Opinions and Rants #33: Farewell Network TV. It Was Nice Knowing You.
Growing up, I had three networks plus PBS. That was it.... every day.... for years. No internet, no HBO, no DVD, no VHS, no cable channels, no Hulu, no Netflix... nada. I was perfectly okay choosing between (A) Sonny & Cher, (B) The Brady Bunch, or (C) Sanford & Son every Friday night. The three networks offered up stuff we liked and we were satisfied.
Fast forward to today, and I can honestly say (excluding certain sporting events) I haven't watched NBC, ABC or CBS in years.... and, quite frankly, I haven't missed them. They were my three childhood "friends", offering me everything from The New Zoo Revue to The Powers of Matthew Star; however, I feel no loyalty to them, considering they have betrayed me.
That's right - betrayed me. The networks all but killed off the situation comedy, and any drama I get into is cancelled without notice. I understand reality shows are waaaaay cheaper to produce: no actors, no writers, no sets, no locations.... just dump a bunch of fat people in a room and see if they can lose weight. It's the cheap and lazy route. Keeping truly quality shows alive like Freaks and Geeks and Arrested Development seems to be just too much to ask. They're motto seems to be: "Let's just let HBO and AMC make good original stuff, while we make drivel on the cheap like Dancing with the Stars."
Considering there's so many options now besides the networks, I honestly don't see how this strategy can lead anywhere but bankruptcy - or, at the very least, total and complete insignificance.
To alter a famous quote by T.S. Eliot: "This is the way the networks end. Not with a bang, but a whimper."