Have we witnessed the death of intelligent TV?

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Ryva Brall, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Ryva Brall

    Ryva Brall Commander Red Shirt

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    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 Nearly all of the nature documentaries have been replaced by reality shows.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?
     
  2. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  3. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's probably it.
     
  4. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  5. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    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
     
  6. Karl Shoottheglass

    Karl Shoottheglass Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  7. Ryva Brall

    Ryva Brall Commander Red Shirt

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    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?
     
  8. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    Because tv is losing to the internet
     
  9. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's not.
     
  10. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Nope.

    Intelligent TV has just moved to Cable.
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Was intelligent TV ever really alive to begin with?
     
  12. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Hmm, reality TV does have writers -it ain't real
     
  13. not

    not Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    True. Most kids don't get any info/entertainment from TV. In ten years, A TV will = a rotary phone
     
  14. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    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.
     
  15. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  16. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    When I was a kid in the 70's and 80's, a lot of tv was already dumb.

    At the time, I thought tv news shows like "60 Minutes" was "intelligent". Only other channel which had semi-intelligent tv shows (which I can recall) in those days, was PBS.
     
  17. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    Television shows are smarter than they've ever been before. The Sopranos, The Wire, Enlightened, Girls, Justified, The Shield etc. These shows couldn't have existed in the 70s or the 80s because networks needed to cater to such large audiences. Now that we have more options we can have smarter shows.
     
  18. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, no, they DO have writers on staff for reality shows. They may or may not function like editors, but they are paid as writers. Sadly, for them, they don't get to be WGA. But, they are, indeed, writers.
     
  19. IndyJones

    IndyJones Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There are more good shows, too. There are more shows, full stop.

    Alan Sepinwall wrote a post last week that there are currently too many good shows to keep up with them all, and that he sees that problem growing as more non-traditional sources start developing original material.

    The proliferation of content may mean you have to wade through more crap to find the good stuff, but that doesn't mean it's not there.
     
  20. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Who create the situations the reality stars are put into and write the copy for the host/announcers.

    I hate and do not watch reality TV.