What’s On?

I can’t watch TV tonight, because we had a huge windstorm last night and the cable and the Internet have been gone all day. I won’t be able to watch Hannity tonight. And I’ve practically given up hope about Gutfeld anyway, he’s been bumped for over a week now in favor of repetitive, no-information “coverage” of Ukraine.
But my point is,that’s all I DO watch. And a few years ago, it was pleasurable to look forward to certain shows: Rescue Me, The West Wing, 24, even Designated Survivor….I think the last one where we cuddled up in bed regularly to watch was Better Call Saul.
‘Twas not ever thus. Of course decades ago, people used to,leave parties early because they “must not miss” the Mary Tyler Moore Show or Upstairs, Downstairs. But of course that was before VCRs. If you didn’t see a show when it aired, your only option was to try to catch a re-run.
But here’s what I wanna ask you:
ARE there any weekly dramas or comedies during prime time on network TV any more?
If there aren’t, it’s kinda sad. Because they were a truly reliable barometer of “popular culture”. You wouldn’t see anything on prime time tv that wouldn’t, as the saying went, ‘sell soap”.and since we didn’t have the plethora of choices we have today, everybody in America was seeing the same stuff.
Is this part of a plan to frustrate a cultural consensus? Or is it, itself, the result of fragmentation?


I can’t say much about shows currently airing on television, but there is always the possibility of a streaming service such as Netflix, Hulu, or any other that is popular now. If you don’t own a smart tv you could always buy a Kindle Fire Tv stick or a Roku stick. It’s not the same as prime cable television but there might be shows you’ve never seen that you could watch as a replacement.

For myself, I don’t watch network TV – well, apart from the guilty pleasure of the Jeopardy quiz show, which is worth watching to remind myself how little I know. Some analysts have pointed out that broadcast TV has become a “female ghetto”. There could be discussion about the chicken and the egg here – Did the male audience walk away first, and hence the networks produce only programs tailored to their remaining female audience? Or was it the other way round?

The interesting part is the question you raise about whether the failure of the networks to produce non-Woke entertaining programming is a deliberate plan to frustrate a cultural consensus? One might argue that the cultural consensus of the post WWII golden age of TV was the historical oddity, and the natural state of affairs is a highly fragmented society.

What triggers this thought is reading Thomas Fleming’s “The New Dealers’ War”, about US home front politics during WWII. The main medium at that time – the newspaper industry – was then geographically highly fragmented, and elected representatives in Congress were much more sensitive to the opinions of their constituents who got their information from those relatively local sources. In contrast, now everybody who is anybody reads the New York Times and watches PBS – and is subject to serious misinformation in that monoculture. Fragmentation may not be a Bad Thing!

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Maybe it’s just that culture has BECOME political right now. It IS possible to be very funny without being topical; just listen to Woody Allen’s old routines. And remember Seinfeld? But nobody does it now.
Well why even comment? I’m sure I won’t live to see this awful schism end. I’ll just go on telling me little jokes. I crack me up!

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Better Call Saul was a great show. Much better than Breaking Bad.

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