Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Fall TV Has Fell

The new television season is here again and my excitement about this time of year has declined. It’s been in a decline for the past few years. The over-the-air network shows are, for the most part, just crap. The OTA networks just slap those turds onto the wall to see what sticks.

If we use the Emmy’s as some sort of barometer for quality, OTA networks don’t seem to putting out anything “exceptional” except for that NBC series ‘This Is Us’. I haven’t seen ‘This Is Us’ and I have absolutely no desire. It appears to be a series molded from the Lifetime Movie Channel… People in heartbreaking trouble for the crying entertainment of the viewers. Personally, I don’t get it. But for some reason women eat that stuff up. Even the MIL has expressed interest in watching it. I offered to get her up to speed with the series “On Demand”, but thankfully she didn’t bite.

There was one intriguing series that NBC is putting out this season that seemed interesting, but the three reviews that I read caused me to say “Screw it” and I had the good sense not to set a DVR timer for it. ‘Manifest’ sounded like a great idea straight from an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’, but the reviews found problems that would cause me to groan out loud. One review even compared it’s tear-jerking potential to ‘This Is Us’.

But network television has serious issues with putting out decent science-fiction types of series. Since the success of the GREAT series ‘Lost’, they’ve been tossing them turds onto the walls just to see them slide down to the ground. The two biggest pieces of excrement, in my opinion, were ‘Flash Forward’ and ‘Revolution’. And after those two loafs from the OTA networks, I just gave up like I gave up on the majority of OTA network comedies and dramas.

The biggest problem for the OTA’s is quality. Sure, you see a dash of OTA series, actors, writers, or directors nominated for the Emmy’s, but those nominees are as elusive as Bigfoot. There are only the occasional sightings along with the ultra-occasional win.

But the OTA’s are kind of like the rock band KISS. They’re not interested in art as much as they are the money. After all, they thrive upon advertisers. They aren’t interested in quality and from the series that litter the airwaves, it’s all dumbed down crap for the masses.

The MIL likes watching repeats ‘Criminal Minds’ on some channel that she watches after ‘Days of Our Lives’ and that show makes me want to throw things at the television. Each character must fully explain every tiny detail to the other characters that should already know, you know, because it’s they’re job. But they can’t leave one single OTA viewer with questions. Those viewers need to know because they’re not going to think on their own.

We’ve recently made the decision to cut the cord and we’ve been weaning the MIL off the cable networks with ‘Stranger Things’ on Netflix. She enjoys the junk on the SyFy Channel so, I thought I’d give her an upgrade in quality television. It has taken some time. She said, “I don’t understand it.”

So, I asked about the things that she didn’t understand. And it was exactly what I thought it would be… She’s so used to having characters over explain plot points and the encapsulated procedurals that end each show with a “satisfying” conclusion. I had to explain that she should look at it as if it’s a soap like her ‘Days of Our Lives’ where there’s a story arc that continues. I reassured her that answers to her questions will become clearer as we go along. The MIL is getting it, but she has been made a little impatient by the OTA network fare. She has managed to stick with it along with Jamie.

I couldn’t get Jamie on board the first time around, but she’s all in this time around. They’re clamoring to watch more. We even watched four of them in a row over the weekend. I halted my progress with season 2 and decided to re-watch while they caught up to me.

And since the MIL is all about some murder porn on the ID Channel, I’m thinking about tossing ‘Mindhunter’ from Netflix on her as well.

In conclusion, I don’t understand what folks get from the OTA network shows. Most of the series are pointless, bland, and dumber than a side of beef. If it weren’t for the local news and sports, I wouldn’t bother with any kind of OTA antenna.

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