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12.05.2003

The decline and fall of television 

There's a thoughtful and hilarious column on the declining quality of television programming in the National Review, of all places. A quote:



But the networks can't let go, because every time they cancel an established show, the viewers, particularly the younger ones, vanish. No one thinks it's worth investing in a new show. The rise in reality shows has been cited by many as a sign of creative exhaustion on the part of Hollywood. But I think a better sign is the absolute explosion in sexuality. I think by now most readers understand I'm not particularly Comstockish about sex, so I hope this won't be taken simply as the lament of a typical culture vulture. But the reliance on sex jokes on TV is really astounding. Because there's still an ever-thinning veneer of taboo to sex, jokes about it still have a chance at working. But the desperation of writers comes across in how deep, i.e. low, they have to dig. It reminds me of a Simpsons episode that takes place in the near future; Marge says to Homer, "Fox turned into a hardcore porn channel so gradually I didn't even notice."


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