Network television, and remembering…

… why I gave it up in the first place.

I made a conscious decision quite a few years back to shun network TV. The interminable and juvenile ads bugged me and there really wasn’t anything on that grabbed my interest anyways. I’m not BIG TV watcher so am picky about what I glue my eyes to for an hour or more.

It’s not that I think that all TV programming totally sucks. There has been and is some good entertainment to be found on the box. Buffy the Vampire Slayer,  Lost, The X Files and St. Elsewhere were all quality network shows. And “cable” TV did even better with The Sopranos, Rome and currently A Game of Thrones.

So, when my wife suggested to me last h=night that I watch the new Kevin Bacon flick, The Following, I was more than a bit leery.  Was this going to be an incredible waste of an hour? But, having been a bit of a Kevin Bacon fan (LOVED him in Tremors and Apollo 13) through the years, I gave it a go. And you know what? It is a pretty good show. I may watch it again. But here is what I observed after having been away from the world of Global, CTV, CBS, etc. for a while:

  • More gore. Lots more. The Sopranos was a very violent show – no doubt – but the gore level on The Followers would have made Tony dry heave. This is a significant change from the network TV I remember.
  • The ads are even more annoying than ever. Seriously. And there are more of them. They are shorter in length but in greater numbers.
  • Our own government is responsible for some of these ads. Once again, can someone PLEASE explain to me why the Harperites are still spending taxpayer dollars shilling the Economic Action Plan? Wasteful and annoying all at once…
  • Camera work has improved and the quality of the video is better – as the audio. But maybe I’m noticing that just because I now have a kick-ass TV!

You certainly won’t be seeing my TV time scream up to the Canadian national average (28.5 hours per week) – mostly due to the ads – but you might see me give a show that has given good reviews more of a chance I would have a week ago.

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