Most New TV Shows Require Too Much Effort!

Post ImageI don’t watch a lot of television, save for hockey, news, and Smallville. I guess I am “an Internet child” and that’s definitely where most of my time is spent. I think there’s more to it than that, however. Almost all of the new TV shows being produced require a lot of effort from the viewer. More effort than I am willing to put in.

Take 24, for example. People are crazy about this show. I mean seriously off the reservation, like this guy:

If Jack Bauer has to catch a shark with his bare hands and speed-dry the fin so he can make a soup to restore the President’s sexual potency, I’ll be watching. If Jack Bauer is caught in the path of a fiercely-lit green energy beam made of fuckton particles in a suspended gobbledygook matrix and inadvertently is wearing a shark’s tooth necklace and become half-human, half tiger shark – I’ll be watching.

I’ve never seen an entire episode of 24, so I don’t know what the fuss is all about. I just don’t get it. And therein lies the problem. There’s no way I am going to start watching 24 now – it’s too far along. I’d be an outsider, a poser almost. I would have to go back to the very beginning and watch every episode just to catch up. And that’s just too much work.

And existing fans of the show? They can’t miss an episode, no sir. They have to record it for later if they absolutely cannot be sitting down when the new episode airs. Heaven forbid they miss one. They’d be behind, lost. Can’t have that – so they put in the effort.

There’s some old shows that are guilty, like 24, but it’s the new ones that are the worst. Just look at some of the newest shows – most pretty much require that you started watching from the beginning to really understand what’s going on. Heroes? Yup. Prison Break? Yup. Friday Night Lights? Yup. Studio 60? Yup. Ugly Betty? Yup. Jericho? Yup.

I am not sure if this trend is good or bad for television. On the one hand, networks might be limiting a show’s audience by setting the barrier of entry so high. On the other hand, these kinds of shows probably sell a lot better on DVD.

Either way, I kinda miss the old shows. The shows that didn’t require a lot of effort, nor an introduction. You could just start watching any episode and you just got it. There are notable exceptions in the current most popular shows, like CSI or Law & Order or American Idol, but for the most part, I think the new shows require too much effort.

In a way, I look forward to the day these shows are cancelled so I can just get all the DVDs.

11 thoughts on “Most New TV Shows Require Too Much Effort!

  1. Friday Night Lights doesn’t require NEARLY as much effort as the others. In each episode, there’s a mini-recap, sort of like flashbacks in dialogue at least to what’s gone on before. But if you’d like, I can fill you in! I heart it.

    The rest of them, I agree. And Heroes strikes me as kind of an X-Files wannabe, with this business of "are YOU on the list?". Kind of like "The truth is out there".

  2. I happened to watch part of FNL tonight (was eating, had the TV on) and ended up with more questions than anything. That’s another thing about these shows…they have so many characters! And as a result, so many plotlines.

  3. When 24 first started there were just too many other better shows on and not enough time in the week so it just never caught on with me.

    I PVR everything that I want to watch which is probably about 6 hours of TV a week. Since I save 33% on all of it, it only takes 4 hours to watch when I want to watch it. The only downside is having to avoid talking to people who may have already watched it if I don’t want it spoiled.

    Smallville really needs to end this season. The clark-lana thing is definately too much like dawson-joey, and we only have a small number of super powers left to go.

  4. I get that. but if you watch FNL from the beginning, they do a "previously on…" thing each show. it does help to clear up the confusion. or you could just download what you’ve missed.

  5. Yeah I’d have to download it for sure.

    I disagree Colin. All they need to do is get rid of Lana. Last week’s "Justice" was perhaps the best episode ever, and that was largely due to the fact that Lana had no screen time. It offered a glimpse into what Smallville COULD be.

  6. Well then perhaps a spin-off series "Justice League" is called for (and I’d watch it but it wouldn’t get the same female demographics for advertising), but the original smallville premise, characters and love interests are wearing thin.

    Without the whole ‘letting baddies out of the phantom zone’ thing this season they’d be back to padding with the ‘people who got powers from meteor rocks’ or ‘people who got powers from luthorcorp messing with them’ thing.

  7. I agree. For me, it seems like everybody is into Grey’s Anatomy. The shows that need involvement that I still watch is the O.C. and Gilmore Girls. However, I do enjoy How I Met Your Mother and the Hills and they don’t require effort. As for Studio 60, they are trying to make the show into a romantic comedy – and I don’t think it will last.

  8. The Bosten Legal spin-off from The Practice worked out well.

    OK, after last night’s Smallville, I’ve had enough Lana+Clark suspense. Those last few minutes were truly groan-worthy and I don’t mean in an ecstatic way. I also found the whole premise of the episode to be corny and predictable, plus the repeating sound in the background was very annoying.

    I didn’t get in Grey’s Anatomy. I watched one episode near the beginning and it didn’t catch on with me. I did catch the part of that one where the bomb squad guy got blown up though ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s good that the O.C. is coming to an end I think, though I was happy to see Marissa go. The Christmukkah episodes are usually good fun.

  9. I can’t disagree with you this time Colin…last night’s episode sucked in terms of Clana. When he said "I still love her" I just about puked!

    See now if there was no Lana, and the MM had a bigger role (and where the heck were the Oreos!), it would have been a great episode ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was glad to see the return of Shelby tho! Heh.

  10. Here are my thoughts and recollections of the last week. Work was good this week. I figured out some FileMaker problems. I spent a good portion of the week working on my budget for the next school year. My accounting…

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