Why I Don't Watch TV Anymore

I have a confession to make.

I, Suze, don’t watch TV anymore. In fact, I’m pretty much turned off of just about every show out there. It’s an interesting irony, really. After all, I produce TV. Right now I co-produce a series that airs on our local cable station. We have a bunch of other shows in various stages of development and pre-production. I contribute directly to the industry, but I don’t really participate as a viewer.

Here I am, on a Friday night, flipping endlessly through the hundreds of channels that I have available to me on my digital box. And aside from one or two interesting documentaries, a few movies, the odd cooking and home reno show and, well, our show, of course 🙂 …I can’t get over how little actual, good content there is on mainstream television anymore.

Now, before I continue, I must admit that I have never been a dramatic series watcher. Aside from the occasional episode of Law and Order or CSI, I really have never been able to commit to watching a series week after week. I do appreciate that there are some good series out there – Lost, Heroes, Grey’s Anatomy to name a few – but if you look at the current lineups of the major networks, even those types of shows are becoming the minority.

It seems to me that the major networks and U.S. specialty networks are obsessed with drama. And I don’t mean “E.R” kind of drama. I mean the staged, exaggerated, over-the-top “reality-based” Drama Queen type of drama that makes up a good majority of mainstream television these days.

I love video. I always have. It has the power to impress, to entertain, to really move people to change for the better. But these “reality” shows are an insult to the medium and frankly, an insult to my intelligence. These programs seek only to bring out the worst qualities in people – they are stories about greed, revenge, deception and negativity. Why anybody finds this sort of show entertaining is really beyond me.

The more time goes on, it seems, the more shows like this are becoming the mainstream. Obviously, somebody is watching them. Why they are so popular puzzles me greatly. As much as I love the medium of television, I’m losing faith in it, fast. More often than not these days, I am turning off the TV and turning on my laptop.

The Internet is so ripe with awesome content, it makes me want to burst. I can watch shows about any topic imaginable, produced by people who have skill and talent and heart and passion. I can do it on my own schedule, from my bed, my livingroom, my coffee shop or my backyard. Through the Web, I have regained the capacity to be impressed, entertained and moved by video.

And that’s where I start to see hope for the future.

What do you think? Where does TV sit in your life these days?

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  • July 5, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    I only watch the truly well put together dramas like CSI and Dexter, and enjoy the ridiculous like Arrested Development, Dead Like Me, Weeds, etc. I don’t watch any of those dancing or singing or music shows, and I have never wanted Amazing Race or Dr. Phil. I’m proud of that. I watch more movies than anything else.

  • July 5, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Like you I also do not watch much TV anymore. I used to watch a bit of CSI or Law & Order but basically I have no time nowadays and what time I have for content I spend reading RSS feeds or interacting in various online communities.

  • July 7, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I’m a picky TV watcher… I’m going to suggest a few shows that I can’t imagine you wouldn’t like… Penn & Teller Bullshit! on Showtime, Weeds on Showtime, and This American Life on HBO. Hope you get a chance to watch some of them!

  • August 9, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    I usually just watch off DVD or DVR. My wife and I will go through a TV series we like over a few marathon sessions. 95% of TV is, of course, crap but here are a few good shows. For example, “The Wire” is great. We just finished going through season one of “Mad Men” which is pretty good.

  • August 14, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    I am not sure why tv continues to work when there is Joost. Joost is where I see the future of entertainment.
    I have never paid for nor do I care for subscribing to cable but have been to my brothers house and flipped through an incredible amount of channels that show and repeat terrible programs. Why do people pay for cable when cable companies get revenue from ads? I don’t get it.

  • August 15, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Yep – pretty much on the same page!

    I actually just posted about our own cable-less lives last week. And listed some of our own faves for online shows! If curious: http://tinyurl.com/5hlg83



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