Posts Tagged ‘television’

When Sarah Palin’s Alaska premiered on TLC (The Learning Channel, how ironic is that?) and got 5 million viewers, I about shit myself.  A tiny part of me lost hope in humanity for about a week or so.  I should note this isn’t that unusual for me.  I tend to lose all hope in humanity at least once every couple months.

Well, I ran across a couple of things today that brought a flicker of hope back into my heart.  According to this, viewership for Palin’s show has declined by 40%.  Not only that, but the median age for her viewers is around 57 years old which is not a demographic that many cable channels strive to capture.

On the other hand, AMC’s The Walking Dead has set a new record with over 5.6 million viewers tuning in for it’s fifth episode.  That’s a 300,000 viewer increase in comparison to it’s debut episode.  It also holds firm grip on the 18-49 year old demographic (3.2 million viewers).  I don’t have cable, so I’ve only seen one episode of The Walking Dead (while I was getting treatments at the hospital).  From what I’ve seen it looks pretty cool.  I can’t wait for season one to get put on Netflix.

So anyway, my point is the world can’t be too screwed if a TV show about zombies spanks the ass off of Palin’s reality show.  Especially when it’s being watched by tomorrow’s leaders.  The kids might not be exactly marching in the streets, but at least they’re learning how to battle hordes of zombies.

Zombies are slow moving, brain dead, irritable, angry, operate within a herd mentality, probably don’t spell too well, and strive on attacking and feeding off of others.  The more Americans learn about battling zombies, the better!




Original post date April 6, 2009

When I was a young child I was babysat by a lady that was obsessed with soap operas and romance novels. I remember most of my afternoons were spent having to watch soaps, or at least listen to them. Even as a young child, I knew something was horribly wrong with soap operas. Not only were they boring and depressing, but I could feel them slowly draining the happiness and hope out of my young soul.

I remember being forced to lie on a mat on the floor directly in front of the TV for my afternoon nap, while soap operas blared on the television. I don’t know why it was called a nap when it was impossible for me to fall asleep with this crap beaming into my young skull. During my “nap”, I was forced to lie there and spend the next couple of hours listening to all of this insipid and evil shit happening on the television. Meanwhile, commercials for laundry soap and other household cleaners seemed to be my only escape from this endless onslaught of “passion and betrayal”.

It’s impossible to be a happy and well-rounded child when you’re subjected to a daily dosage of The Young And The Restless theme music intermixed with mean and spiteful people plotting revenge and destroying each other’s lives. Just the sound of the classic Young and the Restless theme makes me nauseous to this very day. Some would argue that this could be classified as post traumatic stress disorder. I don’t think it’s that serious. I think I just really hated that damned soap opera.

My forced childhood exposure to this shallow form of “entertainment” has left me with an extreme and violent loathing of anything soap-oriented. In an effort to work out some of this baggage and regain some of my childhood innocence, I thought it would be a good healing exercise to analyze exactly what it is about soaps that drives me crazy. So I’ve put together a brief list of the main things that bother me about soaps.

Why do people on soaps get that “who cut the cheese?” look on their face and hold it for 25 seconds before the scene is cut? Don’t they understand that everyone throughout the history of mankind has recognized this as a blatant admission of guilt? How many people really go out into the world and do this crap, and why don’t they use this glorious method of dramatic acting in mainstream Hollywood movies? Could it be because it’s stupid and anyone that does it deserves to be slapped in the face with a three-day-old dirty diaper? I think so.

And why do soap opera villains constantly re-explain their cunning plan to an empty room, just as soon as the other characters are out of earshot? Don’t they realize someone could walk in and hear them? If they constantly have to reaffirm why they hate someone and what they’re going to do to them, maybe they should just chill out and get a hobby. And I thought James Bond villains, who ran their mouths, were stupid.

Speaking of villains, why do they expect people to believe that someone who’s an evil villain one season can be reformed and become a do-gooder victim during the next season? I know I’m a cynical bastard, but I’ve never known anyone to go from asshole to Saint Punching Bag within six months, or ever for that matter. But somehow we’re supposed to believe it can happen in TV land. Maybe they’re just trying to convince the uneducated masses to trust politicians again.

Why is it that no matter what kind of mundane job someone’s character works on a soap, they always seem to have plenty of money on hand to maintain perfect hair, wear the best clothes, and live in immaculate houses? I know it’s TV and all, but how can they expect us to believe that a waitress can afford to live in a three-story house and drive a C300?

And how are we supposed to believe that everyone on a soap opera has the ability and finances to take extended time off work in order to track down their long-lost sibling that’s being held captive in some exotic foreign country?

Speaking of captives, how is it that a soap villain can kidnap someone else and hold them captive in an isolated barn for three weeks, but they never serve time for it when they finally get busted? Kidnapping is one of those big crimes that just can’t be explained away in an episode or two.

Why does it seem that most soaps have at least one person that has multiple personalities? And why are these shows allowed to depict MPD so inaccurately? Isn’t that kind of insulting to the people who really have MPD? Or do they just think each of their personalities watch different soaps, so they’ll never know? If I had Multiple Personality Disorder, I would sue any soap that tried to use this droll crap in their plotlines. No I wouldn’t! Yes I would!

Why do people spend hours of each day subjecting their psyches to watching people plot to destroy each other? Nothing good ever happens in soap operas. Granted there’s your occasional marriage episode or the “oh isn’t the baby so damned cute” episode, but even those are loaded up with hate, venom, and betrayal. I’d rather watch an Ow, My Balls! Marathon than spend 30 minutes watching this psychologically disturbing crap.

Just the subconscious stress and hate that emanates off of these programs drives me nuts. All of the constant arguments and fights just seem to drain the energy out of me. I can walk into a room where someone is watching a soap opera, and within five minutes I start to feel sick and stressed. Then I realize there’s a soap opera on the television, and I get all stabby and bitchy. One would almost think that soap operas were automated psychic vampires, set up to zap the free will and hope out of anyone within broadcast range. Someone should really write a blog about that.

How can we expect our society to ever change for the better when we’re beaming this type of programming into the heads of every welfare recipient and pre-kindergarten child in the nation? Anyone who (out of choice, or circumstance) stays home in the afternoon and watches rabbit-ear TV ends up seeing this crap. To make matters worse, their kids end up being forced to watch it too. Could soaps be proof positive that Americans are being systematically dumbed down? If I find out that they’re being funded by the World Bank or the Republican Party, I’m gonna have to build myself a thicker tinfoil hat and start living in my closet.

So if you enjoy watching soaps, that’s fine. It’s your decision, and I don’t want to tell people what forms of entertainment they should and shouldn’t enjoy. That would be wrong. But please remember a couple of things. The reality of the real world does not operate according to the reality that is portrayed on soap operas. Not everyone is out to screw everyone else over. So don’t even think about navigating your way through life with petty mindgames and manipulations. It may work on soaps, but in real life, it can get your ass kicked.

Also, please remember that while you may thoroughly enjoy watching people destroy each other’s lives, you really shouldn’t let your kids see this stuff. If you do, and they grow up to be like Bernard Madoff, don’t say I didn’t warn you.