Saturday, August 28, 2010

TV stuff

There aren't many TV shows I like, and most of what I do like is pretty much winding down. As an example- the last sit com I liked is How I Met Your Mother, and it's suffering from the same thing as what killed both The Simpsons and Married...with Children: part of the appeal of some of the characters was that they were mildly outlandish, but, in order to exploit that outlandishness, as time goes by, they get painted into a corner. Homer can only be so stupid until he's not relatable, Bart can only be so much of a juvenile Deliquent until he's not lovable, Al Bundy can only be so miserable, Kelly Bundy can only be so much of a bimbo, and so on. Well, Ted can only be so much of a hopeless romantic, Barney can only be so glib, and so on. In the latest season, Ted was only relatable at times, Barney was just a cipher for punchlines, Marshall existed to be a punchline, and I cannot care about them, anymore.
Other shows, like Rescue Me or Lost either have finished, or have announced their end. Likewise, most of my favorite shows are so far in the past that I've seen them allthe way through more than once.
That leaves really light fare- like Burn Notice or True Blood. Shows that I enjoy but only for superficial reasons.
So, I'm left enjoying only singular episodes of shows I'm otherwise uninterested in. One really good example was Anthony Bourdain's "Beirut" episode of No Reservations. Truly it was riviting watching a country fall apart as self-absorbed media types- the people doing the show- have to come to terms with the fact that their show means nothing when faced with real life. You've got them hanging around, bored in a posh hotel while bombs are dropping, and you can see them almost make the connection that what they usually do- going to the third world and copping a meal- is actually the same kind of colonial exploitation that Victorians engaged in. A kind of "aren't these savages romantic as they show the proper fealty to us, their superiors" exoticism. But, in this episode they have to confront that the "savages" have agendas that leave the show entirely aside. It's not even an afterthought. That was decent TV. (I was also fascinated due to my time in the Middle East- but let's leave this at Pop Culture)
I think I'll be OK when TV finally snuffs it for good, because other avenues are much better anyway....

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