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What’s Wrong With TV Today!

As all three of you that read this blog know, I work from home.  I sit in front of the PC most of the day and night.  I take breaks for Call Of Duty, Dinner and then late, late night or early morning even, I watch some shows on DVD or OnDemand.  However, in all the time that I am working my TV sits about 4 feet away to my right.  What I watch when I get up in the mornings, depending upon when I get up, are filled with the The Today Show, basically whatever is on NBC until they start showing the Soap Operas.  Then it’s time turn on Animal Planet or The Discovery Channel.  My point is that I watch a lot of TV.

And, I have noticed a trend pretty much since 24 first aired.  ABC found some love with Lost and it was game over.  Everyone wanted some stupid show that never ends basically, every damn week is a cliff hanger.  Personally I am ok with this as I don’t watch Network shows when they air.  I wait all season, all damn summer and then by the DVD in the fall when it comes out.

Why do I do this?  A few reasons.  I hate commercials.  Well, not so much that I hate them.  More like there are just too damn many of them every hour.  I was able to tolerate it for most of my life.  Even when the dumb Networks started to copy fucking cable stations having to put their brand name in the corner of the screen. Such a fucking distraction.  I dealt with it.

But then, one night several years ago I actually stopped work, walking away from my PC, took two steps over to my comfy recliner and waited to watch a much hyped episode of NBC’s Law & Order SVU.  All god damn week they had been playing the episode up.  It was going to be better then the second coming of Christ!  So there I sit, the show starts, the stupid logo at the corner of the screen to remind all the stupid people what station they are watching.  I try to ignore it.  So far so good.

Then at the most traumatic point in the show.  You know that point where someone’s life is on the line, it’s life or fucking death and from the bottom left hand corner of the screen taking up close to a full quarter or the fucking screen is some advertisement for a new show!  Are you shitting me?  It wasn’t some scrolling text, no!  It was wavy lines of colors, two dipshit actors who are stars of the show pop up and are smiling at me, reminding me to watch their new show!  After that, I never watched another episode of anything on NBC or any other Network when it originally airs.  If they are going to disrespect me like that, then fuck them.  I will DVR some shit, I will by the rest on DVD but watch their shit fucking live?  Screw that!

But I digress, here’s the deal with what’s wrong now.  It seems that all networks want are fascinating concepts that would make a great mini-series or movie.  But, they don’t want it to be a mini-series or movie, they want this idea to be a TV show.  And, that means one thing!  FAIL!

Was is The Office still on the air?  Easy.  Even though I don’t like the show, I’ve seen like two episodes and I was so bored with it.  But, I get the humor, I get it, I just don’t enjoy it.  I totally see how others do enjoy it.  But, the reason it’s still on the air has nothing to do with how good it is.  It’s because it’s called The Office.  It is sold as a show about some people who work in this office.  It’s simple, it leaves rooms for great characters and that leads hopefully to great stories.  Great characters have to come first.  I don’t care how interesting the story is, if the characters suck the show will die no matter how good the idea of the show is.

Do you remember Cheers, Night Court, both of these shows were going to be cancelled but someone somewhere said, this is a good show, I don’t care if the ratings suck, we’re gonna keep the show, the audience will find the show soon enough.  And, what about these show made them special?  There was no tropical island or some mysterious critical event.  There wasn’t the end of the world as a threat.  It was just some fascinatingly fun people in a bar.  And, the exact same for Night Court except these fun interesting people were in Night Court!  You could go anywhere with ideas like these.  You weren’t limited to a ticking clock.

What got me started on this rant was the preview I saw for a new show on NBC I have no plans to watch.  It’s got a great idea.  And, when I first saw the promo I thought this is gonna be a great little mini-series right here!  Can’t wait to watch it already!  It’s about a guy who has an accident or something, his wife dies in and his son lives.  But, then he falls asleep and wakes up to find that his son had died in the crash but his wife is alive.  Every time he wakes up, he’s in another reality.  Cool!  But, no…  It’s not a mini-series.  They want to milk this great idea in to a TV series.  And, what does that mean?  If we’re lucky it will run for 5 to 7 years and he will never get any better and we won’t get any answers.  Really?

More than likely what is going to happen is that the show will run 5 or 6 episodes, with minimal ratings and be canceled.  Leaving every poor bastard stuck with no resolution.  In the world of Movie and TV, there’s nothing fucking worse than that.  I don’t care if the show is getting cancelled damn it.  If you’re going to cancel it, you have a fucking obligation to the poor bastards that invested all their time in watching your stupid show to at least write one more episode and tie it all up.

And, why would you want to do that?  Let me tell you since you dumb fucking executives are way too fucking stupid to figure it out for yourselves.  Everyone that loved the show is going to buy the DVD, all three of them.  But, if you can offer that DVD with un-aired episodes with a finale.  It’s gold, people that didn’t watch the show will buy the DVD, I will buy the damn DVD. Because millions of people just like me were waiting for the DVD in the first place but it got cancelled and why would we buy it now know that we’re going to be left hanging.

What I won’t do is by some DVD with the episodes that aired even if you offer me a few more that didn’t air.  I want some closure, just suck it up and make one last episode to wrap it up.  I promise you with an ounce or promotion you will make your money back on the DVD.  Honestly, let’s look at how many DVD’s I haven’t bought over the years because the networks were too fucking stupid to make a finale.

FlashForward: Really couldn’t wait for the next season so I could start watching it. But it got cancelled. No finale, I didn’t buy the DVD.

Bionic Woman: Man I couldn’t wait for this show. But the ignorant poor excuse for executives over NBC had no concept of DVR and Tivo and ITunes and all the ways people watched this show. But, no finale, no closure, I didn’t buy the DVD.

V: Didn’t buy the DVD.

Miracles: What a great show this was! Well done, well acted, completely believable. And, the network decided to cancel it of course due to poor ratings. But, let me tell you about how these exec’s were so fucking stupid they never gave the show a chance. It airs as I recall, in its time slot once or twice. Then, I believe we went to war in Iraq or something? So, the show was preempted a few weeks, then an episodes airs only to be preempted again by the Superbowl or some other big event. Then they changed nights. No one could find the show. It was never given a chance at all and they cancel it.

Invasion: Pretty fun show, made the mistake of watching a few of the episodes and of course got fucked when it was cancelled. Thanks for that one you dumb fucks!

Surface: Thanks NBC, you moronic bastards! Thanks for making me love Lake Belle! Than you convince her to leave Boston Legal for this hot new show that will rival Lost and then you fucking cancel it! Good job you idiots! Once again you show your blatant stupidity and lack of a fucking backbone.

The list goes on and on.  There’s more shows but I am tired already listing all the money you idiots left on the table. Huge shows, big budgets and you cheap bastards couldn’t come up with one more episode to finish it?  Did any of you even learn anything in business school?  Did you even go?  If you just cancel these shows, you’ve got nothing and what you’ve made is it.  You’re only hope to get any money back is to on the DVD sales.  Now, you want to sll the damn DVD.  Offer the un-aired episodes with a finally and throw some damn special features on it.  At least act like you give a shit about the DVD’s you’re asking us to buy.

I know people that just illegally download TV shows for this very same reason.  They bought TV shows on DVD only to find, there’s no special features?  No closure?  Nothing?   Just the shit you showed on TV and one or two episodes that do nothing but ask more questions and answer nothing?  I don’t blame them one bit.  You don’t deserve their money you cheap bastards.

Now, I will say that there are a lot of TV shows that get cancelled and don’t really need closure. Shows that aren’t serialized of course, there’s no need to give it a finale, I will probably still buy the DVD if I am interested in the show.

The show I was talking about, NBC’s new show is called Awake.  I should go back and it to the list of DVD’s I am not going to buy.  Because, I know what’s gonna happen.  6 episodes tops before people get bored, show canceled, no resolution.  Next fall the DVD comes out with one or two un-aired episodes and almost nobody buys it and the exec’s sit and wonder why.

There’s a shitload of great TV that got cancelled way before their time. We all know that. But, I know these executives aren’t watching the shows, they look at the numbers and they think that’s all there is to it. And, they couldn’t be more fucking wrong. Watch the show first, watch every episode and if you honestly think it deserve to be cancelled than fine, go for it, that’s what your over paid dumb ass gets paid for. But for the love of fucking God…  Please just let them make one last episode if needed to end the series.   This way we all can then buy it and look at it as just a great mini-series. Because if you don’t, you have nothing. The only people that are gonna buy it on DVD are the poor bastards that watched it on TV and really, really loved it. Everyone else is going to ignore it and think, if only they offered the un-aired episodes with a closing and maybe some special features.

So let me explain it to you morons out there. Whoever says numbers don’t lie, when it comes to TV, is an idiot and should be fired on the spot if that is their only reason for wanting to cancel a show. Here’s how it really works. There is so much to watch out there. I fill up my damn DVR in a couple of weeks. Then there’s all the DVD’s I buy of all the shows I didn’t DVR. The point being, ratings mean little at first. If a show is good, the people will find it. And right now, most people I know, never watch or rarely watch new shows for the same reasons I have stated already. It’s best and safest to just wait for the DVD because no one wants to invest their time in a show that is more than likely going to be canceled with no closure. It’s like saying, “Hey you want a baby? Great, you can have one. But, you have to give it up for adoption and never see it again. How’s that for you!” Well, to be honest, that really doesn’t work for me. So, how about you get your heads out of your ass and give us the closure we deserve.

So what are the lessons learned here today?  If you want the next Lost or 24, it’s really easy to do.  You come up with an idea for a show that is about some interesting characters and then put them in some extraordinary situations every week.  But, when you start a show with a premise that is about one thing, you very quickly have no where to go.  And, if you start one of these serialized shows, and your dumb ass decides to cancel it, just give it that one last episode to try to wrap it all up!  Then when you can release it on DVD in the Early spring, Summer or Fall, you can advertise it and sell the un-aired episodes and finale and people will buy it, if you come at it from the mini-series point of view.

Problem solved.