was a remarkable moment in television history, and think Rogers deserves a throne to sit on in Heaven for all the good he did.

This got me thinking. What happened to good television? I was on the treadmill this afternoon and saw "Flavor of Love" (the Reunion) on VH1. Summary: big boobs and women fighting. And it's called entertainment. What a world. I think this feeds back into the "humans can only comprehend so much." If you try to create something that is really good, it's probably already been done. If you want to sell something, the standards are much, much lower. Big boobs sell. It's sad, but hormonally sound. I miss good TV.

If I were to run a television station independently, I would focus on two things. The first would be to be honest with the audience in the programming. If it's mindless, don't pretend it's something different. Sometimes people just need the distraction, but that's not good TV. I'm not saying my programming would be mindless. That's where the second focus comes in: substance. All the best shows on TV nowadays work on multiple levels. I'd want my programming to appeal to people because of its pure value. No bullshit bells and whistles. I have no idea what sort of shows I'd put on the station. I just know it wouldn't be "Flavor of Love." If I were to pick any rapper to have a show it would be Chuck D.

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