Sunday, June 02, 2013

The rubbish that is cable TV

I have not watched much television over the past few years, most of my spare time is spent reading. Unfortunately due to the difficulties with holding books open (due to the incident referred to in one of my earlier posts) I have been scanning the television channels for entertainment.

Dear God.

I don't know where to begin. Unless one wants to stick to the news channels or sports the rest is rubbish. I'm not particularly interested in wildlife documentaries or cooking, which doubtless have their own fans, which is perfectly alright. It is the lack of other documentaries, serious science or human interest programmes that is telling.

Vapid travel shows, even more vapid talent contests and some lousy music is all thats on offer. Mind you, this is just the passably watchable stuff, the movies are all in the gutter.

The Economist has some interesting analysis on the reason for the decline including the desire for tried and tested formulae "usually sequels, prequels, or anything featuring characters with name recognition". Cartoon characters and video games and whatever else fits the bill of name recognition.

The second flaw is to try and focus on a global audience: ie films that can easily be dubbed or subtitled-in other words those that focus on action rather than plot. With computer animation the action can be spectacular, so sometimes plots may be omitted entirely, as in Transformers and Battleship. I watched something a couple of weeks back, think it was Iron Man, people kept getting beaten up and I did not know why, or by whom. It was impossible to figure the goodies from the baddies.

At least when George Lucas did special effects we knew they were 'real', that some real work went into it. Now its just like watching a video game playing, the background, movements, effects, even actors being digitally manipulated.

At least the Bollywood films feature real actors, pretty girls (some quite gorgeous) and surprisingly slick production.   

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