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Old April 20 2013, 02:00 AM   #1
Ryva Brall
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Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

My friend and I were talking about this the other day. When we were growing up, channels like Discovery, TLC, and the History Channel were chock-full of interesting, educational shows. Now, I'm only twenty-eight, so this wasn't that long ago. But now it seems that all of these channels have dropped their educational stuff in favor of crap reality shows like "Ice Road Truckers" and "Pawn Stars" and "Overhaulin'". (Oh, and my favorite? "Ancient Aliens". Aliens have about as much business on the History Channel as they do in an Indiana Jones movie.) Even Animal Planet has suffered this decline. Nearly all of the nature documentaries have been replaced by reality shows.

There's even an actual term for this "process of dumbening", as Lisa Simpson would say. It's called network decay, and it basically means the transition of a TV network's programming in order to appeal to a wider (and apparently less intelligent) audience. The disturbing thing is, it's the most mindless and inane of these shows that have the highest ratings. So what does this say about us as a society? Is TV making us dumber? Or is TV only getting dumber because we're getting dumber?
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