Woody Allen once had a great line from his 1977 movie Annie Hall: “they don’t throw their garbage away, they turn it into television shows”. I think Woody had it right; television sure aint what it used to be. Every year brings more saturated programming: more cop and lawyer shows, more medical dramas, more reality shows and more comedies with everyone sleeping with everyone else. The latest kicker was watching a preview for the upcoming NBC show Outsourced. The show is about a company named Mid America that produces novelty items such as whoopee cushions and wallets made out of bacon. The main character is Todd Donovan who has been dispatched to India to manage the company’s call center. The show centers around the wacky situations between Donovan and his foreign co-workers. Is this show supposed to be funny? Considering the present economy and shortage of jobs in the United States, did NBC think the timing of this show was wise? Does anybody really care?
I, like everyone else, have a handful of shows I currently watch. While I think reality shows are a waste of time, there is a temptation to watch. I must admit I sometimes have a twisted fascination with watching others air dirty laundry, struggle with weight loss, swap spouses, or have a complete meltdown. As long as it’s not me. I’m a child of the 1960s and 1970s and grew up on a steady diet of such classic shows as: Laugh In, Sesame Street, The Brady Bunch, Hawaii Five-O, Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, Swat, Starsky and Hutch and many others. Ah yes, the list is long and distinguished. They just don’t make ’em like they used to anymore. My parents use to say that about my shows back then when compared to the shows they liked. I guess every decade television just keeps going further downhill. More channels and shows with less substance. Power to the people holding the remotes.