Why does TV suck so much these days?

Good Lord how many fake assed “reality” shows can we have? Do people really want to watch 35 hours a week of counting cars on the “History” channel? :sleeping: Same with Ancient Aliens (which I have watched when I’m bored). The evidence that is presented is always the same. Rocks. Some are very cool carved rocks. But they are still rocks. Show me something that isn’t a rock.

What about the shows that feature grown assed adults crying in every episode? :face_vomiting: I don’t want to see so called grown ups blubbering like their mom died because they lost 5 pounds or they didn’t get a date. :nauseated_face:

Disclaimer: I have never tuned in to of these shows, but I’ve been in the room.


Because they are cheap.

You are welcome.


You are only half right. People still have to want to watch.

You are welcome too.

First world problems.

A general lack of deep inspiration. Shows become advertising vehicles designed not to challenge or inspire. They teach faddish thinking and political correctness. Creativity is only used to promote negativity.


If you don’t like first world problems, you are free to move to the third world. Would that be better? Buh Bye. :wave:

Well I do have 20+ years in TV and movie production as my livelihood.

They are produced because they cost next to nothing. Look at MTV. They used to actually be culturally relevant and would produce content that would actually reflect the state of music. Turn them on now… I bet you that they are showing “Ridiculousness” right now. Why? Because they can crank out like four of them a day.

I have also worked on my share of tv that I would describe the target audience being “those who are too drunk or high to find the remote to change the channel.” One of these was “Casino Cinema” on Spike which was an interstitial show that would do the intros and outros to movies while playing poker or black jack or something with a celebrity who was trying to sell something that they just did.

Want some real fun. Look up that time that Scott Stapp showed up drunk out of his mind… we shot this at like 10 AM.

But anyway… the only reason that Spike would invest in doing such a thing is because they saw a small ratings bump because of it. Not a big one… but big enough to spend a pittance on it. We would crank out four of these a month over a couple of days. It was good for a week of work back in my non union days.

Now the market is super saturated with content. So there are two main strategies. So expensive, prestige shows that are must watch and drive people to subscribe to the streaming service ( Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, etc) or flood out a ton of absolute garbage that is cheap to make and can be shown ad Infinitum with the same ratings results. (Bar Rescue, Ancient Aliens, Shark Tank)

We are talking about market shares that are in the hundred to tens of thousands of viewers. So the content HAS to be cheap and it HAS to be shown in marathons because the audience are mainly those who are watching it because nothing else is on.

Hope that helps.


Well I do have over 40+ years of watching TV and movies. Don’t be so snippy. This isn’t that kind of thread.

I hope that helps.

There’s no accounting for taste.

Hey man. Just trying to inform you.

The short answer was my first one. It

The longer more detailed answer was my second one.

If more detail is needed, we can get into the aftermath of the writer’s strike in 2007 and how the 2008 financial collapse resulted in only the larger networks being able to invest in large live events or how since 2015 streaming services have become more and more a part of TV production over cable which makes the higher number cable channels continue to double down on the low budget strategy of garbage content.

Ever hear of a show called “Comedy Knockout”? You probably haven’t but it was Tru TV doing cheap comedy content for some reason.

How about “Crowd Rules”? That was MSNBC trying to do a more egalitarian “Shark Tank” where the audience decides which business gets funded. It was hosted by local news host Pat Keirnan because he was literally already in the building.

So there is your answer.

It is cheap and makes enough money that they don’t have to show anything else. That is why it exists.


It’s like when things get stale and it’s all about ratings and money. Then there are the occasional inspirations and diligent directors, producers and writers, but then saturation can cause a problem. It’s too much and mostly junk, designed for low attention span.

I have only seen the first 5 episode of GOT and the final season. It was good, but so much of a time investment. It’s like playing a videogame that essentially require 12 hours a day for years.

We are in an era where some of the best television to ever be made is being made and some of the worst television to ever be made is being made.

It is because there are so many content providers going for the same amount eyeballs.

I don’t see how the second tier cable channels like Spike, History, Lifetime… etc are going to last in the next ten years.

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Another thing that affecting the immediate market is that the pandemic meant that nothing new was made for at least six months.

When I saw that a major network had a night of B list celebrities giving each other haircuts over Zoom I knew that they hit the bottom of the barrel.

It is also why we saw so much bad game shows over the summer because I think that they were airing stuff that they had shelved because it was all so terrible and the only shot the ten or so episodes that they paid for.

One thing that annoys me is how there are many great books, especially SciFi or mystery and the company rips off Ideas and turn it into rubbish.

For instance Robert Heinlein . The author was prolific and totally commercial, yet even his most famous book is ignored. It was ripped off so many times, in inferior vehicles. I can think of only one of books being made in a movie, but if a series came on I would make to watch it.

Some authors already wrote masterpieces that are often ripped, but rarely accurate movies that follow the classic underlying book.

Why ask questions if you get upset everytime someone answers them


Why were there so many Westerns in the late 1950’s and 1960’s?

After the game show scandals tanked the game show industry for several years, the networks needed cheap crap to broadcast. Westerns were cheap. Also why you got a lot of the “family” sitcoms of that era, Leave it to Beaver, Donna Reed Show, The Patty Duke Show, Petticoat Junction, etc. All cheap to produce. Part of why My Three Sons hung on so long.

Same thing today. Networks are still broadcasting cheap crap to fill up prime time blocks.

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I don’t think that Heinlein holds up.

But that is generally true of that era of sci fi. Generally…

I recently reread “Foundation” because of the Apple show and it just isn’t good.

A lot of stuff from that era of science fiction just didn’t age well.

Why did cartoons suck so much from the end of the Golden Age in 1964 until about 1989?

Because they were essentially half hour commercials to sell crap. :smile:

But it fits with this thread.

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Hey man… GI Joe and Transformers were awesome!

I had all the action figu…