On Watching T.V.

There have been many threads regarding the filth that festers on American television, but only a few posts have stood out to make a point about either watching television with serious restrictions on what is viewed or not having one at all. I am in favor of the former because there can still be found some nuggets of truth and sense on television, and while I would depraise the news, I must ask: “Were you or were you not watching a news network on the day of September 11th, 2001?”

Some tips I thought might be helpful when immersing yourself into the tube:

—Whatever channel you end up watching, if commercials come on or when commercials come on, mute the television and occupy your brain in another fashion. If you have company, engage in intelligent conversation about the show you were watching; otherwise, I recommend having a book to jump right into at the moment the show cuts out. I occasionally peak my head up to see if the show has come back on, and when it does I simply mark the book and keep it close by.

—I recommend avoiding local non-cable channels except when absolutely nescessary (i.e. 9/11) or if your T.V. guide has indicated something fruitful and worthy of your brain. Ironically, this is the case for PBS which is a local non-cable network (NOVA is a fantastic show). If I wanted to root out the absolute crap to avoid, I’d say most game shows and cheap entertainment (i.e. Fear Factor, Survivor, etc.).

—Remove access from cable channels that are remotely degenerating to your mental health (i.e. MTV, MTV2, VH1, BET, etc.). I could go on debating why, but if you wanted to disagree with me, watch one of these channels and get back to me explaining why.

—Limit your viewing to shows which, or have the potential to, provoke thought and expand your intelligence. Anotherwords, take this question into consideration: “Besides entertaining me, what else am I getting out of this show?”

Given the general worthlessness of TV, what is wrong with using it (in moderation) as a relaxation method?

Granted, I know few people that use it this way, but it is possible.

TV=fatty food. OK in small doses, but if you are exposed to too much, you will become fat and lazy.

You can only blame the lack of quality on television on the people watching it. I tend to agree that there’s a lot of crap going around these days, and certain stuff definitely has a negative impact on viewers, but I think that someone who’s aware of the fact that he’s watching crap is somewhat safe for the influence of it. Not watching it won’t make it go away. My tip is, watch whatever you want, just make sure you can distinguish educational/cultural programs from programs that only have entertaining value.

My view on society as a whole, is that it’s always undergoing a postive evolution (with some dips, ofcourse), so that applies to the people watching TV aswell. Eventually people will stop being entertained by crappy reality shows, and others will stop producing them. …I hope.

People will grow tired of reality tv shows, but there will always be hit ideas that make prior boob-tube fads seem intelligent in comparason. I am really just talking out of my ass though, as I’ve been 8 years without a telivision; the internet is my current opiate :slight_smile: I remember TV as something that seemed to get dumber and dumber as the years passed by, and I would be supprised if anything has really changed.

On the topic of this thread, I really don’t think TV is detrimental to our mental health. People who waste away infront of their TV’s, it seems, aren’t the type that would spend their time doing something a tad more constructive if their TVs blew up. It seems almost in line with blaming McDonalds for obesity.

As an Englishman living in the USA I have to say. Your television is crappier than ours…at least we have 3 channels with NO commercials… Yay for the B.B.C. !

I’d reckon… but I’m sure the Canadians have you beat. When I vacationed in South Yarmouth, the local channels on the hotel T.V. seemed almost boring. A golf tournament and really old episodes of some sci-fi show with puppets (can’t remember what). I will say this… the English sure know comedy, and that’s one thing the world needs.

Or, or, or, or, or, or, or, or …

Do what I do, and don’t watch T.V. I just can’t do it … can’t sit there for hours at a time for no reason …

Unless the WC is on, then I have something to bitch about like a shameless ninny, which can actually be quite stimulating and invigorating.

I just invalidated my own argument, didn’t I?

i stopped watching television about three years ago. anything i accidentally (hehe) watch now is a result of my two grandmothers turning up the russian network or animal planet in the next room… or, my brother turning up the news or steven colbert.

of course, there’ some worthy stuff… won’t say much about that. but, going to the next room is an inconvenience… i refused to put a television in my room for a good reason, and i must say, the arrangement works pretty damn well. :slight_smile:

This site never ceases to amaze me.

Jesus and Professor Booty both posting on the same board. :laughing: =D>

What’s wrong with Reality-TV !!?… These shows are like documentaries about ordinary, everyday people. It’s only recently that video and editing equipment has become cheap enough to use with the ’ Average Joe/Jane ’ as the main character.

You can shoot hundreds of hours of footage, transfer it to a PC, separate the half-hour of wheat from the chaff and BINGO !!

The Director is dead… Long live the Video-Editor…?

This thread reminds me of Tool:

"Eye on the TV
'Cause tragedy thrills me
Whatever flavor it happens to be, like…
“Killed by the husband”
“Drowned by the ocean”
“Shot by his own son”
“She used a poison
in his tea… then kissed him goodbye”
That’s my kind of story
It’s never fun 'til someone dies

Don’t look at me like
I am a monster
Frown out your one face
But with the other
Stare like a junkie
Into the TV
Stare like a zombie

While the mother holds her child
Watches him die
Hands to the sky crying,
“Why, oh why?”

Cause I need to watch things die… from a distance
Vicariously I live while the whole world dies
You all need it too, don’t lie

Why can’t we just admit it?
Why can’t we just admit it?
We won’t give pause until the blood is flowing
Neither the brave nor bold
Will write as the story’s told
We won’t give pause until the blood is flowing

I need to watch things die… from a good safe distance
Vicariously I live while the whole world dies
You all feel the same, so…

Why can’t we just admit it?

Blood like rain come down
Drum on grave and ground

Part vampire
Part warrior
Carnivore and voyeur
Stare at the transmittal
Sing to the death rattle

La, la, la, la, la, la-la-lie (x4)

Credulous at best
Your desire to believe in
Angels in the hearts of men
Pull your head on out, your head please and give a listen
Shouldn’t have to say it all again

The universe is hostile, so impersonal
Devour to survive… so it is, so it’s always been

We all feed on tragedy
Its like blood to a vampire

Vicariously I live while the whole world dies
Much better you than I"

Vicarious is the name of that song.

I havn’t watched much television in years, but somebody told me about a book that claimed our culture, television included, and although seeming watered down and often retarded, is actually making us smarter. I met a guy who spoke english with such great articulation and I asked him where he learned to speak like that, he said “TV.” So I’m not sure.

Reality TV is like electoral democracy - we hate it because it’s so easy to see that it’s a sham, but we buy into it anyway.

I’ve commented on a handful of excellent reality TV shows on this forum, I could give a brief run down if anyone’s interested.

I’d be interested.


Here’s a few of my favs ( in no particular order.)

  • COPS
  • Survivor - (only the first few seasons)
  • Wife Swap - (UK)
  • Brat Camp - (UK)
  • The Osbournes

My thoughts on The Osbournes :

The Osbournes - A reality show…?.. Maybe, maybe not, but in my opinion it has done a lot to improve the reality show genre. IMHO, what really set it apart was the use of professional sounding, ‘suitably dramatic’ music throughout each episode. Before the Osbournes (correct me if I’m wrong), a ‘full musical score’ was only reserved for movies or big-budget TV shows. You can both see and hear the ‘Osbournesque’ method/style in a lot of the reality shows made since.

i watch a lot of cartoons, and anime, i find the stories and writing in both can be a lot more creative than just about any other tv shows.

Kids Next Door started off semi-good and has gotten great, there are detailed plots.

the best tv doesn’t pretend like the people watching are stupid.

i;'ve never been big on TV

but ,

i think adult swim has some good programming. (the non anime stuff)

no offense to anime fans but i like it during and awkward time so no its…ek.


wonder showzen and pee-wees play house are still my favorite.

pee-wee’s play house is the worst thing on, i used to watch it as a kid, and was board with it

Ugh I havn’t watched television much since the end of Seinfeld. It pretty much is all garbage. The reality shows are not reality shows at all, and people picked for reality shows are not representations of our populations at all. Comedy Central IMO is worth watching if you’re into comedy, all comedy is worth watching/listening too if it is thought provoking enough. I do avoid pop/overly mainstream comedy though, especially dealing with race jokes and common everday tribulations. The Daily Show is fun, Colbert is fun, Hedberg and Cook are fun. The National Geographic is fun, except when the similarities between documentaries too much to handle, some stand out though. Also, Bravo plays classic movies so I watch that, essentially that is all I watch.