Posted by: Paul | September 25, 2010

The ‘TV is Crap’ argument

I was having a conversation with someone I don’t know very well the other day – our kids are nursery friends and we had a ‘playdate’, where she brought her daughter round to play with Adam one afternoon for a couple of hours. In the course of the very polite small talk, in between shouts of ‘Adam, put that down!’ and ‘I know it’s yours but don’t you want to share?’, at a lull in the conversation I asked what she liked to watch on TV. I know, I know, I’d make a great dinner party guest, I’m always open to invitations 😉

She replied along the lines of ‘well, everything on TV’s crap nowadays isn’t it?’. After politely disagreeing, and bigging up Bouquet of Barbed Wire as a recent example to the contrary, I began to think about this – as it’s far from the first time I’ve had someone say this to me. I wondered whether it’s just an easy answer to give that normally raises a smile and a general dismissive agreement, or whether people who give this answer do actually feel that way. To be fair to her, she genuinely did feel like this as she then talked about what she saw as the glory days of TV and the fact that she is re-watching ‘Dallas’ at the moment (each to their own…!)

Anyway, having spent some time considering the proposition, I came to the conclusion that if that’s what you think about TV right now then you are watching the wrong things, or not watching it at all. Of course, with so much TV available that invariably means there’s more dross to be avoided than ever, but there are diamonds in the rough.

You might have noticed if you’ve read this blog for a while that almost always the TV reviews I post are overwhelmingly positive. The explanation is that I tend to only watch things for which I can expect the quality level to be at least reasonably high. More often than not I’m rewarded with something funny, interesting, moving, uplifting…there are always disappointments of course, but ultimately I think if you feel like this then (a) you’re looking in the wrong place, and (b) you’re wasting your license fee. As with most things, if you do your homework, you make sure you get your moneys worth!


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