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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > TV & Media

TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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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 Nearly all of the nature documentaries have been replaced by reality shows.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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Old April 20 2013, 02:04 AM   #2
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

No.
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Old April 20 2013, 02:06 AM   #3
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

Ryva Brall wrote: View Post
is TV only getting dumber because we're getting dumber?
That's probably it.
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Old April 20 2013, 02:14 AM   #4
Third Nacelle
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

After I finish this Three Stooges marathon, I think I'm gonna catch up on Hee-Haw.

TV has always been dumb. Reality TV is just a smart way to make dumb TV without having to hire dumb writers to write dumb stories. Networks like TLC and Discovery are businesses. Dumbing down makes money and is good for business. If you want intelligent TV, stick with PBS, or look at the documentary category on Netflix.
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Old April 20 2013, 02:17 AM   #5
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

Flooded with bilge though it may be, due to struggling against an internet age, saying there is no intelligent tv out there is like saying there's nothing worthwhile to read on the web

My advice? Look harder
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Old April 20 2013, 02:39 AM   #6
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

In terms of intelligent broadcast (free) TV, it's definitely dying, if it didn't die many years ago. Bravo and NBC in particular used to be a HELL of a lot better. I doubt ''Hill Street Blues'' or ''St. Elsewhere'' would last three weeks on NBC today. And notice how few of the interchangeable daytime talk shows get cancelled. And how much more paid programming which no one watches filling up one-third of so many affililates's schedules.

I also reluctantly say yes to the OP's last two questions in his first post. Sadly, our American film ''comedies'' are even dumber than our broadcast TV shows.
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Old April 20 2013, 02:44 AM   #7
Ryva Brall
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

I don't deny that there have always been dumb TV shows. And yes, there are some intelligent, quality TV shows still out there, if you look hard enough. But the sheer number of awful shows is pretty hard to ignore. It could just be because there are more channels than there were ten years ago. But then, why is this "network decay" happening on almost every network?
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Old April 20 2013, 02:50 AM   #8
Mojochi
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

Because tv is losing to the internet
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Old April 20 2013, 02:50 AM   #9
Kelthaz
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

Ryva Brall wrote: View Post
I don't deny that there have always been dumb TV shows. And yes, there are some intelligent, quality TV shows still out there, if you look hard enough. But the sheer number of awful shows is pretty hard to ignore. It could just be because there are more channels than there were ten years ago. But then, why is this "network decay" happening on almost every network?
It's not.
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Old April 20 2013, 03:02 AM   #10
Dream
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

Nope.

Intelligent TV has just moved to Cable.
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Old April 20 2013, 03:14 AM   #11
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

Was intelligent TV ever really alive to begin with?
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Old April 20 2013, 03:19 AM   #12
not
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
After I finish this Three Stooges marathon, I think I'm gonna catch up on Hee-Haw.

TV has always been dumb. Reality TV is just a smart way to make dumb TV without having to hire dumb writers to write dumb stories. Networks like TLC and Discovery are businesses. Dumbing down makes money and is good for business. If you want intelligent TV, stick with PBS, or look at the documentary category on Netflix.

Hmm, reality TV does have writers -it ain't real
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Old April 20 2013, 03:28 AM   #13
not
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

Mojochi wrote: View Post
Because tv is losing to the internet
True. Most kids don't get any info/entertainment from TV. In ten years, A TV will = a rotary phone
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Old April 20 2013, 03:41 AM   #14
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

I took my 10 and 11 year old niece and nephew to the Museum of Transport and technology where they were confronted by a rotary phone and stumped.
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Old April 20 2013, 03:46 AM   #15
Third Nacelle
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Re: Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

not wrote: View Post
Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
After I finish this Three Stooges marathon, I think I'm gonna catch up on Hee-Haw.

TV has always been dumb. Reality TV is just a smart way to make dumb TV without having to hire dumb writers to write dumb stories. Networks like TLC and Discovery are businesses. Dumbing down makes money and is good for business. If you want intelligent TV, stick with PBS, or look at the documentary category on Netflix.

Hmm, reality TV does have writers -it ain't real
Not real ≠ written. What reality tv does have is editors. Follow somebody around with cameras long enough and you're bound to come up with 24 minutes of trash that passes for entertainment.
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