(Written for The Open Letter campaign at http://www.laurencasper.com/)
Dear TV executives:
Even though it makes me feel like an old fogey, I feel the need to complain about the state of the entertainment industry these days. Why do I have 200 cable channels yet cannot find anything remotely worth watching? Why do 30-minute television shows consist of 20 minutes of actual show and 10 minutes of clever pleas from some corporate entity intent on separating me from my hard-earned money? And let’s just talk about what those 20 minutes of television might contain these days: words that used to get my mouth washed out with soap, alternative lifestyles that necessitate discussions with my children that they are not ready to hear, and sexual innuendo/content that would make a sailor blush. And that’s during what’s supposed to be “family hour”! Where are the family shows that encourage “good” behavior instead of glorifying “bad” behavior? Where are the feel-good shows that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside? I’m no dummy – I know that the world’s (even one family’s (anybody else miss “The Brady Bunch”?)) problems can’t be solved in 30 minutes (20 if you subtract commercials) but sometimes I like to imagine a world where that’s possible. So you can keep your “Bachelor” and your “True Blood” and your “Two and a Half Men”. Until you come up with some programming that is spirit-affirming instead of soul-sucking, you can find me curled up on my couch reading a good book.
A disgruntled former viewer