All right - I was all set to do some serious short story fiction this morning and made the mistake of reading my messages...damn it! The following mad tirade was originally posted on Fancast because as usual, I couldn't keep my mouth shut!
So...I got an email from a very good friend today, the one that makes sure I understand what quality content in media is all about, specifically Film and TV. Turns out that TNT may be canceling a very good show called "Saving Grace", maybe you've heard of it?
Though not quite as bad as hearing about a loved one or close friend dying, there is always a measure of disbelief and sadness that follows. Course, then comes the disgust and bitter disappointment with networks, who can't see or appreciate the art, and magic of a perfectly cast and intelligently written show.
But here's the problem folks, the networks who bring you the good with the bad, are in the business of making money. Show's more often than not get canceled because they cannot meet the required Nealson ratings. So who's at fault here, the network who gave you a taste of something really good, or the public who failed to watch?
It would be easy to state the obvious, given the cold hard facts, but it's more complicated than that. We are a strange society, populated by honest and hard working folks, many of whom came to this country through unbelievable hardship, but endured long enough to make it here. Whether born to citizenship in this country or harder still, earned citizenship, the vast majority of us has chosen at the end of our long day, the simpler and more immediate means of gaining our cathartic high's.
Material wealth, alcohol, sex, explosions and voyeurism have become the tactile, visual, and audible drugs of choice. Networks didn't decide one day that they didn't care about the content of what they produced, most of them started out believing that what would make them great, what would drive their ratings through the roof and make them profitable, would be great content.
We as a society, have proven that content, more specifically the quality of content isn't always all that important. Those in the networks directly responsible to their shareholders and insuring that they meet their 10% increase in profitability every year, discovered this after hiring new marketing and research experts.
These corporately groomed, ivy league, businessmen and woman didn't bring creative talent to improve the content of the networks' programming. What they brought, was the cold, calculated drive to increase the size of their commercial accounts, and reduce their operational expenses.
Through research, it was determined that the concept of Reality TV, a genre we actually started in 1948 with shows like "Candid Camera" , was garnering some serious ratings in Britain, and without much expenditure.
So in came the great network experiments, the birth of "Cops" and MTV's "The Real World". We all watched, they were something new and interesting and the ratings were impressive enough to start the inevitable domino effect that has lead us to where we are today.
We have reached a level of saturation and acceptance of this genre's ever devolving means to entertain through the use of glorifying the most socially depraved forms of human interaction. This viewer wonders just how far off is it before extreme fighting to the death for convicts facing life or death sentences, becomes the next network rating's wet dream come true.
Oh dear, now I've done it...some network toady who's brother manages a privately owned prison, is gonna see this and freak out!
So how do we keep shows like "Saving Grace" from dying an early death? We have to stop watching the crap, no matter how tempting it may be, and start watching the good stuff. More than that, we have to convince our friends to do the same, and that's the real challenge.
Anyhow, I'm ranting and I'm sure most of you saw this ridiculously long post and gave in to what effects us all, our inability and lack of time to concentrate on anything more than two or three paragraphs. Heck, even I would have probably scrolled right past.
Oh well, at least I don't have to live with the guilt of giving birth to nationally syndicated and televised death matches using convicts, it's an old concept. If you want to see the latest film that takes advantage of this, trust me, it's coming to a theater near you.
**** 3:15PM - Little update on this cancellation notice, it wasn't TNT that killed the show, it was the studio - Fox TV! Oh I despise these cretins...they were the bastages that killed "Firefly" too!***