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I'm sick of people who are famous for being famous. How about we strip Heidi and Spencer Pratt of all their worldly goods, drop them in, say, Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine, and force them to claw their way above the poverty line. Call it "Who Wants to Be A Washed Up Homeless Ex-Celebutante?"

Oh, and please. Billy Mays is dead. Stop trying to be Billy Mays. No more Billy Mays wannabes.

My gripe is remakes. Now they're remaking "A Nightmare On Elm Street". This, after the suckitude of "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3", "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", etc.

No one expects them to be better, but apparently the kids these days won't see anything made before 2007.

Because of the crap on the Disney channel, we started investing in old TV show DVDs a few years back. My daughter now loves I Love Lucy, Mary Tyler Moore and the Odd Couple. All of the episodes are 25 minutes long. Which means only 5 minutes were spent on commercials. Sure, this was thirty or more years ago, but I think it would be far more effective to use advertising at a minimum rather than slam us in the face with it. There are just so many commercials now that I tune them out or mute the TV. With only five minutes, I might actually watch them.

Karen has a good point. I recently missed an episode of "Leverage" that I really wanted to see, so I got it off Amazon for like $1.99. It was - at most - 40 minutes long. Which meant at least a third of the airtime was commercials.

And the story suffered for it, too. I kept expecting another act, but nope, the show was over.

*snort* You were born too late. You have youth, but have to wallow in the crap TV has become.

Upping the gain in commercials began in the 1970s. Whoever thought it up must rot in a special Hell just for them.

TV used to be limited in the number of commercial breaks. Yes, there really were *only* FIVE MINUTES of breaks (which included NETWORK PROMOS) per half hour back then. Because the FCC *mandated* that. As cable TV came along, with more ads per hour, the Big 3 networks (there were still just three then) cried to the FCC about how it was all UNFAIR they couldn't cheat their viewers like cable TV. Now you have *eight* minutes per half hour -- which makes anything other than a sitcom in a half-hour slot a waste of time (oh there used to be MANY half-hour DRAMAS in the 60s!) -- that extra three minutes, when credits are added, is too little time for daram to build up. But there seem to be *more* breaks per half hour than the 1960s had.

And, sorry to break it to you, but TV *is* now about the ads, not the programs, despite what little you find to actually watch.

Ad agencies have complained for years about the clutter. Before 1980, the amount of commercial time was regulated because we had the quaint notion that the airwaves were the property of the public and not the corporate advertisers.

Then the deregulation frenzy hit and here we are with a third of prime time being taken up by commercials.

That, in part, is responsible for the shouting and loud music. Advertisers need to cut through the clutter in some way and if they can't do it with entertaining ads, or a huge media buy, they do it by cranking up the volume. Just in case you went to the bathroom.

It sucks.

It's why I don't watch a lot of network TV. I still watch TV, but it's HBO or the Movie Channel. The network shows like Community, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation I catch on hulu.

I'm not a snob. I love TV. I just don't like being yelled at.

I'm not sure I remember the "classier" age of television. I go to TV Land and try to watch something I liked as a kid and it's almost unwatchable. I dream of Jeanie? Hogan's Heros? The original Battle Star Galactica (which I loved as a kid) seems laughably awful compared to the recent incarnation. And yes, there were good sows too. I think TV has ALWAYS been a mix of good stuff and crap.

I certainly agree about the Venture Brothers and The Office ... but reality TV is wearing thin on me. I wouldn't last 20 seconds on any of those shows because I'd say "fuck you" at the first sign of bullshit and walk off.

But you know me, Neil. A little PBS is all I ever watch. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to the collected works of Pablo Neruda.



I think the news was classier way back when. I watch Cronkite and early Dan Rather with my grandpa. Seemed people had more time. And I've watched GOOD MORNING AMERICA turn into shit for years. Sigh.

But loud and fast just don't seem like good advertising ideas. Ouch.

But I'm a guy who respects good storytelling, I must wiseass comment, I must resist wiseass comment...

Why do the shows have to be so fucking dark? I'm not talking about content, I'm talking about the actual coloring of the scenes and background. I have to turn on all of the lights in the house and wear my glasses to see what the hell is happening.

When Congress or the courts finally get around to allowing consumers to select and pay for only the channels we want, all I'll own will be ESPN and TCM. And sometimes I think I can pass on ESPN.

We DVR everything now. I can't see wasting all that time if I don't have to.

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